Elin Pelin region

St. Nicolas the Wonder-Doer's Church
St. Nicolas the Wonder-Doer's Church

The Sofia Field was the habitat of various peoples and cultures, since it was crossed by important roads connecting Asia with Western Europe. There are numerous remains of ancient fortresses and settlements built along those roads. The so-called Trajanus' Road of c. 2 passes through the municipality's centre. The Thracian settlements and burial mounds and the findings in them testify to a rich spiritual and material culture. The Roman and the Byzantine culture also left noteworthy traces. There was a large road station called Buragara or Buraraca by the Roman road of c. 3 near the village of Lesnovo. The remains of a road watch-tower with a small adjoining settlement (c. 4) were discovered and researched by archaeologists southwest of the town of Elin Pelin. Remains of a later Slavonic settlement, which existed up to the initial period of the Ottoman rule, were discovered in the same area. There are ruins of Thracian fortified settlement 3 kilometres south of the village of Novi Han. There are also remains of Roman settlements at several places west of the village.

Some of the municipality's settlements have existed at almost the same place since the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. St. Nicolas the Wonder-Doer's Church in the village of Stolnik has survived since that period. There was a Bulgarian fortress by the village of Eleshnitsa, which was destroyed during the Ottoman invasion. The Eleshnitsa Monastery, built in c. 15, is 4 km away from the same village. It was a thriving literary centre in c. 16-18. Valuable murals from c. 16 and 19 are preserved in the Holy Godmother' Church belonging to the monastery. A school was opened in the monastery in c. 18. The oldest school within a settlement of the municipality (founded in 1835) is in the village of Doganovo. Because of the plain relief and the large ottoman garrison in Sofia, the local population took little part in the April Uprising in 1876. The village of Golyama Rakovitsa was plundered and burnt down after the crushing of the uprising, and the rebel leaders were exiled into the fortified prison-town of Diarbekir in Asia minor.

The Elin Pelin region is one of the best-preserved centres of the local Shop folklore and culture - the dialect, the regional costumes, the folk dances, songs and humour. The local traditions are shown each year at the Shop Holiday in the town of Elin Pelin, which started in 1970.

The village of Novoseltsi, which was later to become the town of Elin Pelin, gradually became the cultural and commercial centre of the region. It was proclaimed the centre of a province of the Bulgarian Principality in 1881. The construction of the railway line Sofia - Saranbey (now Septemvri) and the foundation of the Izida Factory - the first ceramic factory in the country - played an important role in its development. The village's economy strengthened over the years. A secondary school and a cultural club were founded in the middle of c. 19. The village of Novoseltsi was renamed to Elin Pelin in 1950. It was proclaimed a town in 1960.






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