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Lyubovka

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Lyubovka


The village of Lyubovka is located in a mountainous area, situated at over 700 m above sea level. It is located 15 km away from Sandanski, 28 km from Petrich and 77 km from Blagoevgrad. There are three neighborhoods in the village - upper, middle and lower.

Under the name “Lyubovka”, the village was mentioned in a Turkish register from 1606. It is believed to be one of the oldest villages in the area. There are many holy places in it - churches, monasteries, chapels and sacred places.

In architectural terms, there are preserved Renaissance structures, revealing the influence of the "Rhodope House" type. In the past, the covering structures were made of wood and their construction was extremely robust to carry the weight of the roof made of thin, split stone slabs – “ticles” (now often replaced by tiles). The authentic chimneys were made of unpainted stone masonry, covered with stone slabs.

Very admirable today is the ability of the masters to adapt the traditional forms of the Rhodope House to the shape and orientation of the house and to the needs of the owners.

It would be hard to find houses with exactly the same distribution and building. The real living floor was located at the top. Outside, inside, as well as the ceilings of most houses were plastered and painted, as the predominant color was white.

Architecturally, buildings show the genius of Bulgarian masters and builders.

The architecture of the houses corresponds to the Late Renaissance house, which coincides with the development of the country from the 17th century until the Liberation.

Many churches have been built in Lyubovka. Old legends about monasteries are told. Guardians of faith and Bulgarian self-consciousness of villagers here are the churches "Saint Nedelya" and "St. George".

The main occupation of people in the village was agriculture and breeding livestock. Once, here in the mountain village lived almost 500 people, but today the life in Lyubovka is maintained by the 20 remaining locals.

In 1875, for a priest of the village was ordained Alexa Anastasov, who graduated from a Greek school in Melnik. He continued to work on his post till 1878. St. Nedelya Church was built in 1885. In 1888 a new Bulgarian school was opened in a private house.

"St. Nedelya" is a National Revival Church. Architecturally, it is a stone three-nave pseudobasilica with exonarthex and an apse from the east. It is built on a very sloping terrain, half a meter deep in the ground. The ceilings are wooden, cassette-shaped, and the Christ-Almighty is depicted in an oval medallion above the central ship. Six elliptical medallions with images of prophets and saints are painted over the columns of the central nave. The iconostasis is painted and partially carved with a large coarse thread on its upper part and on the royal doors. The nine royal and seventeen apostolic icons have a precise pattern, warm colors and are gilded, but some of them are roughly lacquered. The bishop’s, throne, a silver potion with donation inscriptions and embossed decorations, two forged candlesticks and several silver candles are valuable from an architectural point of view. It was declared a monument of culture.

The late antiquity fortress "Gradishteto" is located 1.6 km east in a straight line from the center of the village of Lyubovka on a hill with the same name. It is situated on a high plateau created by the branches of Pirin, limited to the east, west and south by deep gullies. The slopes are steep and rocky. It is accessible from the north. It covers an area of about 30 decares. There are preserved remains of a fortified wall, built of stones and mortar on several places.

Beauty and uniqueness of Lyubovka is not only in the architecture of the settlement, in the historical or natural sights. This beauty is hidden also in the grandmothers chestnuts, that preserve beautiful costumes, which were everyday clothing of village inhabitants centuries ago.

The folklore and ethnography in this region has its unique features. The local tradition claims that the clothes and fabrics needed in the household should be made by the family. The Bulgarian woman was weaving, sewing and embroidering the clothes she needed. The shirts were hand-embroidered, and the dress was made of a thick home-made shawl, girded with an apron, ending with buckles. The socks were knitted and embroidered. The main colors for the Pirin costume are red and white.