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Samokov (Bulgarian: Самоков) is a town in Sofia Province in the southwest of Bulgaria. It is situated in a kettle between the mountains Rila and Vitosha, 55 kilometres from the capital Sofia. Due to the suitable winter sports conditions, Samokov, together with the nearby resort Borovets, is a major tourist centre.
In the past, Samokov was a centre of handicrafts and art, with notable figures like Zahari Zograf, Hristo Dimitrov and Nikola Obrazopisov. The town's name is a compound word of "samo" and "kov", respectively meaning "self" and the root of the verb "forge, hammer", and comes from the samokov, a mechanical forge powered by water, since the town of Samokov was a major iron producing centre during the Middle Ages.
It is thought that Samokov was founded in the 14th century as a mining settlement with the assistance of "Saxon" miners. It was first mentioned in 1455 and in Ottoman registers of 1477 as Vlaychov Samokov. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it grew into the greatest iron extraction centre in the region, with western travellers describing it as 'a fairly large city'. In 1565-1566, Samokov had to produce and deliver to Belgrade 20,000 horseshoes and 30,000 nails. Samokov also produced anchors and other materials for the shipyards of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, particularly Pomorie. As the logging industry was also well developed, in 1573 the people of Samokov had to deliver 300 beams as far as Mecca.

In the picture Bairakli Mosque built in 1840, not in function, features ornate frescoes and an unusual minaret
FROM WIKIPEDIA

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Viewed: 1983
Points: 10
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Additional Photos by andrea grigolo (grigand) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 93 N: 1816] (20290)
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