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Melnik


Melnik is situated in the southwestern foot of Pirin Mountain, 180 km away from Sofia and 23 km away from Sandanski. This is the smallest town in Bulgaria but it so attractive that the number of the visitors per day often exceeds the number of the 230 native people. Melnik is famous with its old – time houses with remarkable architecture, legendary history incredible nature, fantastic rock formations and of course with the heavy wines of fine vintage. Even Sir Winston Churchill ordered himself 500 l of the famous Melnik wine every year. The town is declared to be a cultural and historical reserve and a museum town. The climate is healing and it is good for people with pulmonary, kidneys and rheumatic diseases. Melnik hosts many international folklore festivals.

History: The town was built in the ancient times. Its history is most turbulent during the middle ages. Melnik was under the government of Bulgarians, Byzantines and Serbians until 1395 when the town was conquered by the Ottomans. Melnik was the capital city of Aleksy Slav who had declared to be an independent ruler. The nearby Rozhen monastery was built by his donations in 1220.

In 17 – 18 century Melnik became a thriving trade and cultural centre and one of the biggest wine and tobacco producers in Europe. There were about 1300 houses, more than 70 churches and 25 000 citizens in the town. Some persons from Melnik took part in the national – liberation movement. In close vicinity to the town there is a site named “Zli dol” (Ňhe evil glen) where the Bulgarian revolutionaries were killed by the Turks.

Landmarks: The town is a landmark by itself with the white old – time houses huddled in the unique formations known as Melnik pyramids. The most famous is “Kordopulova” house – the biggest revival house on the Balkans. There is an exposition of a real Melnik cellar with large butts where the wine matures. Visitors can taste it on spot and appreciate its high class quality. “Pashova” house hosts the town museum. The oldest preserved house in Bulgaria – “Boliarska” is situated in Melnik too. 6 km away from the town is Rozhen Monastery and the way towards it passes through the Melnik pyramids and the view is incredibly picturesque.

Each house in Melnik offers guest rooms and taverns where the visitors can taste the delicious home made dishes and heavy wine – own production. And the real admiration comes when the hospitable householders open the doors of their cellar. It is hard to describe the experience so welcome to Melnik to feel it!

Photos from Melnik
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