Pazardzhik is situated in the Valley of Maritsa River, in the
fertile Pazardzhik – Plovdiv Plain, which takes up the western sections of the
Upper Thracian Lowlands. Tatar Pazardzhik emerged during the first quarter of
the 15th century as a commercial centre on the Singidunum (Belgrade)
international road, which connected Europe with Asia Minor. During the 16th
century, the city became an administrative district (kaza) and kept this status
up until the time of the Liberation from the Ottoman rule in 1878. Large
municipal buildings were built – Eski Mosque, Pasha Haram, Kurshum Inn, etc.
The entire architectural façade of the city was formed by the Bulgarian
Revival. In 1837 the Church of the Mother
of God was built – an important
national monument, famous for its architecture and woodcarving. In the mid-19th
century, Pazardzhik became an important cultural and craft centre.
Batak is situated in the northwestern slopes of the Rhodope
Mountains, at 1036 m above sea level and 33 km to the south of the regional centre Pazardzhik. The
lands around Batak have been inhabited since ancient times. Finds from the Old
Stone Age were discovered in the region around 50 years ago. Inhabited or
crossed by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians, Turks and
Bulgarians, these ancient lands keep the legacy of their civilizations. Twenty
Thracian, Thracian- Roman, Byzantine and Slav fortresses have been registered
along with more than 10 churches and monasteries, many Thracian mounds, Roman
bridges, mines, watermills and other archaeological objects.