Fisherman -

you walk quietly from the Balkans,

calm and without fuss -

true, worthy beauty!

One feels you with all your senses


and he doesn't feel how much he loves you.

You are the sun, the rivers and the forests,

birds and game - life!

You are home to all of us!

The Teteven Balkans has always enjoyed its unique nature, not only locals but also travelers and guests of the area. Along with its natural beauty, the Balkans has participated in key events that marked our glorious history. Numerous passages hide key places with secret paths and hiding places, which have saved the bandits from Turkish pursuers countless times. The road to Zlatitsa-Teteven Mountain, dotted with numerous legends, stories and stories, imperceptibly takes us to Teteven and the picturesque sunny village of Ribaritsa.





Ribaritsa is considered to be the most picturesque of the 13 settlements in the Teteven region. It is located at 600 m above sea level at the foot of the Teteven Balkan, at the foot of Mount Vejen (2 198 m, the third highest peak in the Balkan Mountains). Ribaritsa is located 12 km southeast of the municipal center of Teteven, and 120 km northeast of Sofia. The charm of Ribaritsa is contributed by the many attractive, hospitable, small cottages and houses scattered throughout the resort, surrounded by greenery and flowers, offering not only peace, tranquility and fresh air, fragrant with herbs, but also an opportunity for the human soul to blend with the unique rural atmosphere, homey coziness and a sense of closeness to nature.


The name of the village is said to be derived from the wealth of fish that inhabit the rivers and becomes a serious prerequisite for fishing. The most well-established fishing area is Vurbaka, which is 4 km from Ribaritsa towards Teteven. The fisherman's bronze figure is the symbol of the resort. It rises on a rock and can be seen to the right of the road, even at the entrance from Teteven.


With the various neighborhoods and houses built along the small rivers Kostina, Zavodna, Stara Ribaritsa, Debelshchina, Red River and Bryazovka, the total length of the village is equal to 27 km.


The first settlers in these lands were Thracians of the Ange tribe. According to archaeological findings, these lands had life in the 7th century BC. The ancient inhabitants left behind as a heritage clay, bronze and iron vessels, twenty tombstones scattered around the areas of Klenova Polyana, Bryazovo, Kalugerski Dol, Dakovoto, Svinarsla Luka, Gorunovo, Basarim and Shurlovitsa. According to legends, the Basarim and Shurlovitsa areas were entirely Thracian populated.


The locals of Ribaritsa have many reasons to be proud of the preserved traditions, customs and development of tourism. It is said that since 1920, Ribaritsa is famous as a royal resort. Moreover, the gene itself. Vladimir Vazov had a villa where he often stayed and met his brother - the great poet and writer Ivan Vazov. In 1963 the village of Ribaritsa officially became a mountain resort status.


"If I had not come to Teteven and I would have been a foreigner to my mother Bulgaria ... I wandered a lot, I wandered a lot, but I didn't see any more wonderful paradise." - Ivan Vazov




Located near the sheer cliffs at Petrahilya Peak, the village offers great climbing conditions, and in the Berkova mogila locality, guests of the village can enjoy another exciting attraction - grass skiing.


Ribaritsa protects the sweetness of the ordinary way of life of the village. Traditions are always alive here: old watermills continue to grind flour, mullets to rain colorful fishermen's rugs, cauldrons to cook the famous plum brandy, the skillful hands of craftsmen to create beauty and art from wool and wood, continuing the traditions of the past in the past. and a carving school. Among Ribaritsa's most distinctive attractions is the wildlife of Central Balkan National Park and the Tsarichina Biosphere Reserve. The name of the reservation comes from the legend of the royal daughter Tamara and her wonderful cure for the insidious disease with the magic of the fiery red enchantress, which the fishermen still call "Tsarichina".

The legend of Tamara and the fiery fiend

Once, the daughter of Tsar Ivan Assen - Tamara became ill with an unknown serious illness, which was said to have no cure anywhere in the world. Physicians, doctors, healers came and went - no one could help. The girl faded with each passing day. Grave grief enveloped the king's heart. And while everyone was preparing for the worst, an unknown old man came to the village one day and immediately asked to be met by the king. There was a revival in the royal palaces. The king exchanged words with the old man, and the next day sent Tamara under an old mountain peak, where there was a meadow filled with blooming fiery enchantments. It was a time when Tamara went out every morning to walk barefoot in the meadow, picking flowers and giggling with wreaths. And not long after, a miracle happened: the disease disappeared and the king's daughter was again healthy. This is the legend of the fiery enchantress, which still blossoms to this day in the same meadow, located near the Tsarichina peak, known as Vezhen. It is said that early in the morning one could still see the silhouette of Tamara walking through the meadow picking herbs.



Lovers of mountain passes would undoubtedly appreciate the beauty of the Teteven Balkan. Ribaritsa is the starting point for Benkovski and Vejen huts. From Ribaritsa to Benkovski hut it takes about 3,45 or 5 hours depending on the route you choose. Usually the options are reduced to three: in the valleys of the Kostina River, in the valley of the Zavodna and Suvatski Dol rivers, or along the Bratanishki Rid. The most preferred option for hiking is the first one - the valley of the Kostina River, which takes an average of about 3,45 and 4 hours. In addition to being shorter in duration, travelers have the opportunity to enjoy the unique natural scenery they will encounter along the way. These places also have their own history, rich in legends. The most famous is for Georgi Benkovski.

He mentioned Georgi Benkovski

After a long and tiring road from Lisec to Sredna Gora through the Etropole Balkan, Benkovski, along with his company, reached the mountainous area of ​​the Zlatitsa-Teteven mountain. The detachment disbanded in the vicinity of Cherni Vit. In an attempt to pass unnoticed by the Bashibozuks in the Teteven region, the rebels split into groups. In the Benkovski group are Zahari Stoyanov, Stefan Radoich (Stefo Dalmatian) and father Kiril Slepov. Local shepherd Neyo Krachunov hides them in a cave where he brings them food and water for a while. Unfortunately, Neyo is captured. After heavy anguish, he agrees to bring the Turkish wrists to where Benkovski is hiding. On the way to the cave, Neyo plunges into the deep waters of Cherni Vit and thus proves his loyalty to the voivode, keeping them secret. Days later, Benkovski's group met Neyo Nikolov - Brusenina. He entrusted the insurgents to the beef-grandfather Valyo Stoilov - the Bear, who knew the area well and promised to take them to Troyan. Neyo Brusenina goes down to Teteven and tells the bandmates about Benkovski's group. The Turks capture Grandpa Valyo and force him to surrender the Chetniks. The Turks' plan was for Grandpa Valyo to lead the rebels to the Kostina area, where the ambush was to take place. In order to prepare the Turks quickly build a wooden bridge of beech trees, which is still there today to the 40-50 meters from the historic Bloody Well. This leads to the tragic end of the May 25 1876, when Benkovski and his group are besieged and he falls killed and the rebels are captured. Only Zahari Stoyanov manages to escape from the shots by falling into the waters of the Kostina River, which carry him down to the shore. He climbed into a tall beech tree and from there witnessed the whole tragic event. Later, Zahari Stoyanov described the bloody events in his work, Notes on the Bulgarian Uprising.


In honor of Benkovski's case and sacrifice, a monument was erected with his face, which beautifies the Kostina area (4 km southwest of Ribaritsa). Every year his memory is honored with commemorative celebrations at this place where actors dressed as insurgents recount the bloody events and death of the Bulgarian voivode. Celebrations bring together people from all over Bulgaria who come to worship the heroic deeds of the April Epic.


Supporting literature:


  • The Legend of Tamara - Rumen Stoichkov, The Storms of Bulgaria
  • The Legend of Benkovski - Todor Nenov, Zlatitsa-Teteven Mountain


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