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Kyustendil, Osogovo, Dupnitsa, Nevestino
Bankya, Slivnitsa
Pernik, Erma Gorge, Zemen Monastery

Kyustendil is one of the oldest Bulgarian towns. Attracted by the mineral springs, the Thracians founded a settlement in the V century BC. In I century the Romans turned it into an important fortress and spa resort Pautalia. In 1019 the town was mentioned as Velbajd. Is connected to the Bulgarian state of Tsar Kaloyan. Kyustendil renamed the name of the feudal ruler Constantine Dragash. In the middle of XV century, the Turks conquered the city. During the Renaissance grew and developed. After the liberation some crafts related to the Turkish markets decline. It grows tobacco and spa tourism.

The climate is continental-Mediterranean. Mineral water is a constant chemical content and temperature, clear, colorless, with a pleasant taste. Nearby is a peat mine near the village of Baikal.

Interest is the picture gallery of Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master. Asclepion Pautalia is a Roman spa and a temple of Asclepius - the god of health. Other interesting sights are the churches St. George (XII century), St. Virgin Mary (1816), Pirgov tower (XIV century), the mosque of Ahmed Bey (1531). In the southern part of town is Hisarlaka park with ruins of a Roman fortress. The city is the starting point for mountain Osogovo. In Shishkovtsi village has a rich collection of paintings of Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master.

Osogovo Mountain in Bulgaria and Macedonia with its highest peak is Rouen (2251 m). Northern slopes descend steeply to the Kyustendil Valley. In the mountains there are extensive coniferous and deciduous forests, there are good conditions for tourism: tourist routes, ski slopes, hotels, chalets and bungalows. The air is extremely clean and friendly for people with respiratory diseases, hear state pulmonary hospital.

Nevestino is located 15 km. of Kyustendil and about 100 km. from Sofia, is known for its mineral water. The municipality in north-eastern slopes of Osogovo in southern and southwestern slopes of the mountain Vlahina. Its northern parts occupied of the Struma valley and the plains and the Kyustendil Valley. The landscape is intersected by numerous strong foothills and valleys.

Bridge of Struna bride - on the Struma River was transferred to a healthy bridge, according to an ancient inscription on it, it was built in the 1469-1470 year. Legend has it that, the bridge was built by three brothers. Every evening the water refers and demolition construction. Three brothers did not want to their honor masters ashamed. Agreed to offer the one sacrifice of his wives, which first brought her husband to breakfast.

The first was the youngest, Struma bride. The three brothers against herís will wall her in the bottom of the middle vault. In this time she begged to stay her breast outside and to have holes for her eyes, because she wanted to suckle and to watch her child. The people says that untill now in stormy nights everyone can hear the shriek of the miserable mother. Her milk was petrified while it was leaked on the rocks. From all parts of Bulgaria here comes mothers and tear off from the granite because they believe that they will can suckle their children.

Dupnitsa (40 000 inhabitants) is at the foot of Rila Mountain, in 510 meters altitude, in the River German - a tributary of the Struma. German springs from the Seven Rila lakes. The town is 70 km south of Sofia, was formed to replace the intersection of two major roads - from Istanbul to Skopje and Sofia to Thessaloniki. Near the town is the place Razmetanitza, where according to the Byzantine chroniclers, Bulgarian Tsar Samuil killing his brother Aaron.

For the first time the name Dupnitsa appears in Ottoman register from XV century and in the travel notes of many travelers, passed through here. Economic life is related to the ore-mining, crafts and trade flourish, and later tobacco. Interesting are the Municipal Historical Museum, the medieval fortress tower, the mosque of XIV century, clock tower from 1782, the church of St. St. Constantine and Elena, Virgin Mary (1789) and St. Nicholas from 1844.

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