Zlatograd is a charming village located in the Smolyan Province of the Rhodope Mountains only 2 km from the Greek border and 60 km southeast of Smolyan. Between the years of 1867 and 1912 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire the area of the township was known as Daridere. Remittences of that era still remain with its numbers historic buildings and 19th century Orthodox churches including a town mosque.
The Ethnographic Areal Complex
The center piece of Zlatograd would be the Ethnographic Areal Complex which lies in the heart of town, consisting of the ethnographic museum and skilled workshops of many trades, including the operation of the historical water utility system. This open air museum of customs and culture has also become a part of the everyday life to the local people. It’s highly recommended that you pay a visit.
Visitors will start their journey from the museum in the center of town allowing you to become better acquainted with the history of the region before you continue onward on their tour.
What you’ll see at the museum:
- Archaeological collection
- Exhibition explaining the occupations of local people from the past
- Costume collections
- Ritual items
Continue your tour by heading off to the workshops. Here you’ll witness skilled masters of trade and industry working their craft to perfection. These hard working craftsman are dedicated to preserving the historic techniques and traditions of a bygone era.
All workshops are currently operational and and open for business as items fabricated onsite are available for purchase. You can help support a local craftsmen by purchasing a multitude of handcrafted souvenirs and products at any workshop during your visit.
Tailors Workshop: Here at the tailor’s shop you’ll see a gallery of old photographs, historic tailoring equipment such as sewing machines, irons, scissors, and yardsticks. In the braid shop, see the machines once used for the fabrication of woolen braids which were used for decorative accessories to the custom clothing of the times.
Saddlery Workshop: This workshop consist of three sub-trades under the same craft. First the saddle-making; the production of saddles and packsaddles. Second, harness-making; the production of straps used for harnessing. Third, upholstery which is when the tradesman sew pads into saddles.
Cutler’s Workshop: Visitors to the cutler’s shop can get a close look at the construction of historic weaponry.
The Goldsmith: Witness a collection of local ores and crystals from Zlatograd Region and view the master-jeweler do his work.
The Brazier’s Shop: A craft linked to the production of copper goods.
The Wood Shop: Here wood carvers will demonstrate how they build wooden furniture including decorative wooden objects.
The Pottery/Weaver Shops: Popular amongst tourists for its variety of bright colorful clay vessels. While the weaver’s shop displays traditional woven and knitted products.
The Vuntsov Mill
Considered one of the main attractions of the complex. This three piece watering system consist of a tucking mill, fulling mill and water mill. Even today, this historical water system is impressively in working condition for the tradesman of Zlatograd.
The Tucking-Mill; used for washing
The Fulling-Mill; used for the processing of wool fabrics
The Water-Mill; used for flour grinding.
After the conclusion of your tour, relax and take in some of Zlatograd adorable cafes for a traditional Bulgarian cup of spun coffee made on hot sand and indulge in the some local cuisine. Situated in old homes with its authentic atmosphere from the Bulgarian Revival Period, its a wonderful way to finish a day in Zlatograd. Accommodations are available in the complex as well.