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Museum of History, Chiprovtsi

100 National Tourist Sites

Chiprovtsi in a town with a very interesting history. Located in an area rich in silver, lead and iron ores and rivers rich in gold-bearing sand, the region of Chiprovtsi was settled by the Thracian tribe Tribali in the 1st century BC. and was subject to mining exploration and processing. During the Roman era, it became one of the most significant gold-mining areas in the Balkans.

In the second half of the 5th century, Slavs settled in the area and coexisted peacefully with the local population. During the Second Bulgarian State, Saxons settled in the area, bringing their experience in mining and metalworking, along with the new religion of Catholicism for the local population. In 1638, the Chiprov Law on Mines was created by order of the local governor, Francesco Markanich. In the second half of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, one of the most significant goldsmith schools in the Balkans developed in Chiprovtsi.

The first known work of the Chiprov goldsmiths is a silver fitting of a gospel, made in 1567 for the Tismana monastery in Romania. The hardware of the Cherepish Gospel from 1612, the diskos of the Bachkovo Monastery, numerous enthroned crosses, repositories and reliquaries are also the work of the Chiprov masters. In the 16th century, women’s jewelry was made. The economic flourishing of the Chiprov region, commercial and cultural contacts with Balkan and Western countries contribute to the spiritual development of the Chiprov residents and the surrounding villages. In 1624, the Chiprov school was opened, in which secular disciplines were studied in addition to religious subjects.

Youths who showed an aptitude for learning were sent to Italy for training. Among these young people, the names of a whole galaxy of cultural and educational figures and political figures from Chiprovtsi stand out, who in the 17th century stood at the head of the movement for national liberation, while at the same time they were famous writers, goldsmiths, diplomats, merchants, clergymen with higher San in the Catholic Church.

Creators of the Chiprov Literary School are many highly educated Bulgarian patriots, such as: Petar Bogdan Bakshev – prominent head of the Bulgarian Catholic Church, talented writer and translator, founder of Bulgarian historiography and ideologist of the national liberation movement in Northwestern Bulgaria in the 17th century; Petar Parcevich – the most educated man in South-Eastern Europe in the 17th century, a far-sighted politician and a talented diplomat, glorified his people in the royal courts of a number of European countries; the bishop of Great Bulgaria Philip Stanislavov – author of the first printed book in the New Bulgarian language “Abagar” and many others.

The Chiprov school of books is a major historical fact and its works are an enviable achievement of the Bulgarian creative spirit.

During the Chiprov Uprising (1688), the flourishing Chiprovets with its riches, the homes of the nobles, the workshops of craftsmen with golden hands, the monasteries, churches and schools ceased to exist. The few survivors of the uprising crossed the Danube and escaped to Wallachia and Hungary. Towards the middle of the first quarter of the 18th century, after the pogrom, a few returned to the place of the burnt city, and together with newcomers from nearby and distant settlements, they sought to organize their livelihood under the new conditions.

This led to the carpet weaving craft, which saved the population from starvation and further emigration. Carpet weaving very soon became the main livelihood of the people of Chiprov. At the end of the 19th century, Chiprov carpets were exported to Pirot, Uzundzhovsky, Eskijumai and others. fairs and participate in world exhibitions, where they are awarded medals and diplomas. Even today, the creators of the carpets believe that the fabrics are not only a decoration of the home, but that they have the wonderful magical power to protect from evil and bring love and kindness.

The rich cultural and historical heritage of Chiprovtsi and the Chiprovtsi region is preserved in the Historical Museum of the town of Chiprovtsi. The main exposition of the museum is located in the building built in 1896 for a school. The museum was opened in 1988 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Chiprov uprising. The exhibition presents: Chiprovtsi during antiquity and the Middle Ages

The old Chiprov metal mine
The Chiprov goldsmith’s schoolChiprovtsi 17th century The Chiprov uprising Carpet hallRenaissance painting

Work time:
Weekdays: 08:00 – 12:00 / 13:00 – 17:00
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays:
09:00 – 17:00 Visits outside working hours – by prior request

Entrance fees:
Adults – BGN 2.00
Pupils and students – BGN 0.50
Thursday – Free

Address: “Vitosha” St. No. 2, town of Chiprovtsi 3460, region Montana
Tel. 09554 21 68 – Director
Tel. 09554 21 94 – Administration

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