What to See in Sandanski and Lovech (Bulgaria)

By | July 15, 2022

Sandanski (Bulgaria)

The town of Sandanski is located 170 km south of Sofia. It stands at the foot of the Pirin Mountains on both banks of the Sandanska Bistrica River. Sandanski bears the name of a major Bulgarian revolutionary who fought for the liberation of Macedonia from Turkish rule.

Sandanski is rich in mineral springs, which has turned it into a balneological resort of world importance. The temperature in the springs ranges from +33 to +80 o C. They are recommended for diseases of the musculoskeletal system, gynecological diseases.

The pride of not only the city, but the whole of Bulgaria, is the unique City Park. Over 100 species of trees and 150 species of flowers grow on an area of 34.4 hectares. Here you can see old hollow plane trees, slender cedars and sequoias, evergreen arborvitae, spreading willows, pines, pomegranates, fig trees, wild geraniums, geraniums, various types of roses, etc. Hanging bridges stretch over the foaming and fast Sandanska Bistrica. Many alleys, wooden gazebos, playgrounds create unique conditions for recreation and entertainment. In the middle of the park there is a city stadium, a summer theatre, an outdoor swimming pool, an artificial lake where you can ride a boat, an original restaurant with barrels – separate rooms. The city park is connected by a horseshoe forest park surrounding Sandanski.

At the entrance to the city there is an architectural and sculptural complex, in the middle of which rises a 7-meter white stone figure of the ancient hero Spartacus. In the center of the city is the Archaeological Museum with the remains of the Episcopal Basilica, which is more than 20 centuries old. Special attention deserves the church of St. George – the only surviving building of the era of the Bulgarian National Revival. The city-museum Melnik is located 24 kilometers southeast of Sandanski, and Rozhensky Monastery is 6 kilometers further south. On the Bashlitsa River, a tributary of Sandanska Bistrica, there is an 11-meter Popinolyshsky waterfall. The waterfall can be reached from the resort of Popina Laka. Several trekking routes around Pirin also start from this resort.

Lovech (Bulgaria)

According to growtheology, Lovech is located 170 km northeast of Sofia. The city stands on both banks of the Osam River. This is one of the most ancient and most interesting cities in Bulgaria.

Lovech is the heir to the Roman road station Melta, which was of great strategic importance on the Danube-White Sea road. In the Middle Ages, the city remained an important military and strategic center. Until the 11th century it was called Lovyts or the city of hunters. In the XII century. the territory of the city is increasing due to the relocation of part of the inhabitants to the right bank of the Osam River. In the 13th and especially in the 14th centuries. Lovech became one of the largest cities and fortresses in Northern Bulgaria and achieved enviable economic prosperity. The city fell under Turkish rule in 1393. In the first centuries of Ottoman rule, the city fell into decay.

Once upon a time, there was an old covered wooden bridge over the Osam River, but it was carried away by the river in 1872. Just two years later, the brilliant self-taught architect Kolyu Ficheto built his famous covered bridge with 24 small workshops on it. Unfortunately, in 1925 it was incinerated by fire. In his likeness, the current, third bridge was built. It is completely pedestrian, and there are shops on both sides of it. The architectural and historical reserve Varosha is located in the old quarter of the city. It stands like an amphitheater on the right bank of the Osam River. More than 160 houses have been restored in the reserve – wonderful examples of architecture from the era of the Bulgarian National Revival. The houses along the street leading to the Stratesh Park stand out in particular. Stretesh occupies the eastern part of the reserve. This is a great place to relax with picturesque landscapes and a zoological garden. It is also known as “Lilac Park” due to the large number of lilacs growing here. Varosha houses the Museum of the Bulgarian National Revival and the National Liberation Movement, also known as the Vasil Levski Museum. It is very pleasant to walk along the small steep and narrow lanes of old Varosha. Bash bunar park is located at the exit from Lovech. Here, in the rocky banks of the Osam River, many caves have formed.

The village of Stefanovo, 20 km southeast of Lovech, presents visitors with the architectural reserve Staro-Stefanovo with monuments from the beginning and middle of the 19th century. The village has been preserved as an integral ensemble; it is one of the most ancient settlements in the Lovech district with a proven ancient Bulgarian origin.

Lovech (Bulgaria)