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Admire the charming beauty of Melnik town, Bulgaria
When coming to the town of Melnik, Bulgaria, visitors will learn about winemaking traditions, agrarian culture, historic buildings, and the quaint charm of a small town. In addition, you can get an insight into how the rich lived in the past.
About the town of Melnik, Bulgaria
The town of Melnik, Bulgaria, is located in a rather remote location in the Pirin Mountains. This is the smallest town in Bulgaria, with a very modest population of just over 300 people. The climate in Melnik has similarities with the Mediterranean climate, which is very favorable for tourism development, viticulture, and wine production. Melnik will undoubtedly captivate tourists with its small streets, cobblestone streets, quaint houses, restaurants serving local delicacies, and, of course, the famous Melnik wine.
In addition, the beautiful town of Melnik in Bulgaria has a long history of development spanning many centuries, with landmarks, history museums, wine museums, and the ruins of medieval churches. In particular, the Kordopulova house is one of the symbols of the town; it was built in the nineteenth century and welcomes about tens of thousands of tourists each year.
History of the town of Melnik, Bulgaria
Today, the town of Melnik in Bulgaria has a population of just over 300 people, and few people would imagine that it was home to more than 10,000 people just a century ago. In 1912, the town was predominantly Greek and had about 1,000 houses. However, after it was annexed to the territory of Bulgaria, most of the inhabitants moved to Greece.
In the Middle Ages, Melnik was a town on the border between the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarians. It was right on the main road leading to Thessaloniki, where many Byzantine Emperors had sent a couple of nobles who made them feel unsatisfied into exile. That is also the reason that the town of Melnik has a predominantly Byzantine architectural style. Even today, visitors can see the ruins of many Byzantine buildings around the town.
Moving to the town of Melnik, Bulgaria
Melnik town, Bulgaria, is located in southwestern Bulgaria, about 175 kilometers south of Sofia. Sofia is also the best starting point if you take public transport, as there is a bus line that departs daily. This trip takes about 4 hours, but if you want to return, you have to take a bus the following morning. So, you should arrange an overnight stay in Melnik!
If you travel by car, you can move from anywhere. This is a pretty flexible and convenient option. From Sofia to Melnik, it will take about 2.5 hours by car. If you want to go by air, you can fly to the international airport in Sofia and then move to town.
Time to visit the town of Melnik, Bulgaria
The town of Melnik, Bulgaria, is located in a region with a temperate oceanic climate and warm summers. The average annual temperature is 19 degrees Celsius. The low season in Melnik is from January to March, and November. The peak tourist season is July and August.
Popular activities in the town of Melnik, Bulgaria
Visit the wine museum
The town of Melnik is famous for producing the best wine in the Land of Roses. Although there are a few wineries in town, the tour can only be visited by car or on a tour. However, the museum in the town center will be open for tourists to visit and enjoy wine.
If you want to try some delicious wines and learn more about the winemaking process, then head to the museum. For a ticket price of 5 leva (under $3), you can go into the wine museum and enjoy four different types of wine and one type of rakia.
Buy cute souvenirs
There are many lovely souvenir shops throughout the town of Melnik, offering a wide range of Bulgarian souvenirs that are ideal gifts for relatives and friends. Among them, wine is the most well-known gift. For those who like sweetness, you can buy some local jam or honey. Other souvenirs you can find in Melnik include traditional pottery, kukeri statues, and typical kits like magnets, postcards, and jewelry.
Visit the 18th-century Kordopulov House
Bulgaria has many museums, and most of them are private houses that were later converted into museums and have been kept and preserved over the centuries. The largest museum house in Bulgaria is located in the town of Melnik. However, the interesting thing is that this town has a rather small and modest area. It is known as the Kordopulov House.
Kordopulov House was owned by a wealthy Greek merchant named Manolis Kordopulos. The house belonged to a Greek merchant because Melnik was located not far from the Greek border. The house was built in 1754 for wine production (therefore, it has a large cellar, which you can explore when you visit). Its architecture is a blend of Bulgarian Revival style with Venetian and Ottoman architectural trends, including Venetian stained-glass windows in some of the upper floors. Under the Kordopulov House, you will find the ruins of a church that belonged to the house complex.
Visit Rozhen Monastery
About a 10-minute drive from the town of Melnik, Bulgaria, visitors will go on a tour to Rozhen Monastery. It is the largest monastery on Mount Pirin and a popular tourist attraction in Melnik.
This monastery dates back to the Middle Ages, as evidenced by a tomb and artifacts from the Byzantine Empire in the 13th century. The marble bas-relief at the central gate of the church is one of the oldest artifacts of the monastery, dating from the 13th or 14th century.
The monastery's church was built around the 1400s, and its frescoes and walls were probably painted in the late 1500s. In the 17th century, a great fire destroyed much of the monastery. Then, over the next 100 years, many wealthy Bulgarians contributed to the temple's restoration. By 1732, the monastery was completed. Rozhen Monastery is free to visit, but photography is not permitted inside the church.
Explore the Melnik Pyramids
The Melnik Pyramids are perhaps the most charming landmark in the town of Melnik, Bulgaria. Mother nature has perfectly shaped the sandstone rocks to bring a beauty that no one can take their eyes off with red peaks all around.
These striking natural sandstone pyramids are formed from unique natural rock near the town of Melnik. The sculptural rocks can be up to 100 meters high and are currently being eroded with constantly changing shapes.
Declared a natural landmark in 1960, the site is best visited early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is low because there is no shade here. You can easily reach the Melnik pyramids by walking from the parking lot near the Rozhen monastery in 10 minutes or more. Alternatively, if you like hiking, you can hike the 7-kilometer trail from Melnik downtown.
Take a break from the busy city streets and visit the Bulgarian town of Melnik to find peace and the best Bulgarian wines.
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