Located just below a steep, narrow gorge in the Vratsa Mountains, Vratsa is a picturesque town located some 110 odd km northwest of Sofia. It is a regional administrative centre and the biggest town in the area. The town’s name comes from the Vratsata gorge which is related to the word ‘gate’ in Bulgarian.
The first people to settle in the town were the Tracians. The Romans also appreciated what the town has to offer as well as its defence capabilities. This led to the emergence of the medieval town of Vratitsa named after Vratsata passage which later became the symbol of the town.
Following the fall of Rome, Vratsa became part of the Byzantium. At the end of the 6th century AD, Vratsa was populated by the South Slavic tribes despite the town still being under Byzantine rule.
In the 7th century, the Bulgars and the Slavs found the First Bulgarian Empire and the Vratsa became part of it. The city grew into important strategic location because of its proximity to the South State border. Vratsa became famous for its crafts, trade & strategic location.
Today, Vratsa is still a regional administrative centre. Efforts have been made to revive its tourism which have not resulted in significant dividends despite all that Vratsa and the whole area have to offer. Vratsa Balkan Natural park is the second largest in the country and offers stunning sights whilst picture-perfect Vratsa town offers a number of interesting sights that are a must-see if you are in the area.
The location of Vratsa is ideal if you want to explore the whole area and its close proximity to Sofia make it ideal even for a day trip.
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