The Bell Tower Apartment


The Historical Development of Bansko



Today the administrative centre of Bansko municipality is built on a site that was inhabited in succession by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines and Slavs. The remains of ancient fortresses, Thracian tumuli, medieval colonies, consecrated grounds, churches and chapels within the town earthwork testify to several historical epochs. In the Old Town site, about 4 km to the south west of the town and in the Yulen site (along the river Damianitsa downstream) there are some remains of ancient fortresses. Thracian burial mounds were discovered close to the Old Town site. The remains of the late medieval single-nave St. George and St. Elijah churches, monuments of culture, are to the south east of Bansko.

Later, Bansko was distinguished as an important mercantile and craftsman centre of a new, revival type. Large clans became wealthy; they carried over to their motherland not only the culture of the countries they visited but also they sent their children to study abroad. The contact with the rich European culture had an extraordinary favourable influence on the spiritual progress of the natives of Bansko. The lifestyle of people improved. They built strong two-storey fortress houses of stone with high walls and heavy solid gates, with long eaves of black fir. This style of architecture reached full bloom during the Revival. The oldest houses of Hadjivalcho, Hadjirusko and Velian were protected by internal coverts and loopholes.

Bansko was liberated from the Ottoman yoke on the 5th (or 18th depending on which calendar you are using) of October 1912, on the day the Balkan war was declared.


Traditional wall paintings frequently seen on the streets of Old Bansko