Kyustendil, the eternal city

Kyustendil is a famous town for its medicinal hot mineral springs,  situated between two mountains, -Osogovo and Konyavo Mountains, set at an altitude of 525m at the western part of Bulgaria , 86km southwest of Sofia.

The city is considered to be a national balneological resort, gifted with 40 thermal springs, particularly rich in fluorine, sodium and sulphite compounds, ideal to purify the human body, for the treatment of the locomotory system, gynecological diseases, skin, rheumatic, and neurological diseases,and lots of other ailments, since the minerals are easily absorbed through the skin.

The history says that the settlement was initially founded by the Thracians (5th-4th century B.C), when it was the Romans that developed the city to an important administrative center of trade, business and balneology due to the mine deposits, called Pautalia. The Hissarluka Forterss, built during the 4th century, on the hillside of the town tried to stop the intruders,and propably it was the Slavic armies that replaced the Romans. The city appeared again with its new name, Velbujd and became an important religious center.

During the 17th century Austrian troops fought with lots of battles to conquer the area, but finally the Turks dominated in 1372 until the late of 1800. The name “Kuystendil”  was created during the Ottoman Rule and derived from Constantine Draga’s name. Kuystendil  was liberated from the Ottomans on 29 January 1878.

The Municipal Museum of History impresses the history of Kuystendil through historical artifacts of major importance, paintings and finds, themed in exhibitions, and rich informative material.

Of the most important monuments in the city are the thermal springs in the centre of the town, dating back from II-III century, the Alay, Dervish and Chifte Baths, preserved since the Ottoman Period , the St George church from XII-XII century in the Kolusha neighbourhood- a real masterpiece of medieval achtitecture with exquisite frescoes, the mosques “Fatih Mehmed” and “Ahmed Bey”, the “Pirgova Tower”, and the Renaissence period churces of “Uspenie Bogorodichno” (The Assumption),”St Mina”, “St Dimitar”, the school “St Cyril and Methodius”.  Also it is really worthy to visit the modern building of Kyustendil Art Gallery, which houses a rich collection of paintings of Vladimir Dimitrov named “The Master” , and paintings of other famous Kyustendil artists.

The mineral- rich soil makes Kuystendil to blossom throughout the year with huge plantations of cherries, apples and plums all over the area, when in the city the historical buildings, the picturesque neighbourhoods, the dramatic views of the mountains’ peaks capture every single visitor.