Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Копривщица (Koprivshtitsa)

A little less than a month ago, I made my way to a place I’ve been itching to see for some time – Копривщица (Koprivshtitsa). Steeped in history and one of Bulgaria’s most iconic towns, Koprivshtitsa is a place anyone who lives in Bulgaria for as long as I have should have already seen. But I’m a slacker, and I had just never gotten around to it. Then I read about a folk festival Koprivshtitsa hosts every five years which attracts musicians and dancers from around Bulgaria and the world, and I decided to time my visit to coincide with the festival. In hindsight, I’m not sure that was a good decision. The town simply isn’t equipped to play host to the thousands of people who attended the festival, and, while the festival was fun and definitely worth attending, the hordes of people were too much to endure and left me longing to return when the city’s cobblestone streets are empty. Sometime this fall, I’ll do just that. When I do, I’ll go into more detail about the town and its role in Bulgarian history. Until then, here are some photos from the festival and around town.


  1. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos! I'm sure you'll enjoy your next trip to the town.

    It's a shame that you regret going for the festival. For the benefit of other readers, I feel I should say that the town coped admirably; I was in the thick of the festival for the duration, and I didn't have a problem moving through the people, finding a place to sit and eat with my friends, getting fresh water to drink - or finding a portaloo.

    Your estimate of 200,000 people is plain wrong - Glastonbury (for instance) crams 200K people into a thousand acres across 25 stages. The crowds at Koprivshtitsa were not only less dense, but far smaller. Most of the time there were less than 20,000 people up the mountain at the performances, spread among the 7 stages. It was one of the most nicely-dispersed festivals I've ever been to.

    Hope you enjoyed the remarkable music and dancing!

  2. Hey Steger. Just catching up with your adventures. Great pics, as always. Hope you're doing well. Jim

  3. Thanks for your comments James. The estimated number of attendees was not mine, but I have revised the blog post to be less precise. As I mentioned, the festival itself was well worth attending, and I do not regret attending the festival one bit. For me, however, Koprivshtitsa is a place worth visiting independent of a festival. And much of the appeal of a place like Koprivshtitsa is its serenity, something which is almost entirely lacking when there are thousands of tourists running around.