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

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Settlements: Panagurishte

Panagurishte - Pictures Of Bulgaria
The town of Panagurishte (21 228 inhabitants, 530 m above sea level) is situated in a small valley in Sashtinska Sredna Gora, on both banks of the River Luda Yana. It is 91 km east of Sofia, 43 km north of Pazardzhik and 37 km south of Zlatitsa. Its name is of Greek origin and means a fair venue but to modern Bulgarians it has become the symbol of Bulgarian strive for freedom.

History: Close to the present town a Thracian settlement existed even in the 4th century BC. In the 13th century the settlement at this place had the name Kamenograd (Litopolis). It got remarkably developed and won notoriety during the Turkish domination, when it was a privileged village for accommodating soldiers. It had a special status, which was kept util 1839. According to it no Ottoman Turk was entitled to settle or even to overnight in Panagyurishte. But the privilege did not save it from the raids of the kurdzhalii (Turkish brigands) - it was plundered and set to fire many times.

Nevertheless, in 18th century Panagyurishte reached its zenith. Its main way of life was cattle breeding. Woollen clothes, abi (homepsun coarse wollen cloth and upper mens garment made of it), sacks and etc. were manufactured and sold across the whole Ottoman Empire. The citizens of Panagyurishte were famous as tradesmen of cattle (dzhelepi). They were also tax collectors (beglikchii). Very early a church school was opened, which in 1839 become a mutual school. A community cultural centre was founded in 1865, which turned into a cradle of Bulgarian spirit and consciousness.

The popularity of this small town in Sredna Gora Mountain arose mostly from its particular role during the April Uprising (1876), when it became the centre of the IV Revolutionary District and in fact of all epic events. The apostles Volov and Benkovski organized a powerful and active revolutionary committee, managing to raise the whole population to an armed struggle for freedom. The first Bulgarian Republic was born with the president of the transitional government in Sredna Gora - Pavel Bobekov. Here the flag of the uprising was waved; sewn by the teacher from Panagyurishte, Raina Knyaginya, it had the words Freedom or Death embroidered on it. After exultation came defeat. In spite of the heroism and the self-sacrifice of the defendants, the much more numerous and better-armed enemy entered the town. Panagurishte was burnt down. For their boldness to call themselves free, 650 citizens of Panagurishte paid with their lives, immortalising the name of their town (Zahari Stoyanov). On 11th January the town was liberated from Turkish rule.

Landmarks: The Town Museum of History is almost wholly dedicated to the epoch of Revival and the April Uprising. The Doudekovs House (now an Ethnographic Museum) illustrates the way of life in the town at the end of the 19th century. Here were the headquarters of general Dandeville in 1878. The Toutevs House is famous for the fact that the uprising was declared in it on 20th April 1876. The native house of Marin Drinov, the famous Bulgarian historian, professor and social personality, the first minister of education in newly liberated Bulgaria. Raina Knyaginya Museum House with its preserved revival architecture. In its courtyard are the bones of the national heroine, who sewed the flag of the uprising. The Lekovs, Mateevs, Landzhevs, Smols houses, Fidzheks shops, etc. Interesting is the The Holy Virgin Cathedral Church (1818), the St. Georgi Church (1856) and in particular the memorial complex, erected at Manyovo Burdo in commemoration to the 100th anniversary of the April Uprising. There burns an everlasting fire.

Every year on 20th April, Panagurishte is the centre of the national celebrations, commemorating April 1876. The town is the native place of Pavel Bobekov (the main organiser of the uprising in the town and the chairman of the transitional Bulgarian government within the short-lasting days of freedom), Nesho Bonchev - the first Bulgarian literary critic, Vasilii Cholakov- an ethnographer and dedicated supporter of Bulgarian Enlightenment, Pavel Deliradev - a notorious Bulgarian social personality and mountaineer, true follower of Aleko Konstantinov.

In 1949 near the town The Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte was discovered - a unique Thracian treasure from the 3rd century BC, unique in the world with its original shapes and decorations. It has been exhibited all over the world, thus making the name of its native town famous as well as the name of Bulgaria. At present it is kept in the Archaeological Museum of Plovdiv.

Accommodation: Kamengrad Hotel (House of Miners, 1, Bobekov Square. Bounai Tourist House located in the western part of the town, 15 minutes from the centre, in the boarding house of the Technical College of Optics (26, Stoyan Trendafilov Street). Some of the old houses of Panagyurishte host original taverns, offering local cuisine within the old Bulgarian folklore surroundings.
Tourist information. It can be obtained at the hotel, at the Tourist House and at Bounai Tourist Association 1, Doctor Long Str,).

Transport: The town is connected with the remaining part of Bulgaria by bus and railway transport. Regular buses run to Sofia, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Zlatitsa and Pirdop and to all smaller settlements around it. There is a bus station (tel.: 0357 3383) and a railway station - the last along the line Plovdiv - Panagurishte (tel.: 0357 3623).

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