Description

The village of Dobarsko lies 18 km north of Razlog in the southern slopes of Rila, at an altitude of 1070 m. The river of Dobarska flows near the village and its tributary – Klinets – flows right through it.

The remains of a Roman oven for bricks and tiles dating back to the 3rd-4th century AD have been discovered near Dobarsko, as well as a ring of sanctuaries among which stand the ones of Kopana Tsarkva and Sveta Troitsa. Legend has it that some of the blinded soldiers of Tsar Samuil settled here after the Belasishka Battle in 1014, and this relates to the Dobarsko Singing School – a union of blind singers existing till the early 20th century.

Dobarsko lies on the road that used to connect the Rila Monastery with Athos in the Middle Ages. Up to 1912, it was named Nedobarsko. In written documents, it was first mentioned in the Rila Charter of Tsar Ivan Shishman from 1378 under the name of Gnidobradsko. During the Ottoman Rule, the village was part of a feudal estate. After the campaign for converting the Razlog Valley to the Islam, many Bulgarians fled to Dobarsko to seek refuge, making it the largest and most developed settlement of the region up to the end of the 18th century. During the Kresna-Razlog Revolt, it was burnt down, entering the 20th century as one of the poorest villages due to the cut off border connections with the Rila Monastery and the pastures that were taken away.

Dobarsko is now actively developing various forms of alternative tourism, incl. eco and cultural. In the center of the village, there is the unique church of Sveti Sveti Teodor Tiron and Teodor Stratilat (1614), a cultural monument of national importance. The other church of the village – Sretenie Gospodne (1860) is also a designated cultural monument, painted by masters of the Bansko Art School. Very close to the village, one can find the picturesque waterfall called Shtrokaloto.

As is the tradition, the people of Dobarsko make Kukeri (‘Startsi’) on January 1; perform the old tradition of ‘throwing the cross into the river’ on January 6 which is the village holiday; and make juniper fires on the day of Sirni Zagovezni (seven weeks before Easter).