| || |
The town of Troyan is situated on the rich, terraced shores of the Beli Osam River, in the northern foothills of the Troyan-Kalofer section of the Central Stara Planina Mountain, at an altitude of 400 meters. It is 35 km south of Lovech, 62 km east of Teteven, 70 km to Pleven, 48 km south-west of Sevlievo and 25 km far from the historical Troyan pass in the Balkans. There are about 26 540 residents. Thanks to its rich history and wonderful location the town is also one of the most preferable tourist destinations in Bulgaria.
The region was inhabited since the end of the late Paleolithic Age which was proved by the archeological excavations and finds. Traces were left of ancient Thracians, inhabited the area in XII-I century B.C. In the Ist century B.C the lands of today's northern Bulgaria fell within the borders of the Roman province of Moesia and there were three roman stations in the area of Troyan. The town arose as a trade-passage settlement probably at the end of XIV or in the beginning of XV century. The name of Troyan was connected with the name of the ancient roman road Via Trayana (the Troyan road) from Moesia and Thrace to Aegean crossing the Balkans. After Bulgarian fell under Ottoman domination many of the Bulgarian refugees moved to the area from different parts of the country and changed the political, spiritual and economic face of the region.
During the Bulgarian revival Troyan grew and became a famous trade, market and crafts center. Some of the most developed and flourishing crafts were homespun tailoring, forge crafts, wood turnery, fur-dressing and jewelry crafts and most of all pottery-making which differentiates in a remarkable Troyan pottery school.
In 1868 Troyan was declared a town and became a district center. Several churches were constructed along with a school (the Yellow School) and a library. In 1871 was founded a secret revolutionary committee for liberation of the country. However Turks revealed the prepared rising and burned the town. Troyan was free in January 1878 and restored.
After the Liberation it turned into a modern and developing town.
- Museum of National Artistic Crafts and Applied Arts (in building from 1881) - includes collections of ceramic and metals, national folk clothes and costumes, artistic wood decoration, fine and applied art etc.
- House-museum of Ivan Hadjiiski - expert on the Bulgarian mentality
- Art gallery "Seryakova House" ( a house of Georgi Seryakov's birth - revolutionary in Hristo Botev's band who died in 1876 in the Bankan)
- Church of "St. Paraskeva (1835) - temple burned by the Turks in 1877 and restored after the Liberation of the country.
- The town towner
- National exhibition of the artistic crafts and arts in the village of Oreshak (7 km east of Troyan) - It was established in 1971 and built over 50 dka with 8 halls and total area of 4500 sq m. There are yearly international, national, authors and other exhibitions organizing with the participation of native and foreign masters. Visitors can enjoy different demonstrations as well as tasting the famous Troyan plum rakia (plum brandy). The exhibition is open all year long.
- The Troyan Monastery is located 10 km south-east of Troyan town in the valley of the river Cherni Osam (Black Osam). This is the third biggest Bulgarian monastery founded around 1600 by a settled hermit from the Athos Mountain. At the beginning of 18 th century the small isolated monastery spread out. A wooden church, residential wind for monks and inn area built surrounded by a big fortified wall. Later a cell school began to function and a stone congregational church was constructed. In 19th century the monastery expanded to impressive architectural complex. After recognizing as stauropegial in 1830 began a period of flourishing. The church was renovated, new residential buildings and new belt tower wer constructed, an elementary school opened. The interior of today's church was painted by the National-Revival master Zahari Zograf with remarkable scenes and portraits of Bulgarian rurals, patrons and patriots. The monastery also preserves original art works like the large iconostasis, the golden cross on the altar, silver ornament for the Gospel, a silver ossuary with silver filigree, also a large collection of icons. Besides being a center of Orthodoxy and enlightenment the Troyan Monastery is a refuge for revolutionaries and a hearth for the Bulgarian national spirit during the time of the Ottoman domination.
- The Natural Science Museum - located in the village of Cherni Osam, 12 km south-east of Troyan and 2 km away from the Troyan Monastery. There are more than 700 exhibits of the fauna in the Central Stara Planina Mountain. The museum was established in 1956 and from 1976 it was moved in a newly built edifice and becomes officially a museum.
- Ethnographic museum in Cherni Osam
- The tourist complex of Beklemeto - (1320 m altitude) the complex is located 22 km south-west of Troyan at the foot of the mountain ridge near the Troyan pass. Tourists can enjoy very good conditions for winter sports - 3 ski tracks with total length of approximately 2.5 km and 3 ski wardrobes. There is the best ski track fro ski running and biathlon. Beklemeto is a way out to many tourists routes in the Balkan. The name of Beklemeto comes from the time of the Turkish rule when there was a watch-tower (bekleme).
- Biosphere reserve "Steneto" (east of Beklemeto) - it is a part of the National park "Central Balkan" declared a reserve in 1979 for saving the forests of beech, hornbeam, elm, sycamore etc.; deers, brown bears, hares, squirrels, imperial eagles etc. The place distinguishes with age-old woods, interesting rock formations and caves. It is included in the list of UNESKO biosphere reserves.
- Reserve of "Kozya stena" (Goat's wall) - it is the smallest reserve in the Central Stara Planina Mountain located in a very steep section of the mountain. There are more than 40 species of rare plants such as the Balkan Edelweiss. The area is good for mountaineering.
- The village of Shipkovo - 18 km west of Troyan, 680 m above the sea level, mineral springs with temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius. The settlement is also a balneological resort with sanatorium and mineral-water swimming pools. It is visited by people from all over the country for cure of gastric and intestinal diseases, neurological and ophthalmic diseases as well as diseases of the respiratory organs. The area offers also conditions for walk in the wonderful natural landmarks of the Balkan. The freshness of the clean and ecological nature, the unique combination of century old beech and coniferous trees, the clear mountain springs, the crystal clear air, the wonderful and unique rock forms and caves do the village of Shipkovo unique and impressive place.
- The village of Chiflik - 14 km south-west of Troyan. It is a mountain and balneological resort with holiday houses, swimming pools with Olympic size, modern hotels and private accommodations. There are good conditions for tourism and relaxation.
- The lake of Sopot is near the village of Golyama Zhelyazna, about 30 km far from Troyan. It offers perfect conditions for rest, beach going, fishing, sports and water tourism.
Because of its good transport connections with the villages inside the mountain Troyan is one of the most important and preferable outlets for tourist routes in the Central Balkans. The climate of the region is transitional - from temperate-continental to mountain one - a combination of rainy spring, warm summer, sunny autumn and mild snowy winter.