Hidden Bulgaria….

Today Paloma is sat looking at the rather empty river in the tiny (size) but massive (historic) village of Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria (N42.642687 E24.359652)

I already know the question on your lips ………

You can’t pronounce it, It’s a mouthful, isn’t it? 

Kop-riv-shtit-sa! You’ve probably never heard of it ? 

But you will have to wait a bit ……

As we left the epic shipka pass ( could this be the next Top Gear Road) we were drawn to the shimmering golden domes in the sky 

The Bulgarian Orthodoxchurch,  was built around 1902 in the 17th century Muscovite style, complete with friezes, arcs, and pediments. 


The building is dedicated to those soldiers Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian—who lost their lives fighting to free Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War from 1877-78 and more specifically, the Battles of Shipka Pass fought between the Russian and Ottoman Empire. 

So back to Kop-riv-shtit-sa! ………

On the face of it, it could be just another Bulgarian village, with its horses and carts, people collecting fire wood and just going about normal life.


So it’s going to be a bit of a history lesson 

Koprivshtitsa is a small unique historical village that has been successfully preserved and turned into a museum, well lots of little ones.

It’s location is the valley of the Topolchitsa River,Today, there are only around 2500 residents left living in Koprivshtisa and  the majority of the population are the elderly who have spent their lifetime living in the village. Even the train station is about 8km from the village, so why are we here ?

It’s clear that the Bulgarian’s are extremely proud of it, And so they should be.


The mountains create the ultimate backdrop along with the preserved historical buildings it really makes you feel that you are going back in time (again) 

Koprivshtitsa is historically significant as here was the start of the April uprising against Ottoman rule. It was inhabited by the initial instigators of the revolution. You can tell, as you will see many statues of revolutionaries and you can read about them in the museum houses, 6 of them.

Or live with what I remember …….

 It all starts with A well educated, travelled and wealthy 25 year old chap named Todor Kableshko.

He was part of an underground resistance movement plotting an overthrow of the 500 year-old Ottoman occupation.

But someone reported him to the Ottomans and they tried to arrest him here. 

Everything unsurprisingly got nasty and a couple of Ottoman policemen were killed, allegedly Kableshkov fired the first shot on a bridge which we can see from the windscreen 


With that the April Uprising commenced. The Ottomans  went bonkers, killing men, women and children,thousands of them.

Kableshkov was caught and tortured before committing suicide in a police station, thinking his cause was dead and buried.

As it turned out, the atrocious actions of the Ottomans back-fired, rousing Russia into action who poured into the country and supporting the Bulgarians in over throwing them.

History lesson over !

As definitely not a tourist spot, but a must visit place, as this was the start …….

Paul.

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