This tour will show you long forgotten places,ancient ruins and much more in the vicinity of Sofia. Prepare yourselves for one of the only 3 Quartzite Monuments in the World, 5 million years fossils, unique Mine museum and some fascinating stories.
What to Expect
Pernik is a town about 30 km from the capital of Sofia and despite it's gloomy heavy industry image, it has been inhabited for over 6 thousand years during the new stone age and the nearby Krakra Fortress shows remains from this period and the later Hellenistic period (4th century).
Pernik opens the first coal mine in 1891 and it's high quality ores quickly develop the town, where the first light bulb and the first electric power generator in Bulgaria are installed. The coal is widely yielded from the mine with more than 100 km long galleries until 1986 when it becomes a unique museum of mining history.
Your Day in Slivnitsa, Gurgulyat and Pernik
Driving through the western outskirts of Sofia you will be able to see real socialist prefabricated panel buildings and learn about life between 1945 and 1989, when the totalitarian party built the new future of communist society. In about an hour, reach the abandoned military barracks near the town of Slivnitsa. Once the largest military division in the western part of Bulgaria, the buildings are now abandoned and Bulgaria hosts only a small professional NATO army. Here the story of the transition between Soviet style army to NATO from your guides.
From the military barracks, drive to Gurgulyat, a beautiful village that has blocked the Serbian attack in 1885 while its main army is located on the South-East border with Turkey. Their bravery has been preserved in the communist monument and Mother Bulgaria statue made from quartzite, a semi-precious metal that has been only used in two other monuments in the world - Lenin monument in Moscow and Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Have lunch in beautiful Gurgulyat village or continue to Pernik and make a wonderful visit of the Mine Museum where you will learn about Bulgarian industrial development both before World War 2 and during Communism (1944 -1989). The museum has two sections and besides the mining galleries, you can also see some roman artifacts and also an extremely curious unknown fish dated from 5 million years ago which was discovered in 2010 during the building of the nearby highway.
Thenext quick stop is the Krakra fortress recently restored where you can hear some ancient history. On your way back to the city (you will make a loop car trip) you will see the huge scale dimensions of Radomir Metal Industries - a huge 1500 square thousand meters yard, a communist industrial giant that never made sense and never reached its capacity to further build the bright communist life!
Start: 9:00h / End: 18:00h
Recommended period: All year round, except Sundays (Winery is closed)
Driving time: 3h 00m approx.
Walking time: 3h approx
Handicap accessible: No
Special requirements: comfortable shoes
- Transfer to/from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia
- English-speaking guide
- Parking fees
- Entrance fee
What's Not Included
- Tips and personal expenses