Retro Varshets – back in time
Bulgarians are as hard-working as much as loving holidays, funs, and the real relax! Yet in the beginning of 19th century Bulgarians re-discovered the clearing power of time spent among the nature and the healing effect of the mineral springs, known in our lands yet in the ages of the Thracians. And, in line with the fashionable trends to go on holiday, in the 30ies of the past century one of the most actual resorts – Varshets – grew at the foot of the Western Balkan. Gradually the mountain-nested small town turned into the center of the Sofia high-life of the time and preferred site for relax by many Bulgarians.
The first name of the town was Vreshtets (boiling water), and it was named by the Tribals Thracians yet in the 6th century. This is also the time when the healing power of the mineral springs in Varshets became known. The water successfully effects different type of illnesses. Even today the local men remember how the people used to come and spend the night outsight only to be the first in the morning for the just vacated room. Today the tourist flow is not as big, and the number of the lodging places is now increased. Apart from the mineral waters Varshets has also a number of impressing sights.
Some of the sights with particular historical and cultural importance for the resorts are the ruins of the Roman fortress Kaleto, the Bulgarian fourth biggest monastery – the Klisura monastery situated just a few kilometers away from the town, the Museum and art collection, the Art Deco designed buildings dated to the beginning of 20th century, the Old and the New bath, the Casino and the St. Georgi church.
Even today Varshets keeps the aristocratic spirit of the 30ies and each visitor gets convinced in this. On setting foot on the local ground you immediately notice that you are surrounded by specific architecture which you have hardly expected to see exactly here.
A stroll along the Boulevard of Sycamores, lined on both sides with aristocratic villas of the 30ies, will definitely take you to the old days. Being extremely romantic, with almost a century-old trees, the crowns of which make a green tunnel, the Boulevard of Sycamores is known as a traditional stroll area for couples in love.
Equally pleasant is a walk in the town park, which spreads on an area of 800 decares, and which can be compared only with the Boris’s Garden in Sofia. It was also created at the beginning of the last century by initiative of Dr. Damyan Ivanov. You can see here the most valuable fir and deciduous trees, such as sequoia, yellow poplar, cedar, Douglas fir, white fir, silver spruce, larch, ginco biloba, mountain ash, magnolia, paradise apple, etc. You can walk up the Roman steps and take a rest in the summer house of Hygia, the Goddess of health.
The park alleys reach a total length of about 7 km and each of them leads to a lawn called Ivanchova polyana – a famous area in the 30ies, where citizens and guests of Varshets arranged picnics, sport games and entertainments. There is a splendid view from there of the legendary peak of Todorini kukli.
The park also accommodates the Old Bath House and the New Bath House, the Casino and the Sunny Garden – the name comes from its design in the shape of the sun.
Depending on your preferences, you can stay here in one of the hotels with mineral water or in a villa. Among the most beautiful buildings is the House of Guests in the Art Deco style, which is situated in the Boulevard of Sycamores. It is entirely furnished with antiques in the style of the 30ies, and the interior is completed with items and photographs of the same time. Even though you might feel as if dreaming, you will enjoy in reality a treat of white cherry preserve while relaxing in comfortable antique armchairs. If you decide to stay overnight, you should expect beds and bathrooms of the same time. New are only the soft mattresses, so to say! At the same time, the house is heated by solar panels, and the rainwater is collected to use in the garden.
Regardless of your choice of accommodation, a lot of pleasant and romantic moments are in store for you in Varshets.