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About Bansko

Now famous as a World Class Ski Resort, Bansko and the surrounding area has a long and fascinating history. Beautiful architecture, awesome scenery and a rich culture!

The archeological traces of the inhabitants of Bansko and the Razlog Valley in general date to the early periods of the Roman Empire. There are several housing structures at the outskirts of the town, which date to 100 BC.

The Bulgarian Evangelical Church Community, the first Protestant church in Bulgaria, was founded in Bansko on 6 August 1868.

Until 5 October 1912, Baniçka (Bansko's former name) was a part of the Ottoman Empire, but enjoyed a quasi self-rule autonomy granted by the sultan. The town was ruled by an assembly of the elders, while justice was administered by the Ottoman judge in Razlog. It was incorporated in Bulgaria in 1912 as a result of the First Balkan War.

Bansko is an attractive town in all seasons, because of its magnificent scenery, mild climate and the freshness of the surrounding pine forests and high peaks. The modern ski and snowboard runs and lifts, long time mountaineering and tracking traditions combined with the unique heritage, customs, food and drinks and folklore have turned it into an attractive area to visit.


Bansko old town

Bansko was declared a unique settlement of international cultural tourism in 1979. It is famous for its rich heritage and historical sights. There are ruins of ancient fortresses in Yulen and Starogradishte, 4km south-west, where there are ancient Thracian tomb mounds. On the sight of Dobrokiovitsa to the west of Bansko ancient medical drugs and copper instruments, dating back from the 2nd Century B.C. were found. It has been suggested that the ancient settlement was situated on the site of Sveta Troitsa (St. Trinity). The ruins of St. George's and St Elijase's medieval churches were found to the south-east of the town.

Bansko, once mainly a stockbreeding and travelling merchant community, has nowadays become a centre of winter and summer tourism. The mountain peaks near the town, the numerous lakes and the old pine woods make it a popular site for recreation. In recent years, the town has gained international popularity after the start of the annual Bansko Jazz Festival and consequently the annual Bansko pop-star concert featuring top pop stars. The nearby village of Banya, located only 5 km from the town, is known for its 27 thermal mineral springs.

A new gondola lift was built in 2003 to replace a minibus ride up to the ski slopes of Todorka. The slopes are suitable for all level skiers - from beginners to those who love extreme slopes. A few competitions take place annually including alpine ski disciplines and also biathlon competitions.

The town is served by a scenic narrow gauge railway from Septemvri to Dobrinishte.

Since the 2008–2009 season, Bansko has been hosting ladies' races from the Alpine Skiing World Cup.

Skiing in Bulgaria is of course one of the most popular tourist attractions as the country is covered with high mountains. Resorts like Bansko, Borovets and Vitosha all boast virtually brand new lifts and gondolas, millions of Euros have been invested into the mountain resorts making it the most popular ski destination in eastern Europe, and one of the cheapest ski destinations in the world.

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