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BERKOVITSA

See it on the map Bulgarian properties in Montana Region - Berkovica

The town of Berkovitsa (16 818 inhabitants, 400 meters above the sea level) is situated in the northern foot of Berkovski Balkan (Western Stara planina mountain). It is at a distance of 89 km. to the north of Sofia, 24 km. To the south of Montana, 53 km. To the west of Vratsa and 25 km. To the north of Petrohan.


HISTORY


 Berkovitsa is an old settlement. This is confirmed by the remains of a fortress and a church from 4 th century on the Kale hill, situated to the north west of the town. The settlement is known from the reign of tsar Kaloyan (the beginning of 13 th century) and in the time of the Vidin kingdom (the second half of 14 th century) it is a border fortress. Berkovitsa is mentioned in written form for the first time in a Turkish document dated 1491. Dirung the Ottoman rule it developed as a craft settlement – mainly in wood processing and pottery. A great number of refugees from other parts of the country settled here. The inhabitants of Berkovitsa many times have raised their heads against the Ottomans. After the Liberation in 1878 the town declined, because it remained away from the railway passing through the Iskar gorge, thus losing markets in Ottoman Empire for its crafts goods. The national poet Ivan Vazov worked for a certain time in Berkovitsa as a chairman of the court.

 


CULTURAL- HISTORICAL SIGHTS


 The House-museum "Ivan Vazov" (2, Ivan Vazov str. tel. +359 953/2235) which is in the central part of the town of the town. The house itself is a precious architectural monument with an interesting exterior and interior architecture with wood carved ceilings and original fire – place, shelves.

Permanent ethnographic exhibition – organized also in an architectural monument of culture, in a close proximity to the house-museum "Ivan Vazov". The clock tower is remarkable for its solid construction and beautiful upper part in which the clock mechanism still works. It was constructed in 1762 and is one of the oldest towers in the country.

 

 


TRANSPORT


 Road and railway transport connects Berkovitsa with the rest of the world. There are regular bus routes to Sofia, Montana, Lom, Varshets and many other smaller villages in the region of the bus station (+359 953/3574) that are in the east part of the town. Berkovitsa is the last railway station of the local railway line Boichinovtsi- Montana- Berkovitsa.

SURROUNDING AREAS

The northern slopes of the Berkovitski Balkan at the foot of which Berkovitsa is situated are famous for their chestnut woods- one of the two natural finds of tame chestnut in Bulgaria.
Kaleto- woody hill (515 м) to the northwest near the town. It is a natural forest park and a protector of Berkovitsa from wind. Here are the remains of Roman and medieval Bulgarian fortresses.
Varshets resort (18 km. to the southeast) is a balneological medicinal center of national importance and is the biggest in north- western Bulgarian. It is nestled in a small valley, surrounded to the south by the main ridge of Stara planina mountain and to the east by the Vratsa Balkan.
The Klisura monastery was founded in 1240. It has a striking outlook. The walls are not painted. There is no regular transport to it.
Barzia village- 6 km. to the south of Berkovitsa. Mountain and balneological medicinal resort of local importance. All buses going through the Petrohan pass stop there. Petrohan pass (1444 meters above the sea level, 25 km. to the south of Berkovitsa. This is the road from Sofia to Berkovitsa, Varshets , Montana, Lom, Vidin.

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