Bansko - Bulgaria №1 Ski resort
Bansko is Bulgaria’s Newest and No 1 Ski resort as it has the best and most modern ski centre of all Bulgarian ski resorts. Over the past few years over 40 million Euros has been invested in order to be created a top rate facility with the best equipment, including a new gondola, snow guns and electronic ski pass system.
Also, Bansko has a fantastic snow record and one of the longest seasons: starting from mid-December until the end of April. There are 14 ski slopes with over 65KM of ski runs, including a 16KM run plus cross country and excellent off piste skiing
Bansko ski resort is attractive in all seasons. It provides excellent ski and snowboard facilities, as well as a unique history and architecture of an old and new part of the town. Thanks to these features Bansko is a favorite ski and snowboard destination.
The good location and wonderful nature of Bansko brought inhabitants to the region since ancient times. Numerous archaelogical sites in the community reveal ruins of ancient strongholds, Thracian funeral mounds, churches from the late Medieval ages. The first document pointing Bansko as a village comes from a Turkish register in 1576.
Up until the 18-th century local people were mostly cattle-breeders and artisans, relying on the vast grazing pastures and deep forests. Nevertheless, during the Bulgarian Revival, Bansko had already transformed into a trade and craft based town with many fulling, water and lumber mills along river Glazne.
Its enterprising citizens developed trade contacts with towns and cities from the Aegean, as well as Central and Western Europe. Caravans with goods moved in both directions and in many European cities, accommodating trade offices of Bankso merchants. The kids of rich families were educated abroad.
Enhanced contacts with the Western world ever since 15-th century were stimulated national self-conscience, something which turned Bankso into one of the centers of Bulgarian National Revival. Bansko is the birthplace of Saint Paisius of Hilendar (1722-1773), a patriotic monk who wrote Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya – a key book for early Bulgarian history. Here is also the home (now museum) of Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov – one of Bulgaria's biggest poets. Bansko is the birthplace of many prominent Bulgarian scholars, such as Neofit Rilski, Toma Hadjiikonomov – Molera, Marko Vezniov and many others.
In 1838 in the church yard was opened a monastery school, which in 1847 turned to a modern secular school. Around 1850 the Bansko municipality was established and it built a new school building, distributing Revival newspapers and books.
During the 60s and 70s of 19-th century the Bulgarian municipality in Bansko took the lead against Greek Church authorities and fought for religious independence and development of education in Bulgarian language. Later, the municipality aided the victims who brutally smashed Kresna-Razlog Uprising and Ilinden Uprising, revolting against the Ottoman Empire and the unfair to Bulgaria Congress of Berlin (1878). The final liberation of the region from Ottoman presence comes in 1912.
Velianova house The house was opened to the public in 1977 and was announced a cultural monument of national importance. It's a typical architectural example of a fortified house from the Revival era. The interior is representative of the times – unique frescoes and carved wooden ceilings, all done by Velian Ognev – artist from the Debar art movement. Ognev's paintings show townscapes of the biggest European cities. That way he was feeding his fellow citizens' imagination, boosting their desire to visit countries close and far.
House-museum „Neofit Rilski“ The birthplace of Neofit Rilski (1793–1881), founder of modern Bulgarian secular education and very first encyclopaedist of the country, is right next to the Holy Trinity church. The building is also knows as “Benina house” and was built in the 18-th century. Today the museum showcases authentic materials from Neofit Rilski's long-lasting educational activities – including “Bulgarian grammar” from 1835, parts of Greek-Bulgarian dictionary and many valuable books from his personal library.
House-museum “Nikola Vaptsarov” This is one of the first museums in the Pirin mountain region. It's located right on the central city square, close to the mayor's office. The museum is organized in the house where the poet lived after 1912. The exposition highlights the life of Nikola Vaptsarov (1909–1942), poet and revolutionary, who is among the most popular names in Bulgarian poetry of the ХХ-th century. The collection of personal items follows his life from childhood to his tragic death, and the cabinet of his mother Elena, the living room and the guest room are also preserved.
Permanent exhibition of icons This icon exhibition is one of the most interesting tourist sites in Bansko. It's in the Old Town, close to the Holy Trinity church and the monument of Paisius of Hilendar. The icons are set in the oldest surviving building in Bansko, built in 1749 and preserved in its authentic form. Now a cultural monument, the one-story building was once a ladies convent for two different monasteries.
Holy Trinity churchThe temple complex “Holy Trinity” is undoubtedly one of the most sigfnificant historical and cultural landmarks of Bansko. As architecture, the church is a three-naved pseudobasilica and is one of the biggest in the country. The church was built in 1835 by local masons with the financial support of a wealthy merchant. The iconostasis, the frescoes on the columns and the ceiling are done by the Velian Ognev, while the icons were created by two famous artists of the Bansko icon school – Dimitar and Simeon Molerovi. The church is a tremendous example of synthesis between architectural spaces, woodcarving, frescoes and icons.