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The town of Bansko (9,000 residents) is situated in South-Western Bulgaria, at the foothills of the Pirin mountains - national reserve, one of the most beautiful Bulgarian mountains, listed in UNESCO's World Heritage.

Bansko coat-of-arms

Bansko, panorama

Town history

The town of Bansko flourished as a trade and crafts center during the Bulgarian National Revival (18th - 19th centuries), when its merchants traded between the Aegean and Central Europe.

During that time Bansko also established itself as a center of culture and enlightment.

The Bansko School of Painting was one of the best in the Bulgarian lands during the 18th - 19th centuries. The artists from Bansko who worked along the Mesta and Struma river valleys,

Bansko, The Church of the Holy Trinity (1832-35) broke the established canons and introduced secular and historic themes to church painting.

The iconostasis in the Church of the Holy Trinity (1832-35) in the town center is a fine example of this art.

The church is the largest and richest in mural paintings in the Pirin mountains region. Its tower and belfry are the symbol and pride of Bansko.

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Ski resort of international significance, the newest Bulgarian winter resort provides an interesting combination between the virgin nature of the Pirin mountains and the atmosphere of the ancient Bulgarian town. Bansko is much visited also in summer as a starting point for excursions in the mountain.

Here the old lives hand in hand with the new, where the modern centre gives off onto small cobbled streets with timber framed houses sheltering behind stout double doors.

At the foot of the Pirin mountains, the houses look almost like monasteries - just as austere and inaccessible, with high stone walls and small latticed windows.

The true Bulgarian spirit is hidden behind the solid walls and heavy gates - in the spacious rooms with friezes and bay windows, carved ceilings and doors, pretty rugs and embroidered cushions.

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The collection of icons painted by Bansko masters is certainly worth visiting.

What one remembers forever are the melodious Bansko male singing, the heavy red wine and delicious culinary temptations.

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Bansko, the town center

Bansko, the town center Bansko street Bansko, the town center
Bansko, the town center Bansko, Bansko-style tavern Bansko, Bansko-style tavern, interior

Hover your mouse over the landmarks' thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.

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