reklama 12006-08-12 12:11:45
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reklama 22006-08-17 07:26:38
>> BULGARIA REGION >> Melnik bulgaria
Melnik (Мелник) is the smallest settlement classified as a town in the Republic of Bulgaria and is located in Blagoevgrad Province (sometimes referred to as Pirin Macedonia), in the southwestern Pirin Mountains, about 440 m above sea level. The town is an architectural reserve and 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments.
According to archaeological evidence, the first to settle in the area were the Thracians. Centuries later, the presence of the Romans left the town one of its landmarks - the Ancient Roman bridge, which is still preserved. The Slavs who later came in these parts named the settlement Melnik after the sand formations surrounding it on all sides (the Slavonic word "mel" means "white clay, chalk"). Melnik became a part of the Bulgarian state under the rule of Khan Presian (836-852) and prospered greatly in the period. Melnik became the capital of an independent feudal principality ruled by Despot Slav, a descendant of the Asen dynasty, in 1209, and passed through an economic and cultural upsurge during his reign. The town continued to flourish under Tsar Ivan Asen II because of the duty-free trade with Venetian-ruled Dubrovnik.
The Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 14th-15th century resulted in a long period of decline, but Melnik was once again a thriving city in the 17th and 18th century, the time of the Bulgarian National Revival, due to the tobacco and wine production. In that time Melnik was also a centre of craftsmanship, particularly church decoration and woodcarving. Many Bulgarian schools and churches were built in Melnik in that period.
Melnik was liberated by the Imperial Russian Army during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, but was given back to the Ottoman Empire according to the Treaty of Berlin. The town was devastated by a fire in the First Balkan War, during which it was ultimately liberated and became once again part of Bulgaria.
The unique architecture of the place and the nearby Rozhen Monastery (located 6 km southeast of Melnik) make it a popular tourist destination for Bulgarian and foreign visitors. The town is also associated with the impressive natural sand pyramids in various forms, resembling giant mushrooms, anciant towers and obelisks, spread in an area of 17 km² near Melnik, Kurlanovo and Rozhen. The town has also been famous for its strong wine since as far as 1346. The local wine was reportedly a favourite of Winston Churchill.
Interesting architectural landmarks include the Byzantine House, one of the oldest civilian buildings in the Balkans (built probably in the 12th or 13th century as a Bulgarian fortress), the Kordopulov House (named after the merchant Manol Kordopulov to whom it once belonged), which also has one of the largest wine cellars in Melnik, the Pashov House (1815), which houses the Historical Museum of Melnik and the Pasha's House, built by Ibrahim Bey, one of the richest beys in the region, during Ottoman rule. Some of the old churches in the town worth visiting are St Nicholas (built in the 13th century), SS Peter and Paul (1840), St Nicholas the Thaumaturge (1756) and St Anthony.