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SOPOT

Sopot is situated in the shadow of the southern slopes of the Troyan region of the Balkan Mountains, on the northern end of the Karlovo plain - part of the famous Rose Valley.
This is one of the oldest towns in the valley of the Stryama River. It existed a long time before Bulgaria fell under Ottoman rule under the name of Byala Cherkva (white church), which was replaced by the Turkish translation - Akche Klise. The Bulgarian poet and writer, Ivan Vazov, popularized the name of Sopot in his novel Under the Yoke, considered the first novel of Neo-Bulgarian literature. During the Revival, as with many small mountain cities, Sopot developed as a centre for trade and craftsmen. It made a name for itself with its high quality wares - gold products, silk fabrics, braided stands for the decorative elements of national folk costumes (gaitan), leather, rugs, and rose oil. A glass factory was built specifically for the need of the rose oil trade. Because of the city's rapid development, it was also called Altan (tur. Golden) Sopot. The town was burned down several times by Turkish brigands (dagli and circali), and, during the time of the War of Liberation, by the Ottoman troops. After the Liberation, the crafts and trade declined. Of these old traditions only the rug industry was revived. But, on the other hand, Sopot became an important machine-manufacturing centre for civil and specialized production.

LANDMARKS
• The childhood home of Ivan Vazov on the city's central square, now a museum.
• Vavedenie Bogorodichno convent (15th century), where Otets (Father) Paisiy Hilendarski - the author of the first National-Revival literary work Slavo-Bulgarian History - lived for a short time, later it was a safe refuge for the Apostle, Vasil Levski.
• St. Spas's Monastery of Sopot (14th century), looted and burned down several times. Restored in the 19th century. During the Revival, a cell school functioned on the premises; it also acted as a singing school and a cultural, educational and revolutionary centre. Vasil Levski, who was to become the Apostle of Freedom, was ordained as a deacon here.
• Old Stoyan's Watermill, described in Under the Yoke, the novel by Ivan Vazov.
• Sts. Apostles Peter and Paul's Church (1846).
• Girls' School (1850).
• National-Revival houses: Hadzhi Koyova, Hadzhi Stoylkova, Hadzhi Stoynova, Kirkova, Kopanova, Konova Furna (bakery) among others.
• Anevsko Kale - remains of a watchman's fortification from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12-14th century).
• Sopotsko Kale (fortifications) in the northeast of the town.

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