Getting There: Kotel

Society | March 7, 2003, Friday // 00:00

Kotel is a town situated amidst the picturesque natural scenery of the Eastern Balkan Range and besides being a place with beautiful nature, fresh air and pure mountain water, it is an important cultural and historical centre.

Kotel is also one of the most significant centers of the weaving art. The locals still weave their famous Kotel carpets, and many of their children study at the town's secondary music school for national instruments and folk singing.

Kotel's National Revival period houses are of the "wooden type" seen frequently in the Eastern Balkan Range. The only difference was that in Kotel they were higher - up to 3-4 storeys, the ground floors housing shops and workshops, rather than the usual household premises. The originally open verandas is lost in later times, making the houses akin to closed urban homes - with spacious central salons and a wealth of decorative elements.

A devastating fire in 1894 wiped out nearly the entire town of which only two quarters - Galata and Durlyanka survived.

Although but a few, the preserved architectural examples provide a good idea of the town's former appearance. Just take a look at the Kyorpeev House, now an Ethnographic Museum, the Kosichkov, Pisomov, Burnev, Bairumov and Karaivanov houses, the old water mill and the inn.

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