Lovech region is situated in the central part of Northern Bulgaria and includes a total of 8 municipalities – Lovech, Troyan, Teteven, Lukovit, Ugarchin, Yablanitsa, Letnitsa and Apriltsy. It covers the northern slopes of the Central Balkan Mountain, the Devetashko plateau, several hill areas and river valleys and covers more than 4000 sq.km area of land.
The population of the region is approximately 170 000 people. The administrative centre of the district is Lovech – a town located along the river banks of Osam River. The region has good transport connections with the southern Bulgarian regions through the Troyan Pass.
Lovech was established as a settlement during IV-III century BC by the Thracian tribe “Meldi” who called the town Melta. Later, during the Roman rule, the region was of great significance to the empire because of the “Via Trayana” route connecting the Aegean Sea and the Danube River. During the Ottoman rule, Lovech suffered two burn-downs but despite all, it managed to be one of the richest Bulgarian towns, as well as an important commercial and cultural center.
Furthermore, it was also home of revolutionary impulses and free spirits. For example, the head commandment of the Bulgarian Secret Revolutionary Committee operated in the town of Lovech. One of the greatest misfortunate events in Bulgarian history – the capture of Vasil Levski by the Turkish police, took place at the Kukrinsko Hanche, near Lovech. Nowadays, the biggest museum in honour of Vasil Levski is open for everyone in the old part of Lovech – the “Varosha” architectural and historical protected area.
Lovech is also renowned for the exceptional “Covered bridge” built across the Osam River by the self-taught builder Kolyu Ficheto. The bridge is an exceptional part of the Bulgarian Architectural heritage, because of the unique features – it was constructed with no nails and joints, theoretical calculations and no cement.
The bridge was built for two years, from 1872 to 1874, bringing together the two parts of Lovech, but was burned down in 1925. In 1931 it was rebuilt according to the original plans. Today its floors are still the primary connection between the two parts of Lovech and one can walk through the small souvenir and craftsmen shops.
The town of Lovech and its adjacent area offer many sport and leisure opportunities. The Lovech zoo is the second biggest zoo in Bulgaria. Just outside the town one can find the Stratesh Park, also known as the Park of Lilies. Several hiking routes start near Lovech. The “Krushuna” eco-path with a starting point near the village of Krushuna leads the hikers through the Devetashko plateau to one of the marvelous waterfalls of the Balkan Mountain.
In addition, several caves attract hikers and tourists – the “Devetashka cave”, which is among the biggest in Europe – more than 1 500 meters long with 11 underground lakes. “Saeva Dupka” cave, despite only 400 m long, attracts people because of its unique phenomenal cave forms and species.
The Lovech region also includes parts of the Central Balkan National Park, which are full of karst springs (for example the Glavna Panega near the village of Zlatna Panega), caves (the Tabashka cave, the Vassil Levski cave, and the Prohodna cave near Karlukovo).
Source: Best Bulgarian Estates