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Museum of History, Batak

100 National Tourist Sites

When a person stands on the bank of the “Batak” dam and looks over the Western Rhodopes, the first thing that comes to mind are the lines written by Ivan Vazov: “But who says that Bulgaria is not beautiful, divinely beautiful and majestic? Come, come and look!”
Amidst the beauty of this mountain it is difficult, almost impossible, to believe that blood was shed there, but alas, this is the very truth. And the blood of innocent people whose “crime” was their thirst for freedom, for national independence.

The historical museum of Batak houses exhibits from many civilizations: the Thracians from the warlike Besi tribe, the Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians, Ottomans and Bulgarians.

But this city is known not only in our country, but also in the world, especially for the heroism shown by its inhabitants during the April Uprising. Its unique museum complex also includes the ossuary church “Sveta Nedelya”, as well as the Sharovata and Balinova houses – historical monuments, examples of the traditional architecture of that time. The latter also housed a rich ethnographic exhibition.

The most impressive Christian temple in Batak is the “Holy Mother of God”, but we will, for obvious reasons, dwell more on the already mentioned “Holy Sunday”. It was built in 1813 in just 75 days. They surrounded it with high stone walls – like a fortress, which they called Kaleto. After the defeat of the uprising, more than 2,000 people gathered inside, mostly women, children and old people, who relied on the protection of the massive walls and God’s protection.

They defended her for three days. To break the defenders, the Turks let in whole hives of angry bees and burning, gas-soaked straw. Many died of suffocation, but thirst was the worst. The mothers left the lips of the children with olive oil while it was available, and then with the blood of the murdered. They dug a well with their bare hands to look for water, but in vain. When they decided to surrender and opened the doors, the bloodthirsty men of Ahmed aga Barutanliata were waiting for them. And they had to choose between death and acceptance of Islam.

The majority of them did not renounce their faith and were massacred. After all this, the Turks learned that an international commission of inquiry would come here and tried to erase the traces of the massacre. They collected and buried part of the bodies, whitewashed the walls, but the blood came out on them again, so they tried to remove the plaster from the walls.
The world first learned about the shocking atrocities from the reports of the American journalist, the war correspondent of the “Daily News” newspaper Januarius McGahan, whose reports were published in a separate book and immediately translated into many foreign languages. The writer Victor Hugo was not far behind, who advocated for Bulgarian interests before the French Parliament. And a number of others.

After the suppression of the uprising, the balance sheet is terrible: more than 5,000 people were killed – men, women and innocent children from the 6-7,000 Batak population.

In 1955 “Sveta Nedelya” was declared a museum, and the residents of this town say that it is, after all that has happened, “the small church of Batak, into which you enter with your head bowed”, but also “the big church of Bulgaria, from which you go out with your head held high”!

Work time:
Summer working hours
(June 1 – August 31) 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Winter working hours
(1 September – 31 May) 9.00 – 17.00

(holidays: December 24, January 1 and Easter)

Entrance fees:
ADMISSION fee for all museum expositions – Historical Museum – Batak, Balinova House and Sharova House:

Adults BGN 6.00
Students and pensioners BGN 3.00.
3 – member family (with 1 student child) BGN 14.00
4 – member family (with 2 school children) BGN 17.00
Children up to 7 years old, people with disabilities, children from social homes Free
ADMISSION fee for Historical Museum – Batak and Sharova House

Adults BGN 5.00
Students and pensioners BGN 2.00.
ENTRY fee for Balinova house and Sharova house

Adults BGN 5.00
Students and pensioners BGN 2.00.
Taxi talks

Overview talk in Bulgarian BGN 15.00
Overview talk in a foreign language BGN 25.00
Movie BGN 8.00
Educational talk in Bulgarian BGN 15.00
Educational talk in a foreign language BGN 25.00
Fee for amateur photography BGN 2.00.
Address: Batak City 4580
Pazardzhik region
“Liberation” square, No. 3

03553 2339 – DIRECTOR


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