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Vratsa-Bulgaria's Colorado


Beyond the Town

It is well worth taking time out to visit the small town of Mezdra, which lies 15 km away on the Iskar River's left bank close to the panoramic Iskar Gorge. Many relics from the Neolith and the Copper age have been found in this area and the ruins of the ancient Roman fortress, the Kaleto can still be seen on the edge on the rocks and opposite the Iskar River. Within the town there is an Art Gallery, housing a precious collection of sculptures and the beer factory, which produces Ledenika beer.

There are also a number of monasteries in the area, which are well worth a visit and it is possible to take your tent and camp overnight in this region; the Cherepishki, Stroupetski, and Sedemte Prestola Monasteries close to the quaint villages of Pavlotche and Zgorigrad renowned for their hospitality, tasty traditional fare and local wines. Possibly the best to visit is the Assumption Monastery in Cherepishiki lies at the base of the mountains on the Iskar River. It is 29 km away from Vratsa and was one of the strongholds of Bulgarian spirit and nationalism during Ottoman rule; St. Sofroniy Vrachanski sought asylum here during this era and stayed hidden for several years running the resistance army from the chapel. The cloister contains century's worth of Bulgarian church literature and there are many tales of hidden gold buried in the monastery's grounds.

Pictures courtesy of Peter Petrov