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The town of Karlovo is situated in the shadow of the Balkan Mountains, on the plain that carries its name and which is a section of the famous Rose Valley. It is situated on both banks of the Stara River, a tributary to the Stryama.

The present-day town is a rather new settlement, which emerged after the Ottoman invasion as an administrative centre close to the medieval city of Kopsis, the descendent of an old village, Sushitsa. It now carries the name of the local Turkish feudal lord, Karl Bey. At the beginning of the 19th century Karlovo was a lively commercial and cultural centre with beautiful houses and a well-off populace. The spirit of the Bulgarian National Revival is still preserved today in the Old Town.

• The town is famous as the birthplace of the Apostle of Freedom, Vasil Levski. Other persons of interest bom here include: Dr. Ivan Bogorov - a leading Revivalist, scholar, and publisher of the first Bulgarian newspaper, Bulgarian Eagle; the brothers Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi - wealthy patriots, who donated six million Gold Levs for the construction of the first Bulgarian school of higher education (Sofia University); Daskal (Teacher) Botyo - father of the poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev, among others.
• Approximately 115 of Karlovo's old houses, cultural monuments due to their wood-carved ceilings, courtyards with ornamented gates and incredible frescoes on the stone walls: Hadzhi-Dimitrieva (1847); Astardzhieva (1830); Sinyata Kashta (the Blue house from the beginning of the 17th century), replete with beautiful murals; the home of leronim (1830); Zoeva; Hadzhi-Pashova (19th century); Hadzhi-Angelova (19th century) including the famous Shushelova Fountain; Aleksandrova (Hadzhi-Valkova); Koprinarova; Pateva; Puleva; Samnalieva; Beliyat Dvor (the White Yard) and many others.
• Kurshum Mosque (1485).
• House-museums of notable inhabitants of Karlovo - National-Revival activists.
• The Town Historical museum, set up in the Old School - a valuable historical and cultural monument. It is situated in the Old City next to the monument to Vasil Levski.
• Churches: St. Nicholas' (1847) - next to the monument to Levski, whose mother's grave is in the churchyard; and the Holy Virgin's - with murals by Stanislav Dospevski and a beautiful stone fountain at the entrance.
• The Vasil Levski Cultural Club, which permanently houses an art gallery.
• The wild waterfall, Suchurum, which the Stara River forms north of Karlovo.
• Karlovski Bani (Baths) - a balneological resort of national significance, where diseases of the skeletal-muscular system and the peripheral nervous system are treated, as well as gynecological diseases. Besides the mineral water, there is also a source of curative mud.

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