Village of Momchilovtsi
The village of Momchilovtsi is situated in South Bulgaria, in the heart of the Central Rhodope Mountain. It is situated high in the mountain, on 1,070-1,280 meters altitude. It is situated at a distance of 250 km from Sofia, 96 km from Plovdiv and 14 km from the nearest town - Smolyan. The ski resort Pamporovo is also situated in close proximity to the town. Momchilovtsi is a popular destination for country tourism.
The multiple archaeological finds made during cultivation of land are evidences that the settlement in the village of Momchilovtsi dates back to the Bronze Age. The medieval name of the village is unknown. In the 14th century Momchilovtsi was conquered by the Ottomans and was named Gorno Derekyoy (a village in a ravine). The name under which the village is known nowadays exists from 1934, when it was named after Momchil Yunak – the last Christian ruler of the Middle-Rhodope area. In the period 15th – 18th century, when the population in the Rhodope Mountain was subjected to oppression for acceptance of Islam, Momchilovtsi was one of the few settlements which managed to keep Christianity. In the period of Bulgarian Revival (18th – 19th century) Momchilovtsi participated in the national revival struggles for Bulgarian church, Bulgarian school and national independence.
The village obtained permission for building a church in 1834. The church was sanctified on 1936 and was named “St. Konstantin and Elena. The temple celebration is on 21 May, when the day of St. Konstantin and Elena is celebrated. A church school was established in the church by Hieromonk Grigorius, who has been honored as a saint to the present day by the Christian population in the Middle Rhodope Mountain (a monk from Athos). He established the so called Greek transcription (writing of the words of the Rhodope dialect in letters of the Greek alphabet). He was translating Greek liturgical books and educating his students in the church schools in Momchilovtsi and the nearby Christian villages in this “script”. After 1867 the church school in the village gradually turned into Bulgarian and non-clerical school.
Momchilovtsi, as a part of the area of Middle Rhodope mountain was integrated to Bulgaria after the Balkan War in 1912. A basic occupation in the Rhodope Mountain from Antiquity to the middle of the 20th century was sheep-breeding. The most developed and popular crafts for Momchilovtsi were construction, tailoring, homespun tailoring (tailoring of a rough woolen fabric), fishing and gold-processing.
The historical museum in the village is an interesting site. It stores exponents from sections Archaeology, Revival and Ethnography, which are related to the village history. It was established in 1964 with the help of the local population, mainly with exponents donated by the village residents. There is also a small pictures gallery in the museum.
Momchilovtsi offers a lot of entertainment and sport events. There is a sports center in close proximity to the village. It is suitable for practicing of winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding and walking passages through the forests. Sports such as rock climbing, mountain cycling, tracking, paintball, etc. can be practiced during the summer season. The center offers a lot of utilities, such as ski equipment renting and ski training. The Momchilova fortress is situated in close proximity to the village of Momchilovtsi, in the locality of Gradishte, by the village of Gradat. It is believed that it was possessed by the legendary hero Momchil Yunak.
One of the five largest complexes for observation of the sky items in Bulgaria is also situated near the village of Momchilovtsi.. This is the National Observatory of Rozhen.
Community Center Museum
Opening hours: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm every day
adults – BGN 1.00;
children under 18 years old – BGN 0.50
Guided tours in Bulgarian and English language – BGN 3.00
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