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Troyan

Troyan (also spelled Troian, Bulgarian: Троян) is a town in central Bulgaria with population of about 30,000 and territory of 888,850 m². It is located 160km from Sofia. The nearest civilian airport is Gorna Oryahovitsa, 105 km away. The river of Beli Osam passes through the heart of the town.

History

The town was officially established in 1867, but its territory has been inhabited for tousands of years. In 1871 Vasil Levski established a regional committee in the town. In 1877 Troyan was set on fire by the retreating Turkish army.

Culture

The Troyan region is home to the cultural and historcal site of the Troyan Monastery. 15th of August is the day of the Monastery's Patron Saint when thousands of people from the country gather to celbrate and see a unique icon of Mary. The icon is unique in that Mary has three hands made of silver. The orignis of the icon are unknown but there are many stories some of which involve miricles. The town is famous for its traditional pottery, probably developed partly as a result of the qualities of the local clay soil. Pottery was a main source of income for the local craftsmen during the Bulgarian Renaissance age. Now handmade pottery items are sold as souveniers to tourists. Fine examples of traditional pottery can be seen in the town's museum, across from the municipal building. Also notable are the Nunki Complex and the St. Paraskeva Church both built in the first half of the 19th century. The production of premium quality plum brandy(rakia) has become a part of local curture. In connection to this the town holds the annual Festival of the Plum in the autumn. Plum brandy from Troyan has gained national and international acclaim at major showcases. The official day of Troyan is October 14, the day of the town's patron saint St. Petka Paraskeva.

Nature

The Troyan region is home to 3 National Reserves: Kozia Stena, Steneto and Severen Jendem, part of the larger Central Balkan National Park. The reserves are rich in interesting rock formations, waterfalls and wild life. Most of the interesting spots are tourist-accessible.