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BOTEVGRAD

Botevgrad is situated on the plain of the same name at the foot of the Balkan Mountains, on both banks of the Stara River. Its geo-strategic importance is determined by the Vitinya Pass, connecting Northern and Southern Bulgaria, as well as its proximity to the capital.

The present-day town is the successor to a medieval settlement, which was situated 3 km (2 miles) to the south from the ancient road. At the end of the 14th century it was part of the feudal possession with its headquarters at the fortress of Bozhenishki Urvich. During the second half of the 18th century the village began to decline and its residents made their way to the plain, where the small roadside village called Samundzhievo was emerging. Its favorable location, the entrepreneurial spirit of its population and it central position gave grounds for the Ottoman Governor of Ruse, Midhat Pasha, to declare the village a town and administrative centre of the distirct. They renamed it Orhanie - in honor of Sultan Orhan. After the Liberation from Ottoman rule a rapid social and economic progress set in. Since 1934, the town has carried the name of the poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev, whose detachment reached here after its scattering around Vratsa.

LANDMARKS
• Historical Museum and Art Gallery.
• The building of the old school, opened in 1826 in a private home.
• The clock tower - a symbol of the town, built in 1866.
• Monuments to: Hristo Botev, the Russian soldiers who died in the War of Liberation, the Unknown Soldier, etc.
• The Bozhenishki Urvich Fortress near the village of Bozhenitsa -a cultural monument of national significance, partially studied. Remains of an Early Byzantine fortress, a cave church and a cave dwelling have been preserved.
• The village of Vrachesh 3 km from Botevgrad, with remains from an ancient and medieval fortresses. The Sts. Forty Martyrs' Monastery of Vrachesh (13th century) is situated 4 km (2.5 miles) from there, and, to the south, the Bebresh Dam has been turned into a resort area.
• The Nativity of the Holy Virgin's Monastery of Botevgrad (17th century), also known as Zelin.
• St. George's Monastery (13th century) just outside the village of Trudovets.
• The Holy Transfiguration's Monastery (13th century) 6 km (4 miles) from the village of Skravena.
• St. Nicholas' Monastery in the village of Skravena. It was founded in 1240, it was restored during the 19th century and is now in need of another restoration.
• The memorial ossuary in the centre of the village of Skravena. The bones of 12 members of Botev's detachment were brought here and buried in the churchyard after the death of the militia leader.
• St. Paraskeva's Church in the village of Bozhenitsa, constructed in 1834.

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