The Architectural Tourist Complex “Starinno Karlovo” was constituted in the city of Karlovo, Bulgaria in 2014. Five houses, registered as monuments of culture, opened their doors for tourists thanks to a municipality restoration project. Since then, it has been successfully welcoming Bulgarian and foreign sightseers from all over the world, joining the list of the 100 National Tourist Sites at the end of 2018.
The house “Bukhalov Khan”, built in 1850, was once a Khan (Hostel) where merchants who came to Karlovo stayed for the night. According to narratives, Vasil Levski (1837-1873), the Apostle of Freedom, who was born in Karlovo, held some of the revolutionary committee meetings in the Khan in later 19th century when Bulgarian was part of the Ottoman empire. The authentically furnished house has an impressive architecture that creates a unique ancient spirit nowadays. Craft workshops in small cosy rooms attract the tourists where master artisans demonstrate weaving, wool felting, wood carving, local Kalofer lace embroidery and much more. The most curious visitors have an opportunity to create something on their own. Children and adults are guided to make magnets and keychains, bracelets, soaps, etc. Depending on the season, you can also make Martenichi (traditional Bulgarian items exchanged on March 1, considered as the beginning of Spring) and Survachki for Christmas, or to paint Easter eggs. A special attraction of “Bukhalov Khan” is the new pottery workshop, where everyone can make a clay pot on an authentic potter’s wheel.
The hosts offer Turkish coffee made in hot sand together with homemade jam, brandy and/or rose liqueur. There is an opportunity to wear a Bulgarian folk costume and take a photo with it.
Finally yet importantly, the house has a Gift shop where everyone can find a suitable keepsake from Karlovo. March, Easter and Christmas markets are held there every year.
The hospitable “Pateva House” is a house of flowers and herbs. Here you can find interesting facts about medicinal herbs and oil rose production. At the mini distillery, you can observe the extraction of various essential oils. Guests can take part in workshops for making medicinal ointments, embroidery and crocheting. They can also taste herbal brandy and rose tea. There is a separate room for the Queens of Rose, with their dresses, a throne and a crown. Small children can put on a dress, turn into little Miss Rose and take a memorable photo.
Raino Popovich House was the home and school of Rayno Popovich (1773-1858), a teacher and scriber. Every tourist may independently create a unique certificate on an authentic printing press of the 19th century, pour out a wax seal and mark it in Cyrillic or Glagolitic scripts. In the classroom, everyone may write in sand, read, draw pebbles, and create postcards.
Beliyat Dvor House (The White Courtyard House) charms not only with its beautiful courtyard, but also with its rich ethnographic and artistic exposition. Here you can draw, model, and master diverse painting practices. Various demonstrations, trainings and schools are held during the whole year in this outstanding place.
The houses from the Starinno Karlovo complex have been enriching regularly with new, more and more diverse attractions. Every year the number of the tourists considerably increases being one of the most popular and attractive places in Europe of an emerging group and individual tourism. Many of the sightseers come again, and each time they discover something different, learn new things and have more fun.
Starinno Karlovo tourist complex offers different packages for groups of children and of adults depending on their interests and preferences, and on the season and time they plan to visit Karlovo.
The Rose Festival and Lavender Festival attract the most tourists, although such packages are available during the whole period of flowering of roses and lavender.
The package “Sourdough Yogurt” is a new available attraction in collaboration with folk artists from the municipality. Tourists can watch how yogurt was leavened in past – with the fire, pottery, songs and dances.
The newest attraction package is “Folk evenings”. Folk artists from the municipality present various rituals, folklore programs, Kukeri dances. The tourists taste rose products and treats of traditional Bulgarian cousin.
Increasingly, we also hold traditional Bulgarian weddings. From here, brides are brought out, they meet their godmothers, and they make beautiful photo shoots.
Starinno Karlovo Houses are a suitable and preferred place for organizing exhibitions, plein airs, and open classes.
Mon. – Sun. 9.00 – 17.00. Seven days a week.
Architectural Tourist Complex “Starinno Karlovo”
Municipality of Karlovo
31 Vasil Levski St., Karlovo 4300
Tel: +359335/ 54 591; +359882 48 70 85; +359898 54 10 33
Web address: http://www.starinnokarlovo.com
See a video about Starinno Karlovo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcFnHCtReOI&feature=youtu.be