The town of Kotel (population 7270 inhabitants) is situated in a picturesque small valley in the eastern part of the Balkan Range, 527 m above the sea level. It is 328 km east of Sofia, 49km northeast of Sliven.
Kotel is not only a place with majestic nature, fresh air, and pure mountain water, but also an important cultural and historical center. It is called the Stronghold of Bulgarian spirit, Cradle of the Bulgarian Renaissance. The town is a native place of a number of eminent National Revival figures: Georgi Sava Rakovski (one of the main ideologist of the movement for national liberation), the Renaissance men of letters Neophyte Bozvelli, dr. Petar Beron, Sofroni Vrachanski, the socially active men Gavril Krastevich, Aleko Bogoridi, Stefan Bogoridy and many others.
Kotel is a town with beautiful architectonic models from the late Revival and one of the most important centers of weaving art. Its rich history, Renaissance architecture, and marvelous vicinity make this picturesque Balkan town a desired place for national and international tourism.
A Turkish register of 1486 contains the earliest information about the town known then as Kazan Panaru. At the beginning of the Ottoman rule Kotel was inhabited by the so called dervendgis (they used to guard the passes in the Balkan) and dgelepis (traders of cattle, sheep). Long term contracts for cloth deliveries to the Ottoman army had provided relative independence of the town. That, as well as the economic growth in 18 – 19 century, contracts for trade, the Orthodox passion of the inhabitants of Kotel contributed to the transformation of the town into a centre of Bulgarian culture and education, of the struggle for church independence and national freedom.
In 1812 the first Bulgarian secular elite school was open there.
After the liberation in 1894 Kotel suffered devastating fire that devoured 4/5ths of the town. Only the suburb called Galata survived and today it renders an approximate idea of what the old town looked like.
The town of Kotel has been declared an architectural and historical reserve. There have been preserved over 110 Renaissance houses.
There is a museum exposition of brilliant fabrics – symbol of the ancient craft of carpet weaving in the Galatan School.
The house of Kyorpev's is an ethnographic museum.
The Museum of Renaissance illustrates the life of more than 200 national heroes from the region.
The Museum of Nature and Science shows the natural variety of the area.
The “St. Trinity” and “St. St. Apostles Peter and Paul” church preserve beautiful woodcarvings.
There is high musical folk school Filip Kutev in Kotel.
The village of Zheravna is 14 km south of Kotel. Every building in the village is an unique monument of culture.
The village of Medven is 12 km southeast of Kotel. There are more than 120 cultural monuments dating back to the renaissance epoch. The village of Katunishte is 15 km southeast of the town. 80 buildings there have been declared cultural monuments. The town of Gradetz is situated 17 km southeast of Kotel. It is rich in architectural monuments. Some 7 km away is the antique dividing wall at Zhelezni Vrati.
There are more than 30 caves that have already been investigated in the region of Kotel. Most interesting are: Ledenika, Dryanovska, Kurvavata lokva, Rakovski.
For more information please contact BulgarianProperties office in Elhovo:
1, Targovska Str.,
Elhovo 8700, Bulgaria
Tel/Fax: +359 478 88 339
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