Located in the southwest part of the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria, the village of Kovachevitsa has been declared « Architectural and Historical Reserve of National Importance » in 1977. More about this Bulgarian museum village.
We discovered the museum village of Kovachevitsa (Ковачевица) in the summer 2014, when we moved to Bulgaria. Kovachevitsa is an isolated mountainous village located in the southwest part of the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria, 230 km from Sofia, the Bulgarian capital and 140 km from Plovdiv, the European capital of culture 2019. The only road that leads to Kovachevitsa starts from the village of Garmen, passes through Leshten and Gorno Dryanovo. Kovachevitsa is the terminus, impossible to go further on the same road.
Tucked away between the ridges in the remotest south-western corner of the Rhodopes, Kovachevitsa is the cultural center of the entire region. The village keept the spirit of the olden days, the same architectural style from the period of the National Revival with its stone laid narrow streets more or less easy to access.
The ideal place for a break
Kovachevitsa is located about 1050m above sea level. Here live around 50 inhabitants. There are more people in summer. Kovachevitsa is the ideal place to spend a few days’s break far away from the city and its noises. For sure, that day, we didn’t meet anyone. Not even a dog or a cat. Only the nature and the calm of the Rhodope Mountains. The streets were deserted. The perfect place to have a break we said. For accommodations, you can find there some well-evaluated guest-houses and their restaurants in the traditional style.
The origin of Kovachevitsa
The small village has been founded by refugees from different villages in the 17th century. At this time, to escape the Ottomans, the Bulgarian population took refuge in the most inaccessible parts of the Rhodope Mountains. The main activities of the local population were agriculture and animal husbandry.
An unique architecture
The picturesque architecture of the Kovachevitsa’s houses is unique and original. Most of them built in the second half of the 19th century. The only building materials used for houses are stone and wood.
Only the upper floors of the houses and terraces are made of wood. The ground floor and the roof are made of grey slab-stones (also known « tikli »).
Some houses have remained in very good conditions. More that 50 building have been restored and renovated. The rest are preserved to a certain degree or in ruins. Even perched on his tiptoes it is impossible to perceive the interior courtyards. Everything is surrounded by high stone walls with wooden gates.
There are also many fountains throughout the village but most of them are no longer functioning or maintained.
An « Architectural and Historical Reserve of National Importance »
The village has been declared as « Architectural and Historical Reserve of National Importance » in 1977. Thousands of tourists from all over the world come here every year. Most of them stay at least one night to immerse themselves in the unique spirit of the village. Films have even been shot at Kovachevitsa.
Among the interesting places to visit in the village is Saint Nicolas Church, which was built in 1847. A bell tower was built there in 1900.
To conclure, the village of Kovachevitsa is a perfect destination for lovers of nature and cultural tourism. It is also a great destination for those who are looking for a quiet place to have a rest ou to meditate. The area offers very good options for trekking and hiking. The picturesque villages of Leshten and Ribnovo are also only few kilometers away. Then others attractions such as Kozi Kamak deserve a stop.
We keep a lovely memory of our visit of Kovachevitsa.
Picture : from @madamebulgaria, village of Kovachevitsa, Bulgaria
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