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LAND  IN  BULGARIA     Aerial Pictures form  Dolna Banya and Borovetc,Bulgaria

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   Teteven, Bulgaria Minimize

Location
The town of Teteven (12581 inhabitants, 410 m above sea level) is picturesquely nestled along the two banks of the Beli Vit River between Teteven Balkan Mountain and Vassiliov’s Mountain (sub-part Troyan Balkan Mountain). It is 116 km to the north east from Sofia, 74 km to the south-west from Lovech, 60 km to the west of Troyan, 23km to the south-east from Yablanitsa and 54 km to the east of Botevgrad. 

History
The region has been inhabited since the remote past. The tribe of the Serds lived in these places at Thracian times due to which the Romans later on included the region in the Serdica strategy. Saint Iliya Monastery dates back to Medieval Bulgaria. The oldest information about the settlement in writing is contained in a document of 1421. The name mentioned there was Tetevyan. An artistically elaborated cross, a gift from Tsar Ivan Shishman, was preserved in Saint Iliya Monastery up to the year 1930 (at the moment it is in the London Museum).
During the Ottoman yoke, the people of Teteven had the obligations and the rights of "voynuk" they had the task to guard the roads in the mountains against some privileges in tax paying. The people that lived in the surrounding villages were forcefully converted to Mohammedanism but Teteven was protected from spiritual constraint. The haidouk detachments of the voivodes Kostin, Deli Palo, Dancho and Angel guarded the Christians. In 1801, the Kurdjalis demolished the town and killed half of the people. 
Only four houses were preserved out of 3000. This tragedy hindered the development of Teteven for a decade. But the keen craftsmen resurrected the old fame of the town; the merchants went far up to Bucharest, Brashov, Vienna, Thessalonica, and Anatolia (60 of its inhabitants became pilgrims - they visited the Christ's Grave). 

In the Renaissance Teteven is awakening for spiritual and political freedom. The newly built churches and schools preserve and enrich Bulgarian self-consciousness. In 1872 Vasil Levski establishes there one of the secret committees with most members in it.

After the Liberation, the town becomes attractive for tourists. Knowledge of the past and historical relics is stored in the Town Museum of History

Surrounding areas

The village of Ribaritsa (at 12 km to the east) is one of the longest villages in Bulgaria and it is a famous mountainous resort. There are a lot of holiday homes, country-houses, private hotels, and public catering establishments. It is among the key points of departure for hiking tours in the Teteven Balkan (refer to the Stara Planina Mountain related chapter herein). The place of death and the monument to Georgi Benkovski killed by the Turks on 25th May 1876 are located on the right bank of the Kostina River. Every year on this date celebrations are held where actors reproduce the events, which took place immediately before the death of the Voivoda. There is a regular bus line between the village and Teteven. 

The area of Prossechenik (beside the Beli Vit River, on the road to the village of Ribaritsa, at the distance of 6 km from the town) offers perfect conditions for recreation during the summer months. The buses for the village of Ribaritsa have a stop there. The waterfall of the Koznitsa River (a left tributary of the Beli Vit River) is located at the distance of 3 km to the south of Teteven. The asphalt road does not go to the waterfall itself and one is to walk along a path along the river. The monument erected at the place of death of Sava Mladenov is also located beside the Koznitsa River (on its left bank), at 8 km to the south of Teteven. A marked track strays from the asphalt road, crosses the river and it takes 5 minutes to get to the historical site. There is no regular bus transport to it.  

Momina Poliana Chalet, with the exceptionally beautiful countryside around it is located on the northern slopes of the Teteven Balkan Mountain. A point of departure to it is the village of Cherni Vit (13 km south-west from the town), to which there is a regular bus transport. It takes about 4h to get to the chalet on foot. The Teteven Balkan is included in the territory of the Central Balkan Mountain National Park. The two nature reserves – Boatin (within the territory of the village of Cherni Vit) and Tsarichina (within the territory of the village of Ribaritsa) are located within its framework in the proximity of Teteven. The big village of Glozhene is situated at the distance of 12 km to the north west of Teteven. The historical Glozhen Monastery is located above it (refer the Yablanitsa related section herein).  

 
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