Located beneath the southern slopes of the Stara Planina mountain, between the Manastirska and Leevitsa rivers, the picturesque mountain town of Sopot has an interesting and rich history. This is evident from the ruins of Anevsko Kale, an old Bulgarian fortress dating back to the 13th-14th centuries. The city is also mentioned in Turkish documents during Bulgaria’s fall under Turkish slavery as Akche Klise – White Church.
Sopot was founded in the early 14th century. Its name derives from the Old Bulgarian word „sopoh“ meaning a spring whose water flows through a wooden or metal pipe. Here, as well as in the surrounding towns, products such as woolen carpets, abas (a type of cloak), leather goods, Sopot silk, carpets, glassware, rose oil, and gold jewelry are produced. Sopot was a renowned industrial, commercial, and cultural city within the Ottoman Empire. It was attacked and plundered several times, and during the Liberation War in July 1877, it was set on fire. Many charred chambers, kilns, and rose oil extraction facilities disappeared in the flames. A large part of the population was killed, while others fled.
Sopot is connected to the heroic deeds of the haiduts (Bulgarian freedom fighters) Dobril and Kara Ivan, as well as the activities of Vasil Levski and Todor Kableshkov. It bears the illustrious names of participants in both Bulgarian legions, the bands of Hadzhi Dimitar, Stefan Karadzha, and Hristo Botev, and the volunteer detachments during the Liberation War.
During the bleak years of slavery, the city was renowned for its schools, including the Kilian School in the Maiden’s Metoh and the St. Spas Monastery, as well as mutual, class, and girls’ schools.
The city is the birthplace of Ivan Vazov, the patriarch of Bulgarian literature, and during the period 1950-1965, the places in Sopot associated with Vazov’s works and historical past became sacred for every Bulgarian heart.
„Vazovski Machine-Building Plants“ JSC is the largest enterprise in the military-industrial complex in Bulgaria. It produces:
Ammunition for artillery systems
Ammunition for multiple launch rocket systems
Ammunition for the RPG-7V hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher
Disposable rocket-propelled grenades
Ammunition for heavy anti-tank grenade launcher SPG-9M and the 2A28 gun
Unguided aviation rockets
Anti-tank guided missiles
Explosives, igniters, delay fuses