Kalofer Bulgaria - Travel Guide, Tours, Hotels and Photos - Pictures of Bulgaria

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Kalofer Tours

Visit Kalofer as part of our Beautiful Bulgaria Programme
Visit Kalofer as part of our Museum Towns and Bulgarian Traditions (Northern Itinerary) Programme

Settlements: Kalofer

Kalofer - Pictures Of Bulgaria
The town of Kalofer has about 4,000 inhabitants and stretches on both banks of the Tundzha river, in the skirts of the Strazhata hill that represents a natural liaison between the Sredna Gora and Balkan mountains. The town lies on the main road between Sofia and Burgas, 158km east of Sofia.

The place had been covered with thick woods and uninhabited until the early years of Ottoman rule. The town of Kalofer was established by a group of haiduti (Bulgarian rebels) from a destroyed nearby town, led by Kalifer Voivoda. This happened with the explicit permission of the Turkish Sultan, after his inferiors acknowledged inability to destroy the rebel group, which had attacked on Turkish officers and created trouble for years. The residents of the new settlement were given the statute of dervendzhii, meaning official guardians of roads and passes in the mountains.

Even in the town was plundered and ruined twice, in 1799 and 1804, it quickly recovered to see an economic boom in the early 19th c. with a lot of producers of woolen braids, mills for wool processing and shops for dying of cloths emerging out of the ashes. At that time, Kalofer traded with Constantinople, Odessa, Braila and Vienna. In 1845, the first school for boys was opened, while in 1871 another one for girls followed. Towards the end of Turkish rule, about 15 groups of haiduti, with more than 500 members being from Kalofer, existed in the towns neighbourhood. Similarly to Karlovo and Sopot, Kalofer was set on fire and largely destroyed by the Turks during the Liberation War of 1877-1878.

The biggest landmarks in the present-day town are connected with the poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev, who was born here, and his father Botyo Petkov, a respected teacher. These are the Hristo Botev House-Museum, the school, where Botyo Petkov taught, a bust monument of Botyo Petkov and a memorial complex with a granite statue of Hristo Botev. Other sights are the monument of Kalifer Voivoda, the old stone bridges over Tudzha's waters, the Female Monastery, several old houses, etc. Outside the town, one can visit the Panitsite resort (6km north of Kalofer), or the Kalofer female monastery founded in 1640 (6km to the northwest). Those having mountaineering equipment, can climb to the marvelous Southern Dzhendem Canyon, declared a nature reserve. Mountain hikers can also get to the Raiskoto Pruskalo waterfall, near the Rai chalet. This is the highest waterfall in Bulgaria and its waters fall down the steep walls of Mt Botev (2376m), the highest peak in the Balkan mountain.

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Bulgaria Regions: Plovdiv