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Lovech


Location: Lovech is situated 200 metres above sea level along the two banks of the Osum River where the PreBalkan Mountain ends up. It is located about 170 km to the north-east of Sofia, 35 km to the north of Troyan, 86 km to the west of Veliko Turnovo and 65 km to the north-west of Gabrovo. Lovech is one of the oldest and most interesting Bulgarian towns. It is also regional administrative centre. Communications with South Bulgaria are accomplished through three big mountain passes - Troyan, Shipka and The Pass of the Republic.

History: During the Medieval times the town was an important military strategic centre and by the 11th century used to be called Lovuts, which actually means a town of hunters. That is where the name of the town came from. During the 12th century Lovech was spread at the right bank of the Osum River where the quarter of Varosha – the architecture historical reserve is situated now. During the 13th and the 14th century Lovech was one of the biggest towns and fortresses in Northern Bulgaria and had reached a good economic prosperity. Later on, after the country fell under Ottoman Rule, during the years of the national liberation movement Lovech turned into the revolutionary capital of Bulgaria. The most popular Bulgarian hero Vassil Levski established a revolutionary headquarter in the town. Nowadays Lovech has established itself as a big cultural and tourism centre, attracting visitors mostly for the monuments and the unique architecture buildings, as well for the unique and beautiful natural wonders of the region.

Sightseeing: Definitely one of the most interesting sights to be visited in Lovech is Varosha Quarter. Varosha Architecture-Historical Reserve is located in the old quarter of the town, amphitheatrically situated along the bank of the Osum river. The reserve includes more than 160 restored houses, bringing the spirit of the National revival period of Bulgaria. The Revival and the National Liberation Museum, better known as Vassil Levski Museum is located there.

Another spectacular place of interest is the Old Covered Bridge in the centre of the town. The bridge was built three times. First it was made out of wood, but was taken away by the river. Then then the famous Bulgarian master-builder Kolyo Ficheto built it again and covered it to give strength, but unfortunately it was destroyed again, by fire. Finally, the Lovech people built it for third time. It is now a beautiful architecture bridge, with covered shops and stores, the river murmuring beneath and telling stories of the past. In terms of natural landmarks Lovech has to offer much as well.

The Stratesh Park part, on the right bank of the Ossum River, is a wonderful place for recreation and relax amongst nature. The Park is also known as the Lilac Park due to the tender, fragrant Lilacs, attracting thousands of admirers. Lilac Days of Music are held in Lovech during May every year. Another park - Bash Bounar Park is located in the immediate proximity of the town, on the way out to Troyan. Plenty of small and big caves in the rocky banks of the Ossum River are found there. Bones and tools from the Paleolithic period and the Bronze Era were found in two of them - Vassil Levski Cave and The Tabashka Cave. Another great sightseeing point is Suevata Dupka Cave. It is situated in the village of Brestnitsa, in very close proximity to the town. The cave was formed more than three million years ago in the limestone. Amongst the old stone formations tourists can recognize a stone cave organ with stone cords. If one knocks easy on the stones, it sounds like a melody. Another attraction is the waterfall from stones. A curious fact about the cave is that it was inhabited in the Stone Age. In the village of Stefanovo, 20 km south-east from Lovech Staro Stefanovo Architecture Reserve with over 100 monuments of culture from the 19th century is situated. The ancient Roman fortress “Kaleto” and some Thracian mounds are located in the area. The village is a favourite place for the shooting of international and Bulgarian film productions.

Vicinities: Great historical place of interest is “Kukrinsko Hanche” (the Kukrina's Inn) Museum, located in the village of Kukrina, 17 km to the east of Lovech. It is the spot, where the Apostle of Bulgarian Freedom Vassil Levski was captured. An interesting village in the vicinities of Lovech is also the village of Oreshak, situated 7 km away from the town. It is famous mostly for the “Crafts and Applied Arts” National Fair, where a variety of articles of art crafts from the region are exhibited. Demonstrations of masters and tasting of the famous Troyan plum brandy (rakiya) are organized there.

Wine and Dine: There is a wide choice of good restaurants, pizza and fast food restaurants, cafes and bars in Lovech. Tourists have to surely try the traditional local specialties, including delicious Lovech flat sausages, dry appetizers, stuffed Lovech peppers, and of course to taste the famous Lovech Plums Brandy and the aromatic wines of the fertile region.

Photos from Lovech
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