History of Samokov


The town’s past is connected with the extraction of iron. At the foot of the Dospeyska Mountain (Latikashka Rila), by the Shishman gap, is situated the Shisham stronghold. There is an early Christian basilica and a monastery complex in there. The building style refers to the age of the Roman Empire. They were burned down during the VI-VII century by barbarians. The name is linked to tales and legends of the last battles of King Ivan Shishman.
Once long ago there was a Roman village in here, whereas the town we know today as Samokov was built later on – in the beginning of the XIV century as a mining village. During that time the Bulgarian craftsmen came in direct contact with the western Saxon miners, called Sassi. Thanks to that contact their typical Saxon furnaces, blacksmith workshops with bellows and large hammers; all driven by the power of water were introduced to the Bulgarian craftsmen. When the Ottomans conquered the town in 1372, Samokov was an economical and cultural center.

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