Travel in Bulgaria: Chirpan and Surroundings
Novinite is republishing another story by our reader Leon de Leeuw about his visit to the town of Chirpan in Central Bulgaria.
We have already reprinted his accounts on Tran Gorge, Svoge and the Iskar gorge and Lakatnik.
East of Sofia, where the Trakiya highway meets the Maritsa highway, is Chirpan. It's in the Stara Zagora province and lies southeast of the Sredna Gora mountains. The central region of Bulgaria is known for its ancient history and the name Chirpan is said to have its roots in Roman times. During the Ottoman rule, Chirpan was called the same in Turkish (??rpan). About two hours from Sofia by car, Chirpan is easy to reach. Just take the highway past Plovdiv and the signs will guide you. In 1928, an earthquake brought severe damage to the city. Yet the center has a nice area with a square and a large town hall. The park nearby has a statue of Peyo Yavorov, one of the country's most famous poets. He was born in Chirpan.
From the town square, a sign points you to the Yavorov house and the Nikola Manev house. The houses are next to each other. Yavorov is the famous poet born in Chirpan. Mr Nikola Manev is an artist who currently lives in Paris. He renovated a house next to Yavorov's, including a large garden. He also built an auditorium. You can cross the garden to get to Yavorov's house. There's a guide who explains the poet's and the house's history into deep detail. Never had I seen such a passionate guide. Besides visiting the houses, it is nice to just walk around town. People spend a lot of time outside in summer, as it gets hot. A couple of good restaurants include Mehana Haramiite and Konska Melnitsa, on Ulitsa Ivan Vazov n.2. These restaurants are not even 50 metres from each other.
Around Chirpan are some nice villages, where life continues as it always has. Best is to have a car. Zlatna Livada village is at 14 kilometres from Chirpan. There is a monastery called Sveti Atanasiy. It has lovely green surroundings and a staircase into the rocks. You can pass through it and leave a wish on a note.
Another village, at only 9 kilometres from Chirpan, is Partizanin. A village with a large main street, a few shops and a church. What you'd never expect is what's behind the walls; the good climate allows people to grow everything they wish. The gardens are full of fruits and vegetables. Many people keep livestock. One of the houses is the Nikola Manev house. This was an old, abandoned house that Mr. Manev bought and renovated. It is now a guesthouse in a typical Bulgarian style. It has comfortable rooms, a kitchen, a beautiful garden and outside grills. It is peaceful and quiet. At night, the street lightning of the village is switched off the place is ideal for stargazing.
Chirpan can easily be combined with Panagyurishte, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, or Kardzhali. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you'd like any more details about Chirpan or anything else. In the album below are pictures of Chirpan, the Yavorov house, the Nikola Manev house, the monastery in Zlatna Livada, Partizanin village and the guesthouse.
You can see more photos or learn more about other places in Bulgaria on Mr De Leeuw's website.
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