The “Get to Know Bulgaria: 100 National Tourist Sites” is a tourist movement created in the 60s. Its goal is to encourage tourism by promoting some of the most valuable cultural, historical, architectural, geographical and archeological sites that can be found in Bulgaria.
Each of the 100 sites has its own seal, which is stamped on the pages of the official booklet of the movement once the tourist reaches the destination. Collecting stamps from 25 sites earns you a bronze badge, 50 gives you a silver one and if you collect all 100, the Bulgarian Tourist Union will give you a golden badge and a chance to win other prizes.
Even though the targeted audience for this movement are the Bulgarian tourists, the 100 sites is a good collection of Bulgaria’s best spots and is generally a good guide for any tourist. The initial collection of sights included a lot of political objects, but after falling of the communist regime in Bulgaria, the selection was revisited and updated. The last revision is of 2009 and includes sight the following locations:
View 100 spots in a larger map
In this section we will continue to add information about some of the listed locations. In this article we start with Bansko.
Bansko is an excellent ski resort and a lovely old-fashioned rustic village. Apart from skiing at winter and hiking in the Pirin mount during summer, you can also visit the following sites:
Velyanova House is an 18th century house built in a characteristic style for the time period. During the 18 century there wеre a lot of robbers who pillaged the land, so the houses contained a hidden room. Velyanov however, was also an esthete, so he made an impressive decoration of the house.
You can also visit the Neofit Rilski museum. Neofit Rilski is a Bulgarian monk, teacher and painter who was born in Bansko in 1793. He made the first successful translation of the New Testament to Bulgarian.
In the Nikola Vaptsarov house museum you can see how Nikola, a Bulgarian poet, communist and revolutionary lived. The museum shows an exposition of Vaptsarov’s figurative three life stages.
The Holy Trinity church of Bansko, together with its tower and bells is one of its symbols. The story about the building of the church is quite peculiar. During Ottoman slavery there was a law that a Christian church can be build only in a place where once there was a church before. They say that in order to get the church build, people from Bansko burrowed secretly a cross and an icon on the chosen spot. To get a license for building a church back then, a decree by the sultan was needed. A plea for the decree had to be submitted by the pasha in Thessaloniki. To get the pasha to cooperate, diado Lazko, one of the activists of the project, visited the pasha right after the birth of his son. The pasha was so overwhelmed by joy that he promised them the decree.