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Kunchevo Village

Certain Bulgarian traditions, preserved in their archaic form, can still be witnessed here in Kunchevo, performed as jubilation for all the residents. A long time ago, the main means of livelihood of the village were the stone-cutting and the rush-mat making. Today, like many other villages around Kazanlak, Kunchevos main means of livelihood is rose-oil production. A characteristic product of Kunchevo is the rose honey. An interesting fact about the village is that many of the kin families here are well-preserved and their family trees can be tracked back in history. The village maintains a clear clan structure. A legend, both romantic and sad, links the history of Kunchevos foundation with that of the neighbouring Rozovo. Kunchevo has a unique ethnographic collection.

History or Legend

The elderly people in the village tell a story of "a big man with black beard" who was the first founder of the village. Some people maintain that because of the crossroads position of the village, it was often invaded by bandits and that was why the local men used to hide their women and children away. This is where most likely the first name of the village comes from - Kurusuklu, meaning "hidden women" from Turkish.

Around the end of the XV century, because of the desertification of the southern Bulgarian town of Kurdzhali, the Ottoman Sultan decreed that any Turk would have the right to marry the most beautiful Bulgarian woman if the lands were re-settled. Thus, a wave of bandits ensued from Anatolia towards the inside of the country. These were the sombre times of the kirdjalii. The plunderers forced many people to move to safer places and they flocked to Kazanlak. This was what the people from the village of Karyaisyakovo did as well. The legend tells that two brothers from Karyaisyakovo - Oroz and Ashik had a big row and decided to move. Half of the villagers followed Oroz and founded Rozovo, while the other half followed Ashik and founded Ashiklin (the old name of Kunchevo).

Another version of the same story tells that Kunchevo and Rozovo were once the same village called Karyaisyakovo. Two brothers - Orozyussein and Ashika - lived there. Ashika had a son, while Orozyussein had a daughter. The two fell in love with each other, but Orozyussein was against this love and he criticized Ashika. Ashika and his family then moved away and founded Kunchevo, while Orozyussein gave his name to his village - Rozovo. By 1950 Ashiklin was already named Kunchevo, bearing the name of the first social democratic leader from the village.

Ethnographic Exposition

An exceptionally rich ethnographic exposition, collected with the participation of all residents, is presented in Kunchevo. The exposition was also supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the exposition catalogue was compiled by the JOCV volunteer, Ms. Natsune Hayashi.

Rose Fields

Kunchevo, as most Kazanlak villages, has its own rose celebration within the framework of the well-established Rose Festival, during which the guests and tourists can witness and experience the excitement of the rose-picking season and the vitality of Bulgarian traditional folk dances and songs. Endless rose fields stretch on both sides along the road from Rozovo to Kunchevo.

Rose Honey

A unique rose product, domestically produced, the rose honey bears exceptional healing properties and taste qualities.

Clan Structure

An interesting fact that cannot be seen in any other Kazanlak village is the clear clan structure that can be traced back to the villages foundation. In Kunchevo, if people speak about someone particular, he or she is noted by his or her belonging to a particular kin - "from the kin of". The history of some of the families can be traced back into the centuries. You can learn about all this from the Mayor of the village - Kolyo Ivanov, whose sense of humour and unique philosophy of life turn him into a tourist attraction on his own.

Kunchevo is a starting point for:

  • outings in the foot of Sredna Gora Mountain and the forest home;
  • outings near the meadows of the local dam;

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