The Bulgarian cultural heritage has many faces and manifestations – archaeological reserves and monuments, museums, galleries, rich cultural calendar, preserved folklore and magnificent architectural monuments.
The house, where Bulgarian people live, is the embodiment of their worldview, social status and practicality. Construction of houses was subject to two important requirements – safety and practicality.
Many old buildings that demonstrate this type of architecture – in the villages of Arbanasi, Leshten Kovachevitsa, Dolen, Melnik, etc. have been preserved to the present day.
About Architectural reserves in Bulgaria
During the Bulgarian Revival – 18th – 19th century, when the Bulgarian craftsmen and merchants broadened their horizons and opened to Europe and the world, many European cultural influences entered our lands.
They occurred in various aspects of the Bulgarian people’s lives, but for us, their heirs, they are most visible in the architecture and interiors of buildings, which were built during that era.
Top Old towns and Architectural reserves You Need to Visit in Bulgaria
The amazing Renaissance architectural models can be seen in many Bulgarian towns – such as Koprivshtitsa, the Old Plovdiv, the villages Zheravna, Borovets, Shiroka Laka, and many others.
In order to preserve this rich heritage a number of architectural reserves have been created – whole villages or districts, which now enjoy great interest from the tourists – Koprivshtitsa, the Old Plovdiv, Kovachevitsa, Arbanasi, the villages of Bozhentsi, Brashlyan Delchevo, Dolen, Architectural and Ethnographic Reserve Etara, the villages of Zheravna, Stefanovo and Shiroka Laka.
Visit village of Kovachevitsa
The village of Kovachevitsa is located in the Western Rhodope mountain, 23 km from Gotse Delchev and 120 km from Blagoevgrad. Due to its distinctive architecture, the village was declared a historical and architectural reserve.
The two and three storey houses in Kovachevitsa were built in the 18th century. On the ground floor used to be the rooms where animals were kept and food was stockpiled. The upper storeys were used for accommodation.
Kovachevitsa is a popular destination for tourists seeking outdoor recreation.
Discover village of Dolen
The village of Dolen is located in the western part of the Rhodope Mountain, about 26 km from Gotse Delchev. Due to its preserved houses from the Bulgarian Revival period, the village was declared a historical and architectural reserve.
The reserve covers 70 buildings, monuments of culture. Typical of the houses in Dolen are the wide upper storeys and the decorated ceilings in some of the houses.
Like the nearby villages such as Leshten and Kovachevitsa, Dolen is also a popular destination for country tourism.
Enjoy the village of Shiroka Laka
The village of Shiroka Laka is located in the Rhodope mountain, 23 kilometers northwest of Smolyan and 16 kilometers of Pamporovo.
Shiroka Laka is famous for its beautiful, authentic Rhodope houses, situated in tiers on both sides of river. The local master builders were famous throughout the country.
The old houses are built in typical Rhodope architectural style – two storey buildings with bay windows and internal wooden staircases. Most of the rooms are wide, with wooden couches near the walls, the windows are small.
The most famous houses are Sgurovska, Uchikovska, Grigorovska houses.
Discover the smallest town in Bulgaria – Melnik
It is situated on the southern slopes of the Pirin Mountains, 175 km south of Sofia and 30 km from the border with Greece.
During the Revival period, the local merchants sold their goods throughout Europe. The most striking architectural monuments, such as the Kordopulova and Pashova houses, date back to this era.
The Kordopulova house is the largest Revival building in Bulgaria. It was built in 1754 and it belonged to the wealthy family of Kordopulovi, who produced wine.
Relax in village of Zheravna
The village of Zheravna is located in the Balkan Mountain, 12 km from the town of Kotel and 50 km from Sliven.
Zheravna is an architectural reserve with well-preserved and restored Revival houses, decorated with exquisite carvings, narrow cobblestone streets and numerous fountains. 172 houses in the village have been declared monuments of culture.
Among the most interesting buildings, accessible for tourists, are Chorbadzhi Rusi’s house, the native house of the famous Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov and the native house of the publicist Sava Filaretov.
Arbanasi is situated on a high plateau, 4 km from Veliko Turnovo. In the 17th century the local traders were famous and they traded throughout the Ottoman Empire.
The houses of rich traders of this period resemble small fortresses.
They have a strict and austere appearance, without balconies and verandas, with barred windows and tightly overlaid doors. Inside, however, the houses are rich and sumptuous.
Visit village Bozhentsi
The pretty village in Gabrovo area, called Bozhentsi, is one of the most beautiful architectural reserves in Bulgaria.
It is located 15 km east of Gabrovo and impresses with its well-preserved Revival houses and public buildings.
The magnificent two- and three storey houses attract the admiration of the visitors with their unique architecture. More than 100 of the houses in Bozhentsi are preserved in their authentic style. Nowadays the village is among the preferred destinations for country and eco tourism.
Plovdiv and Old Town of Plovdiv
The most impressive reserve, which keeps the architectural monuments from the times of the Revival, is the Old Town of Plovdiv.
The architectural reserve Ancient Plovdiv provides a unique opportunity for walking through various eras in a small area, seeing ancient buildings adapted to modern life, and feeling the atmosphere of the city during the Revival The Amphitheatre, the Roman stadium, the ancient
Forum and the residential house Eyrene date back to the Roman age.
The eastern gate of the fortress walls – also known as Hissar Kapiya has remained from the Middle Ages. During the Revival, Plovdiv was an important economic center.
The city was home to many wealthy and educated people who travelled across Europe and brought new cultural currents. The rich merchants from Plovdiv showed their wealth by building beautiful, richly ornamented houses, which became emblematic of the Old Town
Discover Nessebar, The Pearl of The Black Sea
Walk through the ages in Nessebar, a relaxed resort town on the Black Sea.
Centuries of history still exist here, among busy shops, satisfying restaurants and a modern beachfront scene. Medieval walls, 18th century wooden homes and contemporary craft galleries charm and delight. Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman influences shine in food, architecture, art and hospitality.
The panorama of the Eastern Orthodox world is at its finest here. See why travelers worldwide call this picturesque town The Pearl of The Black Sea.
Walk the treasures of old Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bulgaria. Tour the city’s magnificent historic churches, including the Church of St. Stefan, the Old Metropolitan Church, Christ Pantocrator Church and others.