Located only 110 km away from Sofia, Koprivshtitsa is a small, historic town lying on the Topolitsa river among the Sredna Gora mountains.
Koprivshtitsa is known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and as one of the center’s of the April Uprising in 1876. The small town has a long history and some of the greatest Bulgarians have been born or lived here.
Koprivshtitsa is one of the most characteristic Bulgarian towns and a perfect getaway from Sofia. You can take a walk through the narrow streets, visit the numerous museums and memorial houses, and soak in the Bulgarian National Revival atmosphere.
If you’re a culture and a history lover, then Koprivshtitsa is definitely one of the places to visit in Bulgaria. The fact that the town is so close to two of the biggest Bulgarian cities, Sofia and Plovdiv, makes Koprivshtitsa one of the locals’ favorite day trip destinations.
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How to get to Koprivshtitsa:
From both Sofia and Plovdiv the easiest way to get to Koprivshtitsa would be by car. Traveling Bulgaria by car is the best way to get around the country and make your own travel schedule. If you don’t have a car, then you can travel to Koprivshtitsa by train. Alternatively, you can also join a day trip tour to the historic town. You can check the train schedule here.
There are several trains per day on the route between Sofia and Koprivshtitsa & Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa. Note that the Koprivshtitsa train station is about 8 km away from the town. There is a local marshrutka that can take you to the center of Koprivshtitsa and vice versa.
What to see & what to do in Koprivshtitsa
Museum – House Dimcho Debelyanov
Dimcho Debelyanov was a Bulgarian poet born in Koprivshtitsa in 1887. His poems have been translated into more than 20 languages (you can read some of them translated in English here).
Dimcho’s house stands in the middle of a lovely yard full of greenery and trees. In front of the blue wooden house, you can see a monument of his ever-waiting mother. You can see the same monument at Dimcho’s grave, located in the yard of Uspenie Bogorodichno Church. He was killed during a battle in World War One. Dimcho was only 29 years old.
Hadji Nencho Palaveev House
Nencho Palaveed was a Bulgarian trader and a benefactor. He’s famous for being the ”Benefactor of Koprivshtitsa”.
He was born in 1859 in the family of a Koprivshtian entrepreneur. His father was developing his business in Alexandria, Egypt. Nencho followed his father’s steps and had shops in Alexandria and Cairo. He also spent a lot of time traveling and trading in Central Asia.
Nencho made his will in 1933 by saying: “According to the laws of my beloved Fatherland – Bulgaria, I establish as a covenant, my hometown of Koprivshtitsa.”
Thanks to assets of his will were build the monuments of Georgi Benkovski and Luben Karavelov, schools were built, etc.
Museum – House Todor Kableshkov
The Museum – House of Todor Kableshkov is another must-see place in Koprivshtitsa. Todor is a prominent Bulgarian revolutionary and the chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of Koprivshtitsa. He was the one who declared the start of the April Uprising. A true Koprivshtian hero!
Todor Kableshkov wrote the legendary Bloody letter that declared the start of the April Uprising. The letter said,
Yesterday Neceb Aga arrived in our village from Plovdiv, and asked to imprison some people, including me. When I heard about your decision, made at the Council of Oborishte, I called up some brave men and after we got armed, we headed towards the konak and attacked it, killing the müdür and some policemen… Now, as I am writing this letter, the flag is waving before the konak, rifles shoot and the church bells echo simultaneously with them, men are kissing one another on the streets… If you, brothers, happen to be true patriots and apostles of Freedom, then do follow our example in Panagyurishte…
Koprivshtitsa, 20th April 1876
The First Rifle Shot Bridge
This stone bridge is one of the most important historic sites not just in Koprivshtitsa, but in Bulgaria. This was the place where the first rifle went off and marked the start of the April Uprising on 20th April 1876. This spot is not to be missed when visiting Koprivshtitsa.
This shot + the featured one were taken by kashkaval tourist
The most interesting thing about Lyutov House is the plasti that you can see on the ground floor. Plasti are handmade colorful covers that could be used for the floor, or for the bed and they are made from wool. Nowadays, very few people are still doing this. You can witness the making of plasti at the ”Тепавица” (Tepavitsa), located right next to the bridge.
Museum – House Georgi Benkovski & Monument
Georgi Benkovski is a Bulgarian revolutionary, a key figure in the organization and leader of the April Uprising in 1876.
Close to the house is located the 11 meters high monument of Benkovski. From there, you can enjoy a nice view of Koprivshtitsa.
Hike the surroundings
Koprivshtitsa is a historical town, indeed, but it’s also located among the mountains, so going for a hike is another cool thing to do. There are a few eco paths starting from the town and you can even hike the highest peak of Sredna Gora – Bogdan (1 604 meters).
Where to stay & eat in Koprivshtitsa
There are many guest houses in Koprivshtitsa. Our group stayed at Hotel Paradise, an authentic Koprivshtian house. There is a lovely garden in front of the house.
During our time in Koprivshtitsa, we enjoyed our meals at the restaurant 20th April located in the center of the town. The menu includes traditional Bulgarian dishes.
Disclosure: I recently visited Koprivshtitsa along with fellow travel bloggers from ASTOM. We were invited and hosted by Hotel Paradise (Хотел Рай), 20th April Complex & the Museum Association of Koprivshtitsa. As always, opinions are my own. Thank you!
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