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Kazanlak and the Rose Valley - further afield

Pavel Banya – this resort can be found 20 kms west of Kazanlak at the northern foot of the Sredna Gora Mountain.

The mineral water here has been used to treat diseases since ancient times. The water comes from seven natural and drilled sources. The average temperature of the mineral water is 49-56 degrees C.

The water is said to be good for healing joint complaints. The resort is believed to be one of the best for treating diseases of the nervous system and traumatic conditions relating to the spinal cord, and is a good centre for rehabilitation too. There are several modern facilities here – a hotel with water treatments, and other family hotels.

Shipka Memorial Church – this church was built as a monument to the Russians and Bulgarians who died in the War of Liberation. The church can be found 12 kms north of Kazanlak town at the southern foot of the Stara Planina Mountains, near to the town of Shipka.

It has a green and pink façade and golden domes on the roof, which easily grab your attention. The church was designed by the Czech architect, Tomisko, and is built along the lines of 17th century Russian architecture. The bell tower is a 50 m high spire, and the church contains 17 bells, the heaviest weighs around 12 tonnes.

Icons inside the church were painted by Russian monks from the St Pantaleimon Monastery in Greece. The church was consecrated in 1902.

Shipka National Park – the park was founded on the land where the Liberation War battles were fought during the late 1870’s. The park contains a complex of monuments, memorial tablets, trenches and bunkers. The Monument of Freedom sits at the top of the mount in the park. It was built from the designs of Atanas Donkov, who was an architect, and Alexander Andreev, who was a sculptor. The monument was built from the donations of the Bulgarian people, and was opened in 1934.

In and around the park you will find several shops, bars, camping facilities, and a hotel with a restaurant.

Buzludzha National Park – On July 30, 1868, Hadji Dimiter fell in battle on Mount Buzludzha, making this an important place in Bulgarian history. Dimiter was the leader of a small group of rebels fighting against the Turks. An impressive marble monument was built to commemorate him in 1961. A stone relief close by commemorates the founding of the Bulgarian Socialist Party in 1891. The park itself has good opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts and tourists owing to its plentiful supply of chalets and hotels.

Choudomir Literature and Art Museum – this was the home of the famous Bulgarian writer and artist, Dimiter Chorbadjiiski-Choudomir. His home was declared as a museum in 1969, and in 1979 the complex including an art gallery, was opened. The exhibits on display include many original manuscripts, personal documents and photos from various Bulgarian writers, artists and art experts. Literature meetings, readings and film showings occur at the museum. A foundation in Choudomir’s name was opened in 1992 which aimed to popularise his works and give grants to young talented people from Kazanlak. The museum is located on Trapezitsa Street.

Koulata History and Ethnographical Complex – these restored Renaissance houses depict life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The complex demonstrates the atmosphere of the past with examples of Renaissance architecture and demonstrations of handicrafts. You can try some products from the rose industry – jam, liquer and brandy!

Iskra Town History Museum – the museum was established in 1901 and is one of the first of the Bulgarian country town museums. The museum was first located in a small room near to the Iskra club stage. In 1935 it moved to the top floor of the Library Club. The museum and art gallery were moved to a modern purpose built building in 1981. The museum houses over 50,000 exhibits depicting the history of the area dating from ancient times to the present day. Thracian finds from Seuthopolis are on display in three halls. During the tourist season there are also temporary exhibitions, some of which include loan items from other museums. The museum can be found on Slaveikov Street.

Iskra Cultural, Educational and Arts Centre – the opening of the library in 1860 signalled the establishment of the centre. The centre played an important part in the culture of the people of Kazanlak in the past – the foundations of the town’s theatre were laid there too. The town history museum’s foundations were laid here in 1901. This museum nowadays hosts one of the largest collections of exhibits in Bulgaria. Today the centre also houses a stage and auditorium with 400 seats.

Iskra Educational Municipal Library – the above centre also hosts the town library. There are over 301,830 objects in the library, including books, music, records, cassettes, films, slides, reproductions and periodicals. There are rare and valuable publications and early printed books from the 10th and 11th centuries. The oldest manuscripts here include the ‘Apostolski Text’ written on a piece of parchment and the ‘Colour Triod’ from the 16th century, amongst others.

Emanouil Manolov Arts School – this building can be found near to the Iskra Cultural, Educational and Arts Centre. Over 300 children study music, dance and art here. The school also encompasses an English Language School specifically for children under 7 years old. The Arts School is famous for the excellent results achieved by its pupils.

Choir School – the first Bulgarian composer, Emanouil Manolov, established a mixed choir in 1886. Petko Stainov, an academic and composer from Kazanlak, later carried on his work by extending and improving the choir’s activities. Petya Pavlovich established a choir school in 1970 with 350 singers. There are now over 80 children singing in two choirs. The Children’s Choir has joined in many competitions and festivals both at home and abroad, and has toured several countries. The Children’s Choir and the Petko Stainov Mixed Choir have both recorded songs for the Bulgarian National Radio, and perform a variety of musical styles from folklore, through to religious, through to modern popular songs.

Sports and Recreational Facilities in the Area – the region is popular during the winter and summer for sports and recreation. There are ski lifts and runs, and many chalets to stay in. The Koprinka Dam is popular in summer for fishing, water sports and its beach. The pine forest is popular with walkers.

The Parachutists Club operates out of a small airport 4 kms south-east of Kazanlak, and is popular with those interested in extreme sports. The Club offers training for amateurs or team participants.

Guides lead hiking, cycling, climbing and mountaineering tours in the area, giving great opportunities to explore the mountains and region.

There are also several football and basketball stadiums in and around Kazanlak, as well as swimming pools and recreation centres.

Getting There

Air - International flights to Sofia.

Buses - The bus and railway stations are near to each other in the southern part of the town. From here regular buses run to Gabrovo, Lovech, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and Karlovo.

Trains - Kazanlak is situated on the main railway network.

Car - Kazanlak can be found just to the north of the main Sofia-Bourgas road, or south of Veliko Turnovo on the Gabrovo road.