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Troyan - the city of culture, crafts, strong women and good brandy (rakiya)

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Troyan - the city of culture, crafts, strong women and good brandy (rakiya)

The town of Troyan is a picturesque and charming town located in the heart of Stara Planina in Central Bulgaria. It stretches on both sides of the Osam River and is distinguished by beautiful natural landscapes that attract tourists from all over the world. Around Troyan there are amazing mountain trailswaterfalls and green forests that create ideal conditions for mountain tourism. Visitors can enjoy amazing panoramic views and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

The city is also distinguished by its rich cultural and historical heritage. Here is the Troyan Monastery, an important Orthodox shrine, with rich collections of icons and manuscripts. The city has museums dedicated to carving art and local crafts that recreate the rich history and culture of the region. Tourists can enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional Troyan region by visiting the master studios and galleries of woodcarvers and artists. The city of Troyan offers an unforgettable tourist experience, combining the natural beauty and cultural richness of the area.


What can I see in Troyan?

1. The center of Troyan

As soon as we arrive in Troyan, we find ourselves close to the center. We park the car behind the municipality, and in front of us is a great drawing on a building. We also notice a drawing on stairs a little to the side, which also makes an impression on us. The central square is very large and well maintained - the lawns and fountains create a wonderful atmosphere, despite the gloomy and rainy weather. The square is a connecting point between the municipality, the museum of folk art crafts and applied arts, the art street in the city and the beautiful river Osam.

2. Museum of Folk Art Crafts and Applied Arts

The Museum of Folk Art Crafts and Applied Arts is one of the museums that greatly impressed and inspired me. It was created in 1962. and last year celebrated its 60th anniversary. It is located in the center of Troyan in the building of the former school and directly opposite the municipality. I was extremely impressed by the way in which history and modern technologies are interwoven in the museum and our past is presented in an interesting and fascinating way. The hit of the museum is the Neda doll, which by scanning QR codes allows you to look at the exhibits in a different way. The interesting re-enactments and the hidden "Do touch here" signs make it super attractive for children and younger visitors. In this way, the museum comes to life and manages to captivate us with its interesting crafts and beautiful expositions.

3. Art Gallery "Seryakova House"

Seryak House is a gallery that will impress you both with its facade and its exhibitions, its spirit and mysterious charm. It is located in the revival house of Georgi Seryakov (Gio) from 1991 and is near the center of Troyan. The building itself is two stories high with a winding staircase and is very interesting with its high ceilings. It hosts a large number of exhibitions, as well as book launches, jazz concerts and other interesting events. The sound and lighting of the gallery is very good and helps to experience the art in a different way. The heart and soul of the gallery is Mariela Shoshkova, who invited us and told us more about its history and present. You can learn more about the gallery on its website - click. Don't miss the opportunity to buy a boutique gift or painting to support the development of this gallery.

4. The Art Club

The Art Club is a wonderful addition to the "Seryakova House" gallery and is located right underneath it. Troyan, as a city of arts, needs its own place where artists and actors gather to exchange ideas, cooperate or just have fun. The Art Club often becomes a stage for singers, musicians and bands that create a great atmosphere for the visitors. The cheerful and smiling bartenders and the rich assortment of drinks will complete your great evening. For more information, you can look at the Facebook group of the Art Club - click.

5. Vinprom Troyan - brandy tour in the city of plums

One of the things Troyan is most proud of is the plum festival. It celebrates the plum in all its forms with numerous events such as concerts, art workshops, tastings and a competition for the best bulgarian brandy called rakiya. But now I want to suggest you to take your rakiya tour in the home of Troyan plum rakiya - Vinprom Troyan. Executive Director Michal Capoun personally welcomed us and introduced us to the entire process from picking the plums, receiving them at the factory, processing, waiting, waiting.. and finally bottling this wonderful liquid. At the end of the tour you can try the different drinks - liquors and rakiya from their rich assortiment including plum drinks, pear drinks and many others. As the owner of several plum trees, I confess that I listened with interest so that one day I too could make my own plum rakiya. The tasting tour is organized every Saturday from 15:00 on site. In case of questions and need for more information, you can contact Vinprom Troyan at the specified phone/email address here - click.

6. Tourist Information Center

The tourist information center is one of the places where you can get new ideas for visiting interesting sites, beautiful paths and places. Its goal is to help tourists have a fulfilling stay in the Troyan area. In it you can find information about tourist routes and eco-paths, accommodation, natural and cultural attractions, festivals in the area, places to eat or sporting events. We managed to pick up a few more sights to visit on our next visit to the area, and I'm sure you will find at least a few too. The information center also has various exhibitions of photographs and handmade works.

What to see near Troyan?

1. National school for mountain guides "Vasil Levski" in the village of Cherni Osam

I can't help but start with the school for mountain guides in the village of Cherni Osam. I am very happy that I had the pleasure of visiting this wonderful place and meeting the people who make it so attractive. This is the only school in Bulgaria where you can get a "Mountain Guide" specialty and get to know the mountain and its secrets well. As soon as you enter the school yard, you immediately notice the huge climbing wall placed outside, a beautiful van painted with mountain motifs and a training ground. Inside, the school is just as inspiring with beautiful drawings and inscriptions on the stairs with the leaders of the mountains in Bulgaria. We enter the school's gym and there we also notice an interesting climbing wall that continues along the ceiling. Just then, one of the students climbed up the ceiling like Spider-Man with ease and left us speechless.


2. Natural History Museum in the village of Cherni Osam

The natural history museum was founded in 1956 by the teacher Ilia Iliev. He collected and prepared animal species for biology classes, and in 1976. the collection became so large that it was separated into a new building. Now the museum is quite changed and receives thousands of visitors every year. It has several halls that will introduce you to the local species in Stara Planina - wild boar, wolf, jackal, fallow deer, wild cat, roe deer and others. The thing that amazed me here is the forest phone that allows you to talk to different animals and hear their sounds in the earpiece. The collection of exhibits is really impressive, especially the one with insects, which was really huge. I was very impressed by how their habitats are painted behind the exhibits in the great hall, so that you can more easily imagine them and they "come to life" in front of you. The people at the museum are very active and I like that they do different initiatives - they recently organized a "Cinema on a wheels" where the projectors for the films were powered by volunteers on bycicles in the audience.


3. Troyan monastery in the village of Oreshak

/ Image: Bougie Streets /
The Troyan Monastery is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria. It is located about 10 km from Troyan in the village of Oreshak on the bank of the river Cherni Osam. According to historians, the monastery was founded in the 15th or 16th century. It grew very quickly, but was defeated by Turkish bandits, and the abbot was beheaded. Later, the monastery quickly regained its glory and developed again. Distinctive for him is the Church of the Assumption, which is very beautiful. It is illustrated by Zachary Zograf with bright colored harmonies and rare plots that are worth seeing.


4. Ecopath "Zhalna" in the village of Balkanets

The "Zhalna" eco-trail starts in the picturesque village of Balkanets and will show you one of the most beautiful faces of Stara Planina. On the way you will be able to see the "Kralimarkovski Bridge", walk along the ancient Roman road "Via Trayana" and reach the area of Beklemeto. It will take you about 2 hours from the beginning to Beklemeto, and another 2-3 hours to return.

5. Shipkovo mineral baths near the village of Shipkovo

The mineral baths near the village of Shipkovo are one of the oldest spa resorts in Bulgaria. Thanks to its warm mineral springs the village is a center of attraction for tourists from all over the country. However, the many rest centers and rest areas allow you to enjoy peace and quiet. The interesting thing about these mineral baths is that here is the only active deposit of sulfate-calcium water in Bulgaria. It can be drunk and can also be used for balneotherapy. In the center of the resort, a catchment has been made with four different types of mineral water, with a different type of water flowing from each side. One is from the spring L-28, which helps with neurological and eye diseases, L-2, which helps with stomach, kidney and liver diseases, also mountain spring and table mineral water.

6. Guest house and active entertainment - "Na Kurut" in the village of Patreshko

The house was established in 1752, but has been restored and is still being restored. The roof is very beautiful and authentic with tikli(massive rock stones used as roof), and inside you can see how much effort has been put into this boutique and interesting house. Every single detail inside can impress and intrigue you. The yard is beautifully landscaped and terraced and can be used for various sports activities.
During that day, the owner, Mrs. Tsarova, introduced us to the art of creating a "nafora". Naforata is leavened bread blessed by the church, which is made according to a special recipe and lasts an extremely long time. The process is very interesting and is done with a special stamp that marks figures on the bread. Mrs. Tsarova suggested that we visit her again to learn how to restore furniture, cook something interesting or have fun with other activities. We would definitely visit again!

7. The salt room in the village of Patreshko

The village of Patreshko attracts our interest with another landmark - the Salt Room. It is located a little further down from the guest house "Na Kurut" and you can undergo halotherapy in it. Halotherapy is salt vapor therapy and is practiced in many different ways. It is used in adults and children to improve the overall condition of the body - it improves the function and appearance of the skin, cleanses toxins from the body, for respiratory problems and to strengthen immunity. It is suitable for people with sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, allergies and others. It usually takes 2-3 visits to feel the effect of the salt room, but the effect of the salt is different for everyone.

8. Skoka waterfall near the village of Kaleitsa

The Skoka waterfall is located next to the village of Kaleitsa. You can get almost to the waterfall by car. For this purpose, you pass through the village of Kaleitsa and leave the car on the widening of the road next to a bridge shortly after the village. From there, there is another 200 meters to the waterfall. The height of the waterfall is about 10-12 meters high and has a nice pool under it. During the warm months, it is visited by the locals for cooling off and even bathing. We didn't get to see the falls during this visit, but planned it for the next convenient time.

9. The monument "Arch of Freedom" in the Beklemeto Pass (Trojanski Prohod)

/ Image: bgsait /
The Troyan Pass connects Troyan with Karlovo and Plovdiv by crossing the Stara Planina mountain. The beautiful scenery along the way will surely impress you, but the most beautiful place for me is the Liberty Arch, which is located a little off the road. Standing proudly on Mount Goraltepe (at 1,595 meters above sea level), the arch is 35 meters high and is at one of the highest points along the Trojan Pass. From the platform under the monument to the north you can see the valleys of Osam and Troyan, to the south there are views of Sredna Gora, the Rhodopes and Rila, and to the east and west you can see many of the high peaks of Stara Planina, including the peak Botev with its 2376 meters. The Kom-Emine tourist route (E3) passes by the arch, but if you don't feel like walking about 570 km, you can stop by the car along the way and enjoy the beautiful views.

Where you can eat in Troyan and the area?

1. "Inn Na Dvorut" in the center of Troyan

The inn is located very close to the center of Troyan and is a wonderful place to eat delicious and fresh food. As soon as you enter, you can feel the contribution of Mrs. Tsarova (from "Na Kurut") to the interior design with her restored furniture and wacky interior. Every time you turn your head, you can see some interesting detail. As for the food - de-li-cious! Everything they had prepared for us together with her partner, Chef Bilyana, was uniquely delicious. We tried home-made rooster soup, nettle soup, spring rolls, salads, grill - we licked our fingers. But the icing on the cake for me was the homemade cheesecake to finish. I still dream about this taste!

2. Cafe-bar and restaurant Royal in the center of Troyan

Located right in the center opposite the Museum of Folk Art Crafts and Applied Arts, this building sits pleasantly above the Osam River. On two floors with an outdoor and indoor area, you can enjoy the view of the river and the mountains above, whether you are having lunch or drinking your morning coffee. We visited for lunch and the food was delicious, but I would definitely recommend it for your morning coffee or breakfast by the river. At night, it turns into a bar for lovers of parties and nightlife.

3. "Stranopriemnitsa" tavern in the village of Oreshak

The inn was a total hit during our visit to the village of Oreshak. We visited for dinner as well as breakfast on the next day. The restaurant is actually part of a hotel complex of the same name, which looked very stylish and tastefully done. The yard had beautiful flowers, the restaurant very elegant and the garden had an outdoor pool and was very well maintained. At the dinner there was a guest musician with a guitar (Dido Dishev), who played and sang several great songs. The atmosphere was very pleasant and we even danced a little. The food was very tasty, especially the banitsa(if you havent tried this is a must in Bulgaria) for breakfast, oh.. We would gladly come back to eat again, and why not to see what the hotel is all about.


Is there a suitable place to stay overnight?

1. Guest houses Nedelya and Nedelya 2

During our stay in Oreshak, we trusted guest house Nedelya 2, which provided us with wonderful conditions for rest and recovery of energy. Our room was very spacious, with a private bathroom and a terrace with a view. The yard of the house was very well maintained and had a nice gazebo. We didn't have enough time to enjoy the yard because we had a lot of adventures waiting for us, but we were very satisfied with our short stay and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
I want to especially thank our hosts from the municipality of Troyan, regional association Tour Club ReMark, Ivanka Tsrova (Na Kurat and Na DvorAT), Mariela Shoshkova (Art Gallery "Seryakova Kashta"), Mariela Minkova (Natural History Museum), Daniel Sirakov (Zhalna eco-trail ), Michal Capoun (Vinprom Troyan), Ivan Belomazhev (Mayor Deputy of Patreshko), Rumyana Veleshka (School of Mountain Guides), the Museum of Folk Art Crafts and Applied Arts and Pavlin Kalev (guest house Nedelya) for this wonderful weekend and the great organization.

** In this article, I think I managed to tell you about culture, crafts and good brandy. Wondering where the strong women are? Since the Middle Ages, Troyan has been celebrated as a place where the matriarchy reigned. Strong women have been the driving force behind the development of this area and to a large extent still are. I guess you noticed that in most places in the article the main characters are women and they are great at their profession. It made a great impression on us that each of them was passionate about their work and for her it was a passion and pleasure. Thank you!

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