Lovech is one of the oldest populated areas in Bulgaria. The town was founded on the remains of the Thracian settlement of Melta and the Roman city of Presidium. The Hisarya fortress was built during the First Bulgarian Kingdom (681 to 1018). It was here that the peace accord between Bulgaria and Byzantium was signed in 1187, marking the beginning of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the end of the bicentennial Byzantine rule over Bulgarian lands.
The Hissarya fortress above Lovech was one of the last conquered during the Ottoman invasion
The old town
Located within the old town of Lovech, the “Varosha” neighbourhood, are the ethnographic complex and the “Vasil Levski” museum. Lovech is famous for being the centre of the Internal Revolutionary Organisation of revolutionary Vasil Levski (1837 – 1873) during his struggle for liberation from Ottoman rule. The narrow cobblestone streets of Varosha and the authentic atmosphere bring the tourists back into the past. The remains of the Hisarya fortress are located at the highest point of the old town. The monument of Vasil Levski is located close to the fortress.
Covered Bridge, Lovech
The Covered bridge in the town of Lovech is one of the town’s symbols and among the most visited local attractions.
Towards the end of the XIX century, the citizens of Lovech turned to the self-taught master-builder Kolyu Ficheto with a plea to build them a covered bridge with small shops. He began the construction in 1874 and completed it in the winter of 1876.
The bridge was 10 m wide and 84 m long. The foundations were made of stone and the remaining part – from wood. Along its length were 64 craftsman’s and merchant’s shops, which served a large part of the inhabitants of Lovech and the surrounding villages. The Covered Bridge was decorated with four sculptures – a lion, a two-headed eagle, a female bust, and a stick with mace. Only the lion has survived up to this day.
In August 1925, a large fire destroyed the bridge. In the period 1927 – 1931, a new covered bridge was built from reinforced concrete. It was later refurbished in such a way that it matched Kolyu Ficheto’s original to a maximum extent. The Covered Bridge connects the new part of the town with the old town, the architectural-historical reservation “Varosha,” which is the location of the Vasil Levski museum and the Ethnographic Museum.There are various shops, a café and a pastry shop on the bridge, offering a beautiful view of the river and the town. The covered bridge is a popular place among tourists, and one can buy various souvenirs from its shops, in order to retain the memory of Lovech. The bridge over the Osum river is the only covered bridge in the Balkans.
Hisarya Fortress, Lovech
Lovech Fortress is located on the two terraces of the beautiful and picturesque hill Hissarya, which is located in the old town of Lovech. This is one of the most visited sights in Lovech. It has been declared an architectural monument in issue 75 of the 1967 State Gazette.The first settlement of the hill took place during the stone-copper age (4 – 3 thousand years BC). Discoveries include parts of dwellings, pottery fragments and a golden trimming. Archaeological studies indicated that a Thracian settlement had been located there.
The fortress was built during the Roman era, yet it is more famous for being the site where the Lovech Peace Accord with Byzantium was signed in 1187, marking the beginning of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
Apart from the fortress’s natural protection, which was provided by the high steep slopes of the hill and the river, it also had a solid stone wall.
The remains of seven churches have been discovered, representing three architectural types. The oldest and largest one was the church situated at the highest point of the hill, erected in the period V – VI century.
During the excavations at the fortress, a large amount of jewellery, household items, tools and ceramics were found.
Particularly intriguing were the two discoveries of silver coins with the images of King Ivan Alexander (1301 – 1371) and his son Mihail etched on them. One consisted of 16 coins hidden within a pot, and the other of 1430 coins in a pitcher.
The Lovech fortress was one of the last to fall before the Ottomans – in 1446. A huge metallic cross has been placed within the fortress and it can be seen from any spot in Lovech..
The Lovech zoo is the second-largest in the country after the one in Sofia, and one of the most beautiful as well.
It boasts a large variety of animals, allowing visitors to see many species that they had never seen before.
The zoo is situated within the “Stratesh” park, on an area of 110 decares. There are 420 animals and birds from 74 different species within it, among which numerous exotic representatives of all continents, as well as rare and protected species from Bulgaria. The most attractive among them are the polar bear, Siberian tiger, lion, Amur leopard, jaguar, kangaroo, dromedary, brown bear, five species of monkey, parrots and many others.
There are natural forests and well-maintained grassy areas and alleys, and a playground within the territory of the zoo, which makes it an interesting and pleasant place to spend free time.
Flora enthusiasts can encounter many interesting and rare tree and plant species.
The zoo is a preferred destination not only for the citizens of Lovech, but also for people from all over Bulgaria.
Ethnographic Museum, Lovech
The Ethnographic Museum of Lovech is located between two neighbouring houses – the Drasova and the Rashova houses – in the old neighbourhood “Varosha”. The expositions at the two houses recreate the households of Lovech families towards the end of the XIX century and the early XX century. Built during the first half of the XIX century, the Drasova house is among the most typical for the region of Lovech and its architecture is very well preserved.
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Vasil Levski Museum, Lovech
The “Vasil Levski” Museum is located within the architectural-historical reservation “Varosha” – Lovech’s old neighbourhood. This is one of the most popular sites related to the name and deeds of the Apostle of Freedom, Vasil Levski, who chose Lovech to be the revolutionary capital of Bulgaria. The museum was opened on February 19, 1954, and as of 1967 the exposition is located at its current spot – the old neighbourhood of Lovech.
The exposition within the “Vasil Levski” Museum is situated on two levels and reflects the work of Vasil Levski and the Bulgarian people’s struggles for national liberation. Vasil Ivanov Kunchev – Levski is the most venerated hero in Bulgarian history. A freedom fighter, revolutionary, and promoter of equality, he was one of the primary ideologists and organisers of the struggles for national liberation in the XIX century.
The Museum also holds the most extensive collection of Levski’s personal belongings in Bulgaria. Here you can see his sword, dagger, small printing press, fake Turkish stamps, receipts. The museum also hosts an original portrait of Vasil Levski from 1870.Among the exhibits are also the belongings of the Apostle’s associates and followers in Lovech, of participants in the April Rebellion (1876) and the Liberation War (1877 – 1878).
”, ” , . 14- . Добавено: The “Vasil Levski” Museum is entered into the list of One hundred national tourist sites. Souvenirs can be bought at the museum.
. It encompasses an area of about 1000 decares in the north-eastern part of town. It bears the name of the hill it is situated on. The Stratesh hill is shown on a map made by Felix Kanitz under the name of “Great mountain.”
In Russian maps and descriptions from the time of the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) it was named “Red-haired heights.” This was where Major general Alexander Imeretinski’s detachment began their operation to liberate the town. According to Professor Anastas Ishirkov, the name “Stratesh” comes from the personal name Strati, which is fairly common in the town.
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Bash Bunar park, Lovech
The Bash Bunar alley is on the left shore of the Osum river and follows its bends for a length of 2 km. This park is a favourite place of relaxation and entertainment for the citizens of Lovech as the nightingales sing in the spring, intoxicated by the fragrance of the lilac trees, while the linden tress, oaks, willows, conifers, bushes and flowers make the air amazing.
It is cool and fresh in the park during the hot summer days. Up to the end of the XIX century, this place had nothing but a plain dirt path, which led to the Bashbunar Rocks spring, which has been the inspiration for folklore songs.<span>The initiator of the alley’s construction in 1908 was the forest ranger Nikola Vedenkov, born in the village of Sopot, Lovech region, the sister’s son of Dimitar Pashkov – an associate of Levski. During the 1930’s, there was an inscription “Bacho Kolyo Alley” in the beginning of the alley.
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The Devetashka cave
The Devetashka cave is located 18 km north-east of Lovech and 2 km away from the village of Devetaki. The cave is also known as Maarata or Oknata (“the windows”) due to the seven holes of different size in the ceiling, through which light enters and illuminates the central hall and parts of its two branches. The Devetashka cave is one of the three most significant subterranean habitats of bats in Europe.
Currently there are 45 known animal species within it. This number does not include several species of birds, such as owl, tawny owl, Eurasian crag martin, pallid swift, black redstart, which make their nests in the cliffs around the entrance. Three of the mentioned 45 species are troglobionts: the woodlouse Trichoniscus tenebrarum, the cave-dwelling relative of the caddisflies Niphargus bureshi and the Myriapod Lithobius tiasnatensis.
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The cave entrance is 35 m wide and 30 m high. About 40 m inside, the entrance widens, forming a wide chamber with an area of 2400 m2. The chamber’s height is 60 m, reaching up to 100 m in places. From the central chamber, about 200 m away from the entrance, the cave splits into two branches. The left branch is more than two kilometres long, with a small river flowing through it, passing through the central chamber and disgorges itself into the Osum river. The right branch is dry and warm. Its entrance is 2.5 m high and 5.70 m wide. It becomes wider as it goes deeper and forms a rectangular chamber – 50 m long and 10-15 m wide. This branch ends with a small gallery and a circular chamber known as the Altar.
The Kakrina Inn
About 16 km away from Lovech, in the village of Kakrina, is the place where the Apostle of Freedom, Vasil Levski, was captured. The ideologist of the Bulgarian movement for freedom from Ottoman rule, Vasil Levski, the most venerated hero in Bulgarian history, was captured here by the Turkish zaptiyes on December 27, 1872. They broke into the inn and Levski tried to escape, yet his shoe got caught in the fence when he tried to jump over it and he was captured. Later, on February 19, 1873, Levski was hanged in Sofia.
, . 1901 . 1926, 10 1931. . The museum is situated in the centre of the Kakrina village, and there are various signs within the village that point the way towards the exposition.
In its yard is the elm tree that witnessed Levski’s capture, and next to it is a monument of the Apostle. Various information materials and souvenirs can be bought from the museum.
The Krushuna waterfalls are one of the most attractive sights in the area. They are located 35 km north-east of the town of Lovech, in the Maarata region. In order to help the tourists, these incredible beauties are very easy to reach.
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The Krushuna waterfalls consist of numerous karst terraces and the constant water flow has shaped countless small rock rapids and uneven spots covered with thick moss. This creates a grand display of a million water droplets flying around the air. There are small lakes and pools all over the place, some of which are so pure that one can see their own reflection, as if in a mirror.
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