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Pernik Province
Type of Location
About Location

Pernik is a city in western Bulgaria (around 30 km south-west of Sofia) with a population of 81,052 as of 2011.It is the main city of Pernik Province and lies on both banks of the Struma River in the Pernik Valley between the Viskyar, Vitosha and Golo Bardo mountains.Originally the site of a Thracian fortress founded in the 4th century BC and later a Roman settlement, Pernik became part of the Bulgarian Empire in the early 9th century as an important fortress.The name Pernik is thought to have originated from that of Slavic god Perun with the Slavic placename suffix –nik (or –ik) added, and was first mentioned in the 9th century.The medieval town was a key Bulgarian stronghold during Bulgarian tsar Samuil's wars against the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, when it was governed by the local noble Krakra of Pernik, withstanding Byzantine sieges a number of times.From 1396 until 1878 the city was under Ottoman rule.In the 20th century Pernik developed rapidly as a centre for coal mining and heavy industry.During the Communist rule of Bulgaria it was called Dimitrovo between 1949 and 1962 after Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov.The Surva International Festival of the Masquerade Games is held in the city every January.Pernik has two football teams, PFC Minyor Pernik and FC Metalurg.Pernik is a successor of the medieval town of Krakra.In the 4th century the Thracians built a fortress there.There is a rich collection of archaeological findings that evidence the existence of a Thracian settlement in the late Neolithic.The richest collection of pottery in the Central Balkans dates from that time.It is kept in the Historical Museum.

A wonderful exhibition of relieves and sculptures is kept there, dedicated to the health-giving gods Asclepius and Hygieia, held in reverence in this region because of the presence of mineral springs.Bulgarians took advantage of the fortified spot and built one of the mightiest Bulgarian strongholds Pernik.This name was first mentioned in the 9th century.It is associated with the Slavic god Perun.At the beginning of the 11th century the settlement was a fortress, impenetrable to the Byzantines.It was the seat of the legendary governor Krakra of Pernik, who played an important role in the time of the First Bulgarian Empire.Today, the fortress is one of the greatest historical sites of the city.In the time of the Ottoman occupation Pernik lost its significance as a fortress because it was located deep in the interior of the Empire. Until after the Liberation of Bulgaria Pernik was a small stockbreeding village, consisting of several scattered hamlets.The beginning of Pernik's modern history is set in the 20th century with the development of the rich coal-beds of the region. According to some scientists, the existence of coal was already known in the 10th and 11th centuries.Before their industrial exploitation started, the local people dug it up with picks and shovels and transported coal with carts and wheelbarrows. Pernik's rapid development is associated with the large shipments of coal to the capital city, intended for household needs and for the railroad transport. Until then, coal for the railroads and the river and sea steamboats was delivered from as far as Cardiff in the United Kingdom.As the first miners quarters were built on the terraces of the Struma River, the beginning of the miners settlement of Pernik was set, one kilometre to the east of the village of the same name.It is a town since 1929, and since 1958 a regional centre.The coal output reached its apogee at that time.Pernik has been an energy centre of Bulgaria for a few decades.


How to Reach

By Road

The territory of the town pass Highway Tabliczka E79.svg Very first class, second class and third class roads.The region is one of the oldest trade routes in the Balkans - Sofia - Thessaloniki - Skopje.In Pernik passes so.Transport Corridor 4 Tabliczka E79.svg E79 European road and railway line that connects Central Europe and Greece.

By Train

the railway lines head in three main directions - Sofia, Blagoevgrad - Koulata and Kyustendil - Gueshevo.The railway station are close to each other in the south-western part of the Pernik.There are railway stops within the town.

By Bus

Pernik is served by regular bus and rail lines to the country.There are a large number of taxis, operate and trolleybus network.The largest companies providing bus transport in the city "Union" and Passenger transport.

Key places to visit
Lyulin Mountain, Surva Festival, Regional History Museum of Pernik, Krakra Fortress, Duhlata Cave


Places to Visit

Lyulin Mountain

is an interesting place for tourism.While it is much smaller than its popular neighbor, Vitosha, it offers interesting places and tourist attractions that can be surrounded and taken within one day.The mountain is quite diverse.The northern slope is covered by oak and beech forests in which there are made several hiking trails.They are marked for convenience of tourists. Southern slopes of the mountains are deforested.They are covered with grass and low bushes - briar and the like. It is also significantly poorer in water resources.There are several interesting options for hiking in the mountains.From the "Monastery meadows" can go to Bankya , Vladaya or peaks - and Dupevitsa Dobrinova scale.There is an opportunity for a short walk to Gorna Banya monastery "St. Cyril and Methodius" and such around the area around" Monastery meadows."In the ascent of Mount Dupevitsa opened other possibilities for tourism.From there you can continue west along the mountain ridge to Dobrinova rock and the road leading to the bank to descend a large meadow, which is visible from "Manastirski meadows." It is called Lyulinov hill.Known as the airport is due to its shape and the fact that the use of agricultural aviation at the time of socialism.

Surva Festival

The festival is organized by the Municipality of Pernik in 1966.Since 1985 he has international status. In 1995 the town of Pernik is accepted as a member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities. International Festival of Masquerade Games held annually in January.Organized as a two-day masquerade procession of groups from the country and abroad.Traditionally, it involved about 5000 people in over 90 masquerade groups from all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria and guests from Europe, Asia and Africa.Participants come in Pernik race emotion of mirth, for recognition that are involved.Viewers of Pernik and the whole country, the foreign guests came to share the magic of the game to see and touch the masks to feel renewed, to wish happiness and luck.With the support of New Bulgarian University and the Institute of Folklore at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Festival is held scientific conference dedicated to the mask and masking.It involved prominent Bulgarian folklorists, ethnologists, anthropologists, representatives of various universities and institutes.Pernik Festival is the first festival of masquerade games in Bulgaria.Decision to hold him was taken in 1965 and the first edition is January 16, 1966.

Regional History Museum of Pernik

In 1957 opened the first exhibition.Grew from 1959 in the District People's Museum and in 1968 to carry out administrative and structural changes and came to be called County Historical Museum. It has its general character with the following departments: "Archaeology" - two curators, "Ethnography" - a curator, "Bulgarian history XVI-XVIII centuries" (Revival) - a curator, "Modern and Contemporary History" - a curator, "Mining" - a curator, "PR" - a curator, "Funds" - two curators and two fondopaziteli.It has a lab and workshop for restoration, which employ two employees.There is an electrician, a construction engineer, purser, accountant, janitor.Total headcount is 18.5 positions (including Director).The budget ranges from 50 to 70 million in recent years (the amount referred to in old levs).Exposure to the Historical Museum was opened in 1973, renovated in 1978 visitors were about 11 thousand people annually.In recent years, to organize temporary exhibitions.The funds are stored 17,085 units and a major fund 37,833 units auxiliary fund - a total of 54,918 units.

Krakra Fortress

is situated in the southwestern town of Pernik on a small rocky plateau.The place was a fortress with high strategic importance. It is associated with the name of the chieftain Krakra who conducted independent military action against the Byzantine Empire.Prominent boyar and governor of the city at the time of the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil - as described in Byzantine chronicles of the time Krakra.They describe it more as a righteous and honest man who did not tolerate bribery and was always well prepared for military action.Krakra mastering another 35 castles in the area.In the late 10th and early 11th century, the center of hostilities between Bulgaria and Byzantium moved to the western Bulgarian lands and Sredets became the subject of several attacks by the army of Emperor Basil II , then became famous Pernik fortress.Fortress of Krakra is one of the biggest Bulgarian fortresses. Surrounded by city walls were about 50 acres.The actual length of fence was nearly 800 meters. Historians believe that the fortress was performed security functions before passage of the Crusaders from the Third Crusade ( the 1189th - the 1192nd ) in these lands.Then the castle was abandoned and was not used.

Duhlata Cave

is the name of the cave, located in the southwestern part of the Vitosha Mountain on the right bank of the river Struma, near the village Bosnek in Pernik, Pernik municipality.The entrance of the cave is on the road between Bosnek and Chuypetlovo.Duhlata is - the longest cave in Bulgaria (17 600 m) deep and 53 meters is a complex multi-storey labyrinth system located on 6 floors.Her name is associated with the sound that the wind emitted when passing through the cave entrance.Duhlata is one of the most complex cave systems in Bulgaria and was created by underground currents of the river Struma.It is a maze of tunnels, galleries, underground lakes, waterfalls and sinter formations. In the cave were found 22 species of cave animals, including 6 species of bats.The cave has a wide variety of cave formations.In 1962 was declared a landmark .

Right Time to Visit

October - January
March - August


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