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

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Settlements: Lovech

Lovech - Pictures Of Bulgaria
One of the oldest and most interesting Bulgarian towns, Lovech, lies picturesquely on both banks of the Osam river, some 170km to the northeast of Sofia. The present-day town is the heir of the Thracian town of Melta, situated in the Hisarlaka area. During the Middle Ages, Lovech was a strategic military centre, called Lovuts, while in the 12th century, the town gradually moved to the right bank of the Osam river, where the current quarter of Varosha lies. In Byzantine times, following the Turnovo uprising against Byzantine domination, the Lovech Fortress defended successfully the road to Veliko Turnovo and forced the Byzantine Empire to conclude the famous Lovech Peace Treaty in 1187, which gave a new start to the Bulgarian state. In 13-14thc., Lovech became one of the biggest and most prosperous towns in Northern Bulgaria. Following its decay in the early years of Ottoman rule, the town saw a true revival in 18-19th c. on the back of trade and crafts with several schools opened in 1846-47, a chitaliste (a library and community centre) established in 1870, and a theatre group founded in 1872.

The towns old part dating back to the Bulgarian Renaissance period, namely the quarters of Varosha (declared a historical and architectural reserve) and Drastene, is of biggest interest to tourists. It lies on both sides of the Hisarya hill and still preserves the narrow cobbled streets and Renaissance-style houses of old times. Another big sight of Lovech is the only covered bridge in Bulgaria that stretches over the Osam river. The bridge was originally built by the famous self-taught architect Kolyo Fitcheto, in 1874, but was burned down completely in 1925. The present-day bridge, which represents pedestrian area with shops on both sides, was erected after its original design in 1931 and renovated in 1981.

Outside the town, one can visit the Stratesh Park, which lies on the right bank of the Osam river and represents a wonderful place for recreation with tourist facilities, monuments, ruins of a Medieval fortress and even a zoo. It is also popularly called the Park of Lilies for the abundance of such flowers there. One of the most beautiful natural phenomena of Bulgaria the Devetashka Cave lies about 20km to the northeast of Lovech. The cave is unique for its huge entrance 35-meter high and 55-meter wide - and the biggest cave hall in Southeast Europe. The enormous hall opens up right after the entrance. It has 7 openings on the ceiling and was inhabited by humans during the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze eras. Unfortunately, the halls had been used as a storehouse for liquid fuels for many years and was reopened for tourists only in 1996. The cave has 11 underground lakes and rather beautiful cave formations.

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Bulgaria Regions: Lovech