What to See in Kyustendil (Bulgaria)

By | July 15, 2022

Kyustendil is located in southwestern Bulgaria, 85 km from Sofia, near the border with Serbia. It occupies the southernmost part of the fertile Kyustendil basin and stands on both banks of the Banshtitsa River. From the south, the Osogovo Mountains adjoin the city, the height of which reaches 2000 m.

Kyustnedil is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria. Fertile soils and warm mineral springs attracted the Thracian tribes who founded here in the 5th-4th centuries. BC. village. In the 1st century AD the Romans turned it into an important fortress, a trading center and a famous hydrotherapy resort, naming the city Pautalia. The city was annexed to the Bulgarian state during the reign of Tsar Kaloyan (1197-1207). From 1379 to 1395 its feudal lord was Konstantin Dragash, in whose honor the city was later renamed – Kyustendil or land of Constantine.

Kyustenil is the largest balneological resort. On its territory there are 40 mineral springs with a water temperature of +76 oC. By composition, the waters are slightly mineralized and contain fluorine, silicon, and sulfides. Treatment centers specialize in diseases of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, respiratory organs and gynecological diseases. In Kyustendil there are several mineral baths, a summer swimming pool with 3 outdoor pools, sanatoriums, rest houses.

One of the oldest structures in the city is the Asklepion of Pautalia. This is a Roman hydropathic and a temple of the god of medicine Asclepius, built in the II-III centuries. AD The entire building occupied an area of 3,500 m 2. During the excavations, premises with a heating system, water pipes, architectural fragments, etc. were unearthed.

City Historical Museum dates back to 1897. Each of its departments is located in different cultural and historical monuments: Archaeological Department – in a building built in 1575 and interesting for its architecture. The Department “The Epoch of the Bulgarian National Revival and the National Liberation Struggle” is in the house of Ilya Voivode, and the Ethnographic Department and “Development after the Liberation” are in the Enfiendzhiev House, where the commander of the Russian troops stayed during the Russo-Turkish War.

Of particular interest is the Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistor Art Gallery. It is located in a special building with original architecture and magnificent interior decoration. The core of the exposition are over 200 paintings by the people’s artist VladimirDimitrov-Maistor. The gallery preserves and exhibits the works of some of the outstanding Bulgarian artists who were born or lived in the city or its region – Kiril Tsonev, Asen Vasilev, Stoyan Venev, Nikola Mirchev, Boris Kolev. In front of the gallery, an impressive monument to Maystor was erected.

Among other attractions of the city, it is worth noting the churches of St. George (XII-XIII centuries) in the Komush quarter, the Holy Virgin (1816), St. Dimitar (1866); Pirkov Tower (XVІ – ХVІІ centuries), the wall of the inn Devekhani (1606), the House of Doctors, Prokopiev’s House, the Old School (since 1894).

To the south of the city, in the ramifications of the Osogovo mountains, lies the Hisarlıka park. Among the beautiful pine forest, planted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there are the remains of a fortress.

According to deluxesurveillance, 13 kilometers southeast of Kyustendil, in the current village of Nevestino, is Kadin (Nevestin)bridge over the river Struma. This is one of the largest engineering and construction structures of the 15th century. It was built from hewn granite in 1469-1470. on the old and important in the past road Tsargorod – Plovdiv – Samokov – Kyustendil – Skopje.

39 kilometers north of Kyustendil, on the railway to Sofia, is the city of Zemen, near which in the 11th – 12th centuries. The historic Zemen Monastery was erected, whose murals of the 14th century are among the most valuable monuments in Bulgaria. Between the Konyavska and Zemenska mountains, the Struma River has created a gorge of unique beauty with a 50-meter waterfall, springs, karst caves and picturesque meanders.

Kyustendil – entrance gate to the Osogovo mountains. There are several hiking trails in the mountains. The starting point for many of them is the “Trite Buki” camp site, which stands at an altitude of 1550 m.

Kyustendil (Bulgaria)