The village of Kovachevitsa is in the western part of Rhodope mountains called Darbash about 120 kilometers south of Sofia. In the valley of Kanina river, on the altitude of 1050 meters this village is one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe.
Kovachevitsa’s history is rich and interesting, as the village itself. Refugees from other close villages, who were fleeing from Ottoman Turks, and forced Islamization, and repression, gathered here and settled. Running away, they were looking for the place with the perfect combination of natural resources , distance from Turkish laws and defensive terrain . It is believed that the founding year was 1656, but all historians agreed that is middle of 17th century.
With springs of fresh water and a nearby river, this village quickly became the center for this part of the Rhodopes and even developed an educational center in 1820, making Kovachevitsa far more attractive for the people who lived in this area. In 1847 church of Saint Nikola was built and after that first secular school in 1854. That is strong proof of the cultural development of village at that time.
Most of the uniqueness of this place is in the architecture. All buildings were made solely from stone and wood. Houses were built with two or three floors: on the first floor, domestic animals were kept, and the higher levels were designed as living spaces. That unique style made Kovachievica Bulgarian the national reservation of architecture and history back in 1977.
However, buildings are not all that is unique in this place. The nature surrounding this area is arguably more astonishing than the architecture. Surrounded by a diverse forest, in the valley, with crystal river and fresh springs of ice cold water, this area is perfect for the people who love to spend time in the wilderness. Kanina river is the jewel of Kovachievica, with her flow through the mountain, down many cascades, she is a place that must be seen. Three deep ponds and the waterfall, Siniya Vir, are sights you just need to explore.
The climate is very moderate: Winters are mild, and you can feel the breath of Aegean air, coming from the sea. Summer nights are cool, but during the day temperature is just perfect for hiking around mountain paths.
Kovachevitsa was at one point close to disappearing . At the beginning of the 20th century, more than 1700 people lived in this place, but in the middle of the century, most of the people left the village and went living in bigger cities. Houses began collapsing and the whole infrastructure was falling apart. Then Bulgarian government showed up and saved the village. Bulgarian cinematography rebuilt the whole village, the government declared the status of national reserve, and people were back . Not in numbers from the beginning of the century, but at least it was not empty anymore.