|• Mayor||Kosta Karanashev|
|Elevation||643 m (2,110 ft)|
|• Total||5 329|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Kotel (Bulgarian: Ко̀тел, Sarakatsani Greek: Κότελ) is a town in central Bulgaria, part of Sliven Province. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Kotel Municipality. In 2016, the town had a population of 5,329.
Kotel is known for the numerous personalities of the Bulgarian National Revival who are somehow connected to the town, such as the politicians Alexander Bogoridi and Stefan Bogoridi, the enlighteners Sophronius of Vratsa and Petar Beron, public figure Gavril Krastevich, revolutionary Georgi Rakovski, as well as the World War II prime minister Dobri Bozhilov. It has a well-known music school and a large talented Romani population who can be found playing in restaurants and orchestras all over Bulgaria. Because of its situation in the mountains, Kotel is also a popular health resort for the cure of diseases such as TB. Kotel has been a center for carpet making and there is a museum devoted to the craft.
The town is located in East Stara planina.
Kotel was settled during the beginning of the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria, when people fled from neighboring cities and towns. We get the first information about the town in an Ottoman-Turkish register since 1486. In 1894, much of Kotel was destroyed in a fire.
Kotel Literary School established at the XVI century. Sophronius of Vratsa is a prominent representative of this school.
Culture center "Saglasie-Napredak 1870" were created in 1870. Children's dance ensemble,The Bulgarian Choir,Children's vocal group,Theatrical team, Circle: "The People's Memory Tells",Creative unification – "Traditions",A group of old urban songs "Balkan Breeze".
There is a strong sheep farming tradition in the region, which includes the practice of transhumance, migrating the sheep from lowland winter pastures to mountain summer pastures. This was profiled in a BBC Radio 4 documentary.