Sunday, 6 February 2011

Some interesting facts about Velingard

Few days ago I accidentally found myself in Velingrad,a town in Rhodopi mountain in Bulgaria. I had few hours to spent by myself so I took a nice walk from the center to the Historical museum.Here is what I learnt there by the keeper of the museum,really nice lady and an young archaeologist I met there:
The Historical museum
Forming of the city
Velingrad was formed in 1948. They have united 3 villages - Chepino,Ladzhene and Kamenitsa and now there are 3 neighbourhoods with the same name.

Vela Peeva
Velingrad is named after Vela Peeva(meaning the city of Vela) who has been a partisan in the fight against the fascism.Her father has worked in The USA in mines between 1914 and 1920.When he has come back and he has built a house in Kamenitsa village (where is the Historical museum now) and two years later Vela was born.She has grown up in a rich family but she couldn't accept the poorness of the others and that Bulgaria has taken the side of Germany in the the WWII. So,she has become a member of the Bulgarian communist party and has started her fight for equality for people.In the spring if 1944 she has fallen under siege and after 5 hours skirmish she has died by her own bullet.

The Thracians
The Bessi,a Thracian tribe have lived there 5-6 thousand years b.c. It is belived that their language was sacred so they haven't written but they have elaborated specific ceramic vesseles and they have decorated them by different drawings and pictures.Parts or whole vessels that were found in more than 100 tombs around Velingarad could be seen in the Historical museum.

Tsepina Fortress
The fortress is located around 10 km far from the city.It was found in the Middle ages and in the beginning it used to be a self Kingdom.Later in IX-th century it became part of Bulgaria. In 1373 it was one of the last fortresses that fell under Ottoman slavery. This is where comes the name of village Chepino from and also the valley around - "Tsepina - Chepino"
Scheme of the fortress
This is the name of a sawmill that people used to use in the region of Velingrad years ago.It has been activated by water and then the knives cut the wood. There is a small maket in the museum. The name of the popular resort in Bulgaria - Tsigov chark comes from that machine. In the past there have lived a man who owned such sawmill,whose name was Tsigo.

Mineral springs
Kleptuza park
Velingrad is known as the SPA capital of Bulgaria. This is because of the mineral springs in the town. There are more than 80 springs of hot water and that is why many hotels with SPA centers were built in the last years. Even in the past(long time ago) the thracians and romans have known and used the mineral water. Then in 1937 the mayor of Velingrad decided to built a beach with mineral water.He also ordered to bring sands from Varna(at the Black sea) with waggons - 500km!!! At this time it was not only the first mineral beach in Bulgaria but also,in Europe only Karlovy vary in Czech Republic had existed.

The great opera singer
Nikolai Gyaurov was a great opera singer,born in Velingrad. He's told to be the bass number one on the planet. People in Bulgaria and especially his fellow citizens are so proud of him.There is a peak in Antarctica called after him!

Easter eggs
An interesting technique for colouring  eggs is using wax. It is typical for Eastern Europe. In Bulgaria,in the region of Velingrad they use some specific instruments to do it. In the Historical musem there is a hall dedicated on that art. Every year in Velingrad there is a competition among the students for painting eggs. Last year there were more than 500 eggs participating.
Painted eggs
I was surprised to learn so much about that town only for few hours. I have to admit that I have never had so much interest in it even I've been there several times. But it's amazing when you come upon the right place and people to tell you some story.

No comments:

Post a Comment