History lovers staying in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, will be interested to know that this community was founded by Crimean Tatars, and was the site of the third largest market fair in the Ottoman Empire, eclipsing even Sofia. Its caravanserai could stable three thousand horses and two thousand camels. The population was largely Turkish and Muslim until the 1960's, when the government settled large numbers of gypsies here.
Although much of the ancient Ottoman bazaar is gone, visitors in discount hotels in Pazardzhik can still shop in one of the liveliest daily street markets in Bulgaria. It is located in a pedestrianized downtown area, just east of the main square Ploshtad Cherven. At the City Historical Museum, you can see ancient Roman and Thracian artifacts. The Cathedral of Sveta Bogoroditsa is an example of the National Revival style. It is partly sunk below street level in compliance with Ottoman restrictions on Christian churches. It has walnut iconostasis that is considered the finest of the School of Debar. The home of Stanislav Dospevski, one of 19th century Bulgaria’s most famous artists, is now a museum and gallery. Also see the 17th century Kursham dzamiya, called the Bullet Mosque, because of its pointed dome.
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