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Settlements: Pirdop

Pirdop - Pictures Of Bulgaria
The two small towns of Pirdop (8548 inhabitants) and Zlatitsa (5648 inhabitants) of the sub-Balkan Range are located in the Zlatitsa-Pirdop Valley, between Stara Planina Mounatin (to the north) and Sredna Gora Mountain (to the south) at 680 m above sea level. The distance of 3-4 km between them is symbolic and not before long they will be integrated into one. Moreover, this area accommodates the Copper Works as well - the largest industrial enterprise in the region, providing work to the greater part of the local population. The two towns are situated 77 km east of Sofia, 27 km south of Etropole, 32 km north of Panagyurishte and 32 km north-west of Koprivshtitsa.

History: The territory of the todays towns of Pirdop and Zlatitsa was inhabited 6000 years ago. The ancient Roman road connecting Ulpia Trayana with Ulpia Serdika passed from here. This area was often visited by Alexander the Great, by the Byzantine emperors Isaac Komin and Isaac II Angel.

The name of Pirdop is among those unknown names whose origin history keeps in secret. Numerous are the legends, trying to suggest an explanation, but not a single one, so far, has become completely convincing. The Thracian mounds and the remains of medieval fortresses unequivocally indicate that various tribes interrelated their destinies here for many centuries. The first written traces of Pirdop date back to 12th century, when the Pirdop Chronicle of Apostles Deeds was written - a valuable monument in writing, kept in the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library.

During the years of the Bulgarian Revival, the entrepreneurial citizens of Pirdop managed to turn their settlement into an economic and cultural centre. In 1698, the Protopopinski (Pirdopski) collection manuscript was written by the teacher Georgi, thus initiating the literary activity in the settlement and its vicinities. The same author wrote the Tihonravov Damaskin, kept in the State Library in Moscow. Originally an ecclesiastical school was founded and later, in 1820 - the first municipal school in spoken Bulgarian with the teacher Todor Pirdopski.

The local folkstyle abi (homespun coarse woollen cloth and upper mens garment made of it), shayatzi (woollen cloth), braids, woollen bed covers and blankets, candles and soap were highly valued at the markets in Vienna, Budapest, Tsarigrad, Thessaloniki, Alexandria. Only from the manufacturing of woollen braids by the 700 water-driven looms the town earned an annual income of over 9 000 000 Turkish grosh! The destiny of Pirdop after the Liberation is the same as it was of Zlatitsa - loss of markets, decline and strive for survival against a background of overall national boom.

Landmarks: In Pirdop these are the Lukanovs House Museum (17, Slavtsi Street, tel.: 07181 5073), Nikola Poushkarov Museum - in the native house of the scientist who put the foundations of soil studies in Bulgaria (4, Nikola Poushkarov Street). The outstanding Bulgarian writer and public figure Todor Vlaikov was born here.

Accommodation: Borova Gora Hotel, Zdravets Tourist House (15th Street) and Sredna Gora Hotel Complex (Todor Vlaikov Square).

Tourist Information: Except at the municipalities and at the hotels, information can be obtained from Paskal Tourist Association (in the Zdravets Tourist House) in Pirdop.

Transport: Both towns are situated on the main motorway and railway Sofia - Karlovo - Burgas. Buss connections with all villages and towns in the vicinity are regularly maintained. There is a bus station in Pirdop (Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., tel.: 07181 5016, 5002) and separate railway stations in both towns. The Pirdop railway station (tel.: 07181 5771) is in the northern part of the town and is marked for its mamonth trees, brought from North America and planted there in 1932.

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