Our main goal in this frosty winter day was the village of Arbanassi, but since we had long heard about Staro Stefanov’s charm, we decided it would be convenient to visit it also, because it was on the way. It was sunny, but extremely cold, the village was so white, because of the snow, and so silent. Despite the fact it was noon, we did not see anyone on the streets.
In the lines below I will briefly tell you about this interesting place, which has remarkably preserved the old Renaissance architecture of the houses and the surroundings. Because of this old-fashioned atmosphere, the village became a natural decor of several Bulgarian movies.
Where is Staro Stefanovo?
Staro Stefanovo is the old part of the village of Stefanovo and it is located about 160 km east of Sofia, which takes about 2 hours by car. The village is situated 27 km southeast of Lovech.
What’s interesting there?
As soon as you enter Staro Stefanovo, you go back in time. All the houses and streets keep the spirit and architecture of the Bulgarian Revival. It is so interesting to go there.
No doubt, the most interesting building is the old church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, built in 1864 by master Gencho Kanev from Tryavna. The church stands out above the main square.
There is an old school in the churchyard.
Other interesting building near the square is the house of Ivanaki Yonkov Kyurkchiyata – one of the organizers of the Velchova Covenant in 1835. You will recognize the place by the memorial plaque in front.
Another interesting landmark is the village fountain. You will see it just before the main village square.
If you go on the street along the river, you will reach the stony Popovo Bridge.
On the facades of some of the houses you can see interesting painted ornaments – so called alafrangs, which were specific characteristics of the village a long time ago.
Let me share with you another interesting detail that we encountered – entering and leaving Staro Stefanovo, right over the field, you can see in the distance Botev peak and the other surrounding Balkan peaks.
If you decide to stay there and to enjoy the old-fashioned atmosphere for more than a day, there are several places for accommodation in Staro Stefanovo.
Other places nearby
Staro Stefanovo is part of Lovech Municipality. That is why the walk to the village is nicely complemented by a walk in the city of Lovech. There you can visit the famous Lovech fortress, the Covered bridge built by master Kolyu Ficheto, the old town bath Delhi Hamam. Several places outside of the city are also of great interest – the Kakrina hanche museum, the Krushuna waterfalls and the Devetashka cave.