понеделник, 12 декември 2011 г.

"Kovachevica" by Alexander Sahatchiev / Александър Сахатчиев

                     Aleksandur Sahatchiev presents beautiful places in Bulgaria. Kovachevica.

Kovatchevitsa village is situated in the basin of the Kanina /Blood/ River. It is surrounded by a string of high ridges in the south-west part of the Rodopa mountain massive called Dabrash .

   The origin of the Kovatchevitsa village is connected to the violence the Bulgarian population in that area had been put under during the forcible conversion to Mohammedanism in the period 1623 - 1625 and later on in 1656. In that time, the Bulgarians that didn't want to accept the Islam left their homes, abandoned their properties and their relatives and looked for salvation and shelter in the higher, inaccessible parts of the mountain. The abundance of drinking water in the land of the village, the spacious pastures, the mild climate and the safety from Turkish raids made it favourable for the refugees to settle there.
A legend about the name of the Kovatchevitsa village exists: "After the skilled smith and farrier Marko had died, his wife Gina took the fate of the orphaned family in her hands. When relatives and customers from the near hamlets visited her, they used to say: 'We are going to the "Kovatchevitsa"' meaning, to the wife of the smith /smith in Bulgarian is 'kovatch'/. So the name of the settlement won recognition and later on all the surrounding hamlets grouped around it in order to defend themselves from the frequent brigands' attacks. That was the foundation of the present Kovatchevitsa village.

The architecture of Kovatchevitsa is distinctive and original. It can't be described verbatim. It should be seen obligatory. On the basis of the pre-revival houses, in the second half of the 18th c. started being built two-, three-storey houses with oriels of the second and the third floors above narrow cobblestone streets. In that same period they started differentiate the rooms of the Kovatchevitsa houses by their functions.
The ground level, together with several semi-levels kept the cattle and other agricultural functions and stores, and the residential rooms were occupying the upper one or two floors. Two different groups of rooms existed in the Kovatchevitsa houses - open parts, the so called "poton" (tcherdak), obligatory oriented to the south or to the west, that provided a visual connection with the surrounding open space and the closed rooms - rooms with hearths, closets, rooms with ovens and others.

The establishment of that determinate type of houses with its constructional, functional and artistic particularities was a sign for the development of a highly sophisticated, original architectural school in the region of the south-western Rodopes with a center the village of Kovatchevitsa.
The genius of the Bulgarian builders created in the village during the period of the Bulgarian Revival the stone "fairy tail" called "Kovatchevitsa".

                                                                                                                  Text from "Kovachevica.com"

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