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Surrounding areas of Dryanovo

St. Archangel Michail Dryanovo Monastery (at the distance of 4 km south-west of Dryanovo, tel.: 0676 2389, 4058), huddled in the gorge of the river of the same name, is one of the symbols of the insubordinate Bulgarian spirit, a glorious and martyrs page, inscribed in blood into Bulgarian history. It was this monastery which 220 revolutionaries led by Pop Hariton, Daskal (teacher) Bacho Kiro and Lieutenant Peter Parmakov turned into an unassailable fortress for the whole of 9 days and nights during the spring of 1876. Thousands of bashibozouks (Turkish army of volunteers) and regular troops swooped down over the handful of defenders. An unfortunate hazard exploded the gunpowder arsenal and made Voivoda (Leader) Pop Hariton blind, but the resistance became even more fierce and more desperate... The rebels answered the proposal of Fazlu Pasha to surrender with the letter written by Bacho Kiro: Pasha, we want the government to acknowledge our rights as a people and until this is done, we shall not surrender to your tormentors hands as long as we are alive  we have made our decision to die and we shall keep our oath! And you shall bear responsibility for your tyrannies before Europe ... After the Turkish artillery destroyed the monastery walls, it was solely the night which helped the survived rebels but it did not succeed in saving them from martyrs death. Only the captured Bacho Kiro was brought to trial but he behaved with dignity and was hanged on the gallows, paying for the love for the Motherland with his life.

Dryanovo Monastery dates back to the time of reign of the Assen dynasty, the 12th century. It was built in relation to the celebration of the victory of Bulgaria over Byzantium in 1187. It was twice destroyed and then rebuilt. After the dramatic events in May 1876 solely the charred stonewalls of the church and a part of the stone walls protruded from it. It was rebuilt but the holes from the shells of Fazlu Pasha were left in the stonewalls and the museum collection tells us about the epic battles. Several old icons painted by Gabrovo masters are preserved, too. There is a regular bus transport from Dryanovo to the monastery.

The Bacho Kiro Cave is located near the monastery, known also as the Dryanovo Cave. It was opened in 1890 and since 1964 it has been electrified. For as long as 1200 m a fairytale underground world reveals itself to the eyes of the visitor. The formations follow one after another - Bacho Kiros Throne, the Dwarfs, The Sleeping Princess. The Throne Hall, the Reception Hall, the Haidouti Meeting-Ground, the Fountain, the Sacrificial Altar evoke the admiration of the visitors. Remnants of people who lived during the Paleolithic Age were found in the cave.

The Bacho Kiro Chalet is situated on the other side of the river, opposite the monastery (tel.: 0676 2106, offering 85 beds in rooms with 2, 3, 5 and more beds, a restaurant, a coffee bar). The Strinava Camping is situated at a 10-minute walk from the chalet (it has 20 two-bed bungalows and a restaurant). The camping site is a seasonal one. The Dryanovo Monstery Hotel is located in this area as well.

Extremely interesting remains of an ancient customs house and a market-place of the Roman town of the 2nd century Discoduraterra  located on the ancient road from Nove and Nikopolis ad Istrum to Vereya were found at the distance of about some 10 km north-east of the town, near the village of Gostilitsa. There is a regular bus transport to this place of interest.

The architectural atmosphere of the Revival period is preserved in the nearby-situated villages of Kalomen and Kerenite, which in combination with the beautiful surrounding countryside is appealing to tourists.

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