Koprivshtitsa (Bulgarian: Копривщица, pronounced [koˈprifʃtit͡sɐ]], from the Bulgarian word коприва, kopriva, meaning "nettle") is a historic town in the Koprivshtitsa Municipality in Sofia Province, central Bulgaria, lying on the Topolnitsa River among the Sredna Gora mountains. It was one of the centres of the April uprising in 1876 and is known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and for its folk music festivals, making it a very popular tourist destination.
Koprivshtitsa is one of the most characteristic Bulgarian towns, still preserving the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period of the 19th century. The town is huddled in the mountain-folds, 111 km east of Sofia. The town boasts many architectural monuments from the period, 383 in all, most of which have been restored to their original appearance. Collections of ethnographical treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewelry have also been preserved. It was here that the first shot of the April Uprising against the Ottoman domination was fired in 1876.
Since 1965 the National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore takes place approximately every five years in Koprivshtitsa, gathering musicians, artists and craftsmen from across Bulgaria. Featuring thousands of performing artists in a pastoral setting in the hills above the town, the Koprivshtitsa festival is the only significant Bulgarian music event focusing on amateur performances. The majority of authentic Bulgarian village music records released during Communist rule were recorded in Koprivshtitsa by Balkanton during the 1970s and 1980s.
The anthem of the city is "Beautiful, my forest" with lyrics by Lyuben Karavelov and music by Georgi Goranov.
In the coldest month, January, the average temperature is −4,2C, while in the hottest, July, 16,8C.
In the area of the town Prevail the brown wood soils.
There are a few legends about the foundation of the town. One of them is that the town was a crossroads to the towns Zlatarica, Pirdop and Klisura. Another story tells us that Koprivshtitsa was founded by refugees. The Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1817. Twenty years later, the first school was founded. The first museum in the town was established in 1930.
According to the latest Bulgarian census of 2011, the religious composition, among those who answered the optional question on religious identification, was the following:
- the Oslekov House (1853–1856), today an ethnographical museum
- the Georgi Benkovski Memorial House (1831)
- the Lyuben Karavelov Memorial House complex (1810–1835)
- the Dimcho Debelyanov Memorial House (1830)
- the Todor Kableshkov Memorial House (1845)
- the Lyutov House (1854)
- the Nayden Gerov House
- the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos (1817)
- the Church of St Nicholas (1839)
- the Memorial Ossuary of April 20 housing the bones of those who died in the April Uprising (1926)
- the bridge where the first shot of the uprising was fired in 1876, Kalachev most (1813)
- the Hadzhi Nencho Palaveev Community Centre (chitalishte) (1869)
- the Sts. Cyril and Methodius School (1837), the first class school in Bulgaria (1837)
- the Street of Handicrafts
Born in Koprivshtitsa
- Stoyan Chomakov (1819–1893), politician
- Nayden Gerov (1823–1900), writer
- Yoakim Gruev (1828–1912), enlightener
- Lyuben Karavelov (1834–1879), writer
- Georgi Benkovski (1843–1876), revolutionary
- Petko Karavelov (1843–1903), politician
- Todor Kableshkov (1851–1876), revolutionary
- Mihail Madzharov (1854–1944), politician
- Pavel Gruev (1879–1945), man of law
- Dimcho Debelyanov (1887–1916), poet
Related to Koprivshtitsa
- Neophyte of Rila (1790–1881), teacher in the town
- John Butler (musician), ancestry in the town, via great-grandfather
Twin towns – Sister cities
Koprivshtitsa is twinned with:
- Szentendre in Hungary
- "Data". grao.bg.
- "Община Копривщица - Добре дошли в Копривщица, архитектурният резерват на България". Koprivshtitsa-bg.com. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- "Religious composition of Bulgaria 2011". pop-stat.mashke.org.
- Website of Koprivshtitsa
- Pictures of Koprivshtitsa
- Koprivshtitsa Folklore Festival, 2010 information
- Anthem Koprivshtitsa in YouTube