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     The town of Pazardzhik has 86 000 inhabitants and it is 205 m above the sea level. It is situated at a distance of 114 km south-east of Sofia, 36 km west of Plovdiv and is a regional centre. Pazardzhik was found during the second half of the ХV century, on the left bank of Maritsa River, near the place of the regional market. The geographic position of the settlement - an important crossroad in the centre of a productive region - favoured its quick development. Favourable climatic conditions and excellent natural resources have destined the development of the town during the years so that today Pazardzhik is the centre of one of the most prosperous municipalities in Bulgaria. While it was a very little settlement at the beginning of the ХVІ century, it became an administrative centre of the region at the end of the century and remained such until the Liberation. During the ХVІІ century the town continued to grow and strengthened its position, the trade with iron, leather and rice prospered.
     In 1718 Gerard Kornelius Drish visited Pazardzhik and he wrote "the buildings here according to construction, size and beauty stand higher than those of Nish, Sofia and all other places". In ХІХ century Pazardzhik is already a big and important centre of crafts and trade, with a population of about 25 000 people. In the town, a host of two big fairs, every Tuesday and Wednesday there was a big market. There was also a functioning post office with a telegraph.

     In 1837 the church of Virgin Mary was built, a monument with national significance, famous for its architecture and woodcarving. In the middle of the century Pazardzhik became an important cultural centre. In 1847 a class school was opened, and in 1848 - a Girls' School. In 1868 a community centre was found in the town and in 1870 - a women's union "Prosveta" (Enlightment).



     During the Liberation War 1877-78, the town was put on fire by the retreating Turkish troops. It is liberated on January 2, 1878 from the platoon of General Gurko. After the Liberation, the town grew and spread on the right bank Maritsa River. At the end of the ХІХ century barracks and an agricultural school were built.
     From the beginning of the ХХ century people started to build factories, stores, houses and thus the industrial quarter of the town was built.
     Museums and Galleries

     The History Museum in Pazardzhik with its over 33 000 exhibits reveals the rich historical past of Pazardzhik region form ancient times until the present. The exposition is displayed in seven halls. The ethnographic exposition of the History Museum is in the biggest residential building in the town from the epoch of the Bulgarian National Renaissance. It was built in the style of a Plovdiv Renaissance Baroque house in 1850 by Bratsigovo masters. The owner of the house Nikola Hristovich was a rich tradesman. The exposition acquaints the visitor with the rich traditional material and spiritual culture of the population in Pazardzhik region. 

     Pazardzhik was founded 5 centuries ago - in 1485. Tatars were its founders - they were moved here by Sultan Bayazid, who gave the town its name. The market centre gradually turned into an important economic and administrative centre. The road Istanbul-Sofia-Western Europe on which the town is a road station contributed to it. A lot of Bulgarians settled down in Pazardzhik and that changed its ethnic appearance too. The town reached its peak during the 19th century and competed to Sofia and Plovdiv. In this period a lot of churches were built. There were 5 boys’ schools and 2 girls’ schools in the middle of 19th century. A lot of famous people related their names with Pazardzhik – Bishop Dionisii Agatonikiyski who founded the first Bulgarian school in 1823 with his own funds, Hadzhi Tatyana – the first woman teacher in the town. Levski found the first revolutionary committee here chaired by G. Konsulov. On January 2, 1878 the Army of General Gurko liberated Pazardzhik.




     The town Museum of History is located in one of the newest and most representative buildings of the town. You can also visit the Ethnographic Museum, whose exhibition is housed in the biggest residential building in Pazardzhik – the house of Nikolay Hristovich. The house-museum Stanislav Dospevski is where the prominent Bulgarian artist and revolutionary from Samokov of the Revival period lived from 1864 to 1877. In the art gallery Stanislav Dospevski one can see a specialized state cultural, educational and scientific institute of fine arts. 
     You also can visit the Synagogue, erected in 1859 by a master from Bratsigovo – Stavri Temelkov. The internal walls are with mural paintings. The house-museum Konstantin Velichkov is built in 1850. The atmosphere, in which the distinguished writer lived and created, is now restored.


     The place of death of the great writer and democrat Aleko Konstantinov is situated 14 km south from Pazardzhik, in the proximity of the village of Radilovo. An unpretentious monument was erected here and a beautiful park was formed around it. The regular buses, running between Pazardzhik and Peshtera stop there at request.

     Besaparskite Ridove (Besapar Ridges) are located 10 km east from the town. The archeological research carried out indicates that the main town of local Thracian tribes – Besapara was situated here.


     There are well developed bus and railway connections with the remaining part of the country. Pazardzhik is situated on the heavy traffic motorway Sofia – Plovdiv. Pazardzhik has regular bus lines to Sofia, Plovdiv, Velingrad, and Panagyurishte and to the smaller settlements in the region. The bus station is situated in the central part of Pazardzhik. The railway station is in the southern part of the town.