IN STAROBULGARSKA "KYSZTI”

The unique atmosphere of the old rooms whitewashed with lime and lined with colorful rugs can still be found in a village near Balkan or a town lost among the mountains, like Bożenci or Kałofer. We managed to meet the former Bulgaria in Koprivsztica, where each of the old houses is a kind of museum. Seems, that in this little town, in which once the ideas of the Bulgarian national revival were born and in which Ljuben Karawełov brought to life the immortal figures of "Bulgarians of old times”, All the clocks stopped more than a hundred years ago. This is the impression we get when we enter any of the houses hidden behind high stone walls. Each of these two-story buildings has an inherent "czardak"” (the porch) and the characteristic flat roof of stone slabs is different, thanks to the original ornamentation. Intricate carvings on the pillars supporting the roof, on chardak galleries, handrails for stairs and shutters, on the ceilings of residential rooms, sculptures, among which the symbol of the sun dominates, they testify to the extraordinary sensitivity to the beauty of the inhabitants of this town, cut off from the world by mountains and forests.
The interior design of an Old Bulgarian house has little to do with European traditions in this regard. The focal point of the room is usually the fireplace ("Eyag”) with a copper cauldron hanging over the hearth. The furnishings are low, crates standing by the walls - mindery”, which - covered with patterned rugs - act as bench-couches. In the middle of a low round table and small crescent-shaped stools, on which one sits almost in a kneeling position. Most of the room is separated by a railing, behind which, on the platform, there is a place to rest, lined with carpets and pillows. It is all very oriental and fascinating with its uniqueness. However, we searched in vain for this original style in the modern apartment of our hosts, whose aesthetic requirements diverged far from the old Bulgarian tradition. Fortunately, almost completely modern cuisine has not departed from it.