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The bloody well near Ribaritsa - a place of betrayal and heroism

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The bloody well near Ribaritsa - a place of betrayal and heroism

Welcome to the mystical area of Stara Planina, where legends and history are intertwined in one magic. Today I will tell you about a place with a heavy and touching history - the Bloody Well near Kostina.

Just 3 kilometers south of Kostina hamlet, this is the place where, on May 15, 1876, Georgi Benkovski, the main apostle of the uprising, was killed after betrayal. Turkish soldiers wash the severed head of the voivode in this well, which remains a witness to the bloody battles for freedom.

The music of the crystal water in the Blood Well near Kostina sings the song of freedom, awakening in us the spirit of our ancestors. A noise of nature makes our thoughts travel in the past, in the epic history of those who gave their lives for the love of the country - a journey that will leave traces in your hearts and make you appreciate freedom and patriotism more strongly than ever. Welcome to this magical historical world where heroes become legends and legends remain forever!

How to get to this place?

The Bloody Well is located in the Kostina area near Ribaritsa. It can be reached by car, as the road from the center of Teteven is about 18 km. There is a parking lot and you can leave your car and walk the last twenty meters.

What is the history of this area of Kostina?


This is a place of deep historical significance, connected with the April Uprising and the life of Georgi Benkovski - the main apostle of the uprising.

On May 15, 1876, the tragic betrayal took place here, which led to the death of Georgi Benkovski. After the April Uprising was suppressed, some of the revolutionaries escaped and went to seek salvation in the Balkans. The rest of Benkovski's troop, consisting of Georgi Benkovski, Stefan Dalmatinetsa (the last byraktor of the troop), father Kiril and Zahari Stoyanov, are moving tired and hungry from Teteven to Troyan. The local shepherd grandfather Valyu meets them and helps them hide in one of the caves in the mountain. He promises them that he will return the next day to help them cross to Troyan and get away safely from the pursuing Turks. Deceived by the reward, however, he ambushed them together with the Turkish army and condemned them to certain death. The next day, as they agreed, he goes to them and leads them through the forest until they come to a recently built bridge. Upon their arrival, Zahari Stoyanov turns to Benkovski and expresses his doubts about this bridge. He sensed something was wrong.

"You should know that we are not on the Plovdiv bridge over the Maritsa, but in the Teteven Balkan on the Kostinia River," answered Benkovski, turning back.

Those were his last words. Stepping on the bridge, grandfather Valyu runs and jumps to the other side. At that moment, cries of "Traitor" are heard, and the Turkish zaptiyets led by Rüzgyar Haji Ahmed aga fired shots at the squad leader. Georgi Benkovski falls dead, and one of the other Chetniks is wounded. Benkowski's head was cut off for edification, and the blood was washed into a nearby well. (b.r. The Bloody Well) His body was thrown aside, and the head was taken to Teteven, and later to Orhanie (now Botevgrad) and Sofia for the edification of the insurgents.
Zahari Stoyanov, who was the last to move, managed to jump into the river and the current carried him down. After some time he comes out of the river and climbs a tall beech tree. He ties everything he carries to the tree and stays there for several days. During this time, hungry and frozen, he manages to save himself, while at the same time he hears Turkish shouts looking for him below.
A few years later, Bulgaria is already free, and Zahari Stoyanov, alive and well, managed to tell about the events that happened along the Kostina River in his book "Notes on the Bulgarian Uprisings". Before that, however, he disguised himself and appeared at one of the celebrations by the river to honor Benkovski's death, which was also attended by grandfather Valyu. They begin to interrogate grandfather Valyu to tell what happened on that memorable day, and at that moment Zahari Stoyanov takes off his disguise. Grandfather Valyu sees him and falls to his knees to beg for forgiveness, which he later manages to receive. According to legends, Grandfather Valyu grew old and died naturally. He is the man who handcrafts the first wooden cross placed on this memorial site.
Today, the Kostina area is a memorial area that attracts history buffs and tourists. The anniversaries of Georgi Benkovski's death are celebrated here and historical reenactments performed by local artists take place. The area is a sacred place that reminds us of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom and national identity during the dark periods of history.

How long it takes to look around?

Allow about half an hour to explore the area and feel the emotion of this historic place.

When is the best time to visit?

You can visit it all year round and at any time as it is open air. It is located along the Kostina River and can be cool in the summer and cold in the winter. In case you have a way to Ribaritsa, I would definitely recommend you to visit it.

Is the road to the area beautiful??

It is about 3-4 kilometers from the center of Ribaritsa to the area of Kostina, and the road is extremely beautiful and panoramic. On the way back from there we managed to go for a bike ride with Willy, Alex and Krasen. This allowed us to enjoy the views on both sides of the road and the light mist that had fallen upon us that day.

Can I take my dog?

Yes, you can take your dog and let him walk around the lawn in peace.

Is there a convenient picnic spot or something to eat nearby?

Opposite the car park there is a restaurant and various souvenir shops. From there you can buy something to eat. In case you want to enjoy yourself, I would recommend you to visit the Tesla Tavern in Ribaritsa. It is located right next to the river Beli Vit and you can sit at a table outside to enjoy the sound of the water. Unique atmosphere and delicious food.

What is interesting nearby?

  • Eco-path "Under the spray of the waterfall" in Teteven - its beginning is in the center of Teteven and will lead you to a magical world of green nature and beautiful waterfalls. Along the trail, you will encounter more than one waterfall, and the final destination will leave you speechless. Read more about it here.
  • Teteven Monastery "St. Ilia" - is located near the center of Teteven and is one of the places that preserve its history and traditions. Preserved over the centuries, this monastery will impress you with its beautiful church, monastery and a wonderful green courtyard with a view of the nearby peaks. Read more about it here.
  • City History Museum in Teteven - this is one of the places worth visiting and learning more about the history, crafts and lifestyle of the local population. Many of the old houses are destroyed, but the memories of them come alive in the museum. Read more about it here.
  • The "Dangerous Tooth" eco-trail - it offers a great view over Teteven from the opposite side of Mount Ostrich. A forest path will lead you to a shelter in the rocks, which will make you feel the emotion of climbers climbing a difficult peak with the wonderful panorama that will open before you.

Искам да благодаря специално на нашите домакини от община Тетевенрегионално сдружение Тур клуб РеМарк, нашият прекрасен екскурзовод Младен Милев и АСТОМ (Асоциация на собствениците на туристически онлайн медии) за този прекрасен уикенд и страхотната организация.

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