Staro Stefanovo and its mesmerizing revival architecture

Staro Stefanovo is a small village in the central part of Bulgaria. It was registered as an architectural reserve in 1983, because it kept the same feel as it did over 200 years ago during the Bulgarian Renaissance period. With every step along the old streets, you can almost hear the whispers of the past and feel the spirits of those who walked these streets long, long before us. Because of this old-fashioned atmosphere, the village became a natural decor of several Bulgarian movies.

Staro Stefanovo, Bulgaria
Staro Stefanovo, Bulgaria

In the post below I will take you for a walk through the cobbled streets and ancient buildings of Staro Stefanovo.

We visited the area in a very cold day. 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 stop by there also, because it was on the way. It was sunny, but extremely cold day, 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. BTW, “Staro”means “old” in Bulgarian.

Why visit Staro Stefanovo?

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.

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the village of Staro Stefanovo
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the village of Staro Stefanovo

There is an old school in the churchyard.

The Old school in Staro Stefanovo
The Old school in Staro Stefanovo

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.

The Old fountain, Staro Stefanovo
The Old fountain, Staro Stefanovo

If you go on the street along the river, you will reach the stony Popovo Bridge.

The Popovo bridge
The 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.

Staro Stefanovo: Facade ornaments
Facade ornaments

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.

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.

Final thoughts

Staro Stefanovo is a place where time has stopped, preserving history and culture in a so enchanting manner. Tucked away in the heart of Bulgaria, this hidden gem is a living example of a bygone era. In the lines above I briefly told you about this interesting place, which has remarkably preserved the old Renaissance architecture of the houses and the surroundings.

Explore Bulgaria through exciting day trips from Sofia

If you want to visit some of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria via organized daily tours, have a look here for several options from the biggest Bulgarian provider for day tours from Sofia.

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