Bansko is a city full of exceptional sights. Every little street goes back in time, every house tells a story to which no one remains indifferent.
Holy Trinity Church
Once you reach the monument of Paisii Hilendarski, you do not need any guidance on how to get to the other sights of the town. Because the square is located in the very center of the old town and all significant sights are a few steps apart.
The first of them is located just a few steps from the monument of Paisii Hilendarski and you simply can not miss it.
The Holy Trinity Church is the largest symbol of the city and its guardian. The three-nave uncool basilica was built in 1835 and all Bansko citizens took part in its construction.
To erect a temple in the very center of the city, in times of Turkish oppression, requires great strength, resourcefulness, and strong faith in God. The temple is still active today, and as you enter it you can look at it peacefully and light a suppository.
Nikola Vaptsarov Museum
The home where the poet was born (1909) and grew up was turned into a museum in 2013 1952. In arranging the museum exposition, the poet’s mother and sister take part. They are also the first tour guides at the site.
In the museum, you can see several expositions that tell about the life and creativity of the poet. In one of the halls, you can see documents, belongings, and poems written by the poet moments before he was shot in 1942.
Again, just a few steps away, on a neighboring, quiet street is the next cult landmark – the famous Velyanova House. To get to the house you do not need directions, you just need to follow the signs that indicate the direction. Velyan’s house as architecture follows the Renaissance swimsuit style of a fortified house. And here you will see massive walls, secrets, open chard and secret escape passages.
What impresses in this home, however, is the amazing fresco decoration. The decoration is the work of one of the best master zographers during the Renaissance – Usta Velian Fire, who is also the owner of the house.
Velyan’s House is the first fully painted house in Bansko, and the compositions that came out from under the master’s brush tell about distant countries, fairy-tale characters, and the love for his wife Sofia.
Monument “Paisii Hilendarski”
100-200 meters from the large central square is located another, smaller square. And right in the middle of it rises high, the high monument of “Paisii Hilendarski”. The monument was erected in 1976, and the place was not chosen by accident. The specialists suggest that this is where the father’s house of the author of “Slavonic History” and Bulgarian enlightenment Paisii Hilendarski was located.
Named after its discoverer, the forester Kostadin Baikushev, the Baikushev mura is the oldest tree in the country (1300 years). Its circumference is 7.80 meters, the height – 26 meters, and the diameter – 2.48 meters.
The natural landmark can be reached by taking you from Bansko to Banderitsa Hut. The road has quite a lot of turns, but it is good and very picturesque. Once you get to the hut, you need to leave the car and continue on foot on a mini hiking trail, which after about 200 meters will take you straight to the Baikusheva Mura.
The nameless city
Until 2003, no one had ever imagined that under a small hill between Bansko and Dobrinishte there was a huge ancient city in its size. There is no information about the city until today, and no one knows what it was called or exactly what functions it performed.
The only thing known so far is that it is more than 3,500 years old and has been inhabited by different cultures over the centuries. It is assumed that in a certain period it was inhabited by people of tall size from the Thracian tribe Dai.
Museum “Neofit Rilski”
Right next to the temple is the birth house of Neofit Rilski. The home where the Patriarch of Bulgarian Literature was born was turned into a museum in 1981. The house, also called Benjina House, is built in the typical Bansko Renaissance architectural style and looks like a real fortress with numerous secrets, dug tunnels under the house, and high walls. Besides impressive architecture, the museum of “Neofit Rilski” tells about the literary activity and the life of the great Bulgarian.
Sitan kale is a late-ancient fortress, which according to archaeologists was tasked with guarding the Roman road, which passed through the entire Razlog valley. The fortress is quite large in size and most likely lived in it until the very fall of the city under Ottoman rule.
If you want to explore Sitan Kale, the fortress is located 3.1 km from the city, in the area “Kalata”. The fortress can be reached by taking you from Bansko to Vihren Hut.
Once you get to the first right turn, you need to turn and proceed to the restaurant “Caves”, and from there you continue to drive until you reach the bridge of the Glazene River. This is where you leave the car and continue on foot. The path is well marked, with a low degree of difficulty, and in about 30 minutes you will reach in front of the walls of the fortress.
The excavations of the Nameless City continue to this day, and the city does not stop to surprise archaeologists and tourists of its size and with the artifacts that are found.
The nameless town is located between the two neighboring cities – Bansko and Dobrinishte. The landmark is reached without much effort or complex navigation. All you have to do is get out of Bansko and go on the road to Dobrinishte.
Watch the signs on the way, so as not to miss the stop for the Nameless City. By car, you can reach the foot of the complex, then climb on foot to the hill. The walk is not stressful and will take you no more than half an hour.
The Written Church
This is one of the great cultural and archaeological attractions near Bansko, which attracts increasing interest every year. Studies of the church began in 2006 and during the excavation archaeologists discovered not one, but two temples listed in each other. The archaeological site is an early Christian basilica, built in the 5th – 6th century, in which another Christian temple was inscribed in the 13th – 13th century.
The written church is located 7 km from the town of Razlog near Bansko. To get to the site, from Bansko you need to head to Razlog. As you get closer, you’ll see signs you need to follow to take you to the site.
The remains of the Church of Scotland are fenced off and you won’t be able to see them up close at the moment, but nothing prevents you from enjoying them from the outside.
Obelim monastery “St. Panteleimon”
The Obelim monastery was built in the early 20th – 20th century, so it can not be called ancient. However, the fact that there is no long history takes away either from his charm or from the comfort he gives to everyone who visits him.
The history of the monastery begins with a prophetic dream, after which a resident of the village of Obeim discovers church attributes hidden in the hollow of a tree. The discovery was accepted as a sign that a monastery should be built in this place. That’s what happened. The building took many years, but when it was finally built, it became one of the favorite places to visit the Bansko citizens and the surrounding villages and towns.
The monastery, however strange, can not be reached from the village of Obelim (although the monastery is named after the village). In order to visit the monastery, you need from Bansko to go to Dobrinishte and curl on the way to Gotse Delchev hut.
On the way to the hut you will see a small chapel, and once you get to it, you need to leave the car and take you on foot to the monastery. The walking distance you will travel is about 2.5 mi away. The path is low in difficulty and you will reach the monastery in a maximum of an hour.
Rock formation “The Wedding”
The natural formation is a rock phenomenon that the winds have formed into whimsical forms. It is called the wedding since some of the figures are likened to a group of wedding guests, followed by the “evil” mother-in-law.
According to legend, an evil mother-in-law who did not want the bride cursed the young on the day of their wedding. Her severe curse petrified the newlyweds and their guests.
The rock phenomenon towers over the village of Osenovo and can be seen from the road. To get there, you need to go from Bansko to Bessenovo. Right after the turnoff for the village, you will also see the rock formation “The Wedding”. The distance from Bansko to the natural phenomenon is about 29 km and can be reached via a good, asphalt road.