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Etropole

Trip Planner Europe  /  Bulgaria  /  Sofia Region  /  Etropole
Etropole is a town in western Bulgaria, part of Sofia Province. It is located close to the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains in the valley of the Iskar River 80km from Sofia.HistoryThe area was first settled by the Thracian tribe of the Triballi in the 7th or 6th century BC due to its position as an important crossroad connecting the Danube with Macedonia and Thrace close to two key Balkan passes. The forces of Philip II of Macedon (339 BC), Alexander the Great (335 BC), the Celts and the Roman legions passed through the valley in the Antiquity. The region developed as a centre of trade and economy, as evidenced by findings of Macedonian and Greek coins, Greek ceramics, luxurious items and decorations.The ore ledges brought Saxon miners to the town in the 16th century. They introduced the samokov hammer technology and helped for the area's establishment as a centre of craftsmanship and mining, with gold, copper, silver and iron being extracted in the 16th and 17th centuries. Handicrafts such as iron-, gold- and coppersmithing and cutlery prospered. The economic upsurge of the settlement aided the development of culture and education in the nearby Etropole Monastery in the period, where biblical and liturgical books were copied in a specific original calligraphic style, of which 76 hand-written volumes were preserved.
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