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Trip Planner Europe  /  Bulgaria  /  Montana Province  /  Chiprovtsi
Chiprovtsi is a small town and municipality in northwestern Bulgaria, administratively part of Montana Province. It lies on the shores of the river Ogosta in the western Balkan Mountains, very close to the Bulgarian-Serbian border. A town of about 2,000 inhabitants, Chiprovtsi is the administrative centre of a municipality that also covers nine nearby villages.Chiprovtsi is thought to have been founded in the Late Middle Ages as a mining and metalsmithing centre. Attracting German ore miners who introduced Roman Catholicism to the area, the town grew in importance as a cultural, economic and religious centre of the Bulgarian Catholics and the entire Bulgarian northwest during the first few centuries of Ottoman rule. The apogee of this upsurge was the anti-Ottoman Chiprovtsi Uprising of 1688. After the suppression of the uprising, some of the town's population fled to Habsburg-ruled lands; those unable to flee were killed or enslaved by the Ottomans.Deserted for about 30 years, the town was repopulated by Eastern Orthodox Bulgarians, beginning in the 1720s. It was following this new settlement that Chiprovtsi became a major centre of the Bulgarian carpet industry. Other traditional industries have been stock breeding, agriculture and fur trade. Today, Chiprovtsi municipality experiences a declining population and above-average unemployment. However, large-scale investment in the extraction of the local fluorite deposits and the development of alternative tourism help to sustain the economy.
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