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The town of Zlatograd and the Rhodope people

The town of Zlatograd and the Rhodope people

9/11/2003 12:00:00 AM

The information is based on the regional page of the Maritza newspaper (Sept.11th, 2003):
?Bulgaria starts, and does not end, where the town of Zlatograd lies?
That is what the residents of the most southern town in Bulgaria, situated up in the Rhodope Mountains, claim. The manager of the Ethnographic Area Complex, the ethnographist Boris Toumangelov, is certain that the town has the assets to become the most attractive and valuable destination for cultural tourism in the Rhodope Mountains as well as Bulgaria as a whole.
The largest Thracian sanctuary dedicated to the Sun God ever discover in Bulgaria is situated some 15 minutes from the town of Zlatograd. It was discovered by Prof.Nikolay Ovcharov. For the time being, the site had just some drilling investigation, but the real research is still in store.
Zlatograd has quite many well-preserved representations of the regional Rhodope Revival-period architecture. There is also a Museum of Education in the Middle Rhodopes, as well as the only Museum of Communications in Bulgaria. The old Rhodope houses are all monument of culture of national importance. The unique for the Rhodope region Ethnographic Area Complex was opened on May 24th, 2001. It contains an Ethnographic museum with archaeological exhibits, four acting craftsman workshops, a retro-caf?, an inn and a tavern. The tourists wishing to visit the town can enjoy the tempting atmosphere of the 19th century Bulgaria and all the workshops and small shops around.
The total vision regarding the cultural tourism issue also includes the song about Delyu Voyvoda (a famous regional uprising leader) ? that song?s performance by Galja Balkanska was even recorded on the Golden Record of Messages to the Space, sent on board of the Voyager stations. That way, the very monument of Delyu Voyvoda, erected in his hometown, seems to have more sense for all the visiting foreigners. Everyone that has ever visited that town remains for ever a ?soul hostage? to the unique atmosphere radiated in the Old Town of Zlatograd.
In 1991, the Bulgarian Georgi Gerassimov initiates the founding of a Swiss-Bulgarian Association in the Swiss town of Bern. Born in the village of Petkovo, in the Smolyan region of the Rhodope Mountains, after finishing his opera singing education and won in an international singing contest, Mr.Gerassimov lives and works in Bern, Switzerland. After the democratic changes in Bulgaria (1989-90), he felt personally responsible to declare his support for the problems during that transitional period.  The Association started with 40 members, now they increade in number to 60  ?  first starting with humanitarian aid, then financial help for hospitals followed (especially for the Lung Deceases wards), but now the most essential task for the Association is to popularise Bulgaria and its ancient culture.

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