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The Old Town of Kotel
The Old Town of Kotel is a picturesque architectural reserve situated on the outskirts of the mountain town of Kotel. Kotel is an emblematic place for the Bulgarians - it is a symbol of the Bulgarian Revival and the 19th c. Liberation movement. Kotel is about 30 min drive off the highway to Burgas. The road is well marked but there are many turns and only 2 lanes. Once you enter the town, you will see signs showing the way to the center and to the ethnographic complex. The complex is also known as Galata, it used to be the poor area of town and the only one to survive the big fire that destroyed the town in the 1890s. The Old Town of Kotel features beautiful wood-covered houses from the Revival Period (most of them preserved or restored), rising behind tall solid walls along narrow stone paved streets. Some of the houses and old public buildings have been converted into museums or function as guest houses, shops, cafes or restaurants but most are private residences, restored or waiting to be restored. There are few museums in the area (entrance fee is minimal) which you can visit or you can simply stroll around the steep meandering streets. Unlike the village of Zheravna, with which they share the same architectural patterns, the Old Town of Kotel bears the ambience of a modern era industrial town.