Chuprene Municipality is in Vidin Province, northwestern Bulgaria. The name is derived from the Latin word cuprum, which means copper. Local copper deposits have been exploited for ore since ancient times.
The administrative seat of Chuprene municipality is the homonymous village of Chuprene.
55 Asen Balkanski Street
tel: +359 (0)9327 2580
fax: +359 (0)9327 2402
History of Chuprene Municipality
The first records of life in these places date back to ancient times. In the vicinity of the nearby villages of Varbovo and Targovishte, caves are found in caves. In the area of the village of Chuprene and nearby villages, finds dating from the Bronze and Iron Age were found.
Much more are findings from Roman times. This is quite natural, taking into account the proximity of the mountain pass of Sveti Nikola (1452 m asl) and also the presence of copper ore near the village (Chuprene lies on the line of copper ore Bor (Serbia) – Chuprene – Gorni Lom – Chiprovtsi). The entrances of the galleries, which have been exploited over the last century, are still visible today.
The name of the village of Chuprene is supposed to be related to the extraction of copper ore (cuprum). This is the most likely origin of the name of the village of Chuprene. It has undergone changes over the centuries to get to the present day. Remains of ancient fortresses (and possibly signaling posts used by Roman troops to signal for danger) have been found in the vicinity of the village.
At the time of the conquest of Bulgaria by the Turks, the village already existed – it is mentioned in the register of the Vidin sanjak from 1454/1455. During the Turkish times, Saxon miners settled. Residents of the village have been participating in the Chiprovtsi Uprising since 1688.  It is mentioned under the name Chupren in the description of Jerome-Adolf Blanky on his journey from Belogradchik to Nis in 1841.
After the Liberation the village developed rapidly and the population reached 1800 – 2000 people over the years.
During the First and Second World Wars it sacrificed, and after 1944 it developed in the areas of logging, pig breeding, textile industry, cattle breeding and others.
Geography of Chuprene Municipality
Chuprene municipality is situated on the northern and northwestern slopes of the Balkan Mountain, next to the border with Serbia. From the north, east and south it is surrounded by the municipalities of Belogradchik, Rujintsi and Chiprovtsi. The territory of Chuprene municipality is 330 sq. km and has population of 2,233 people (2010) in 9 villages.
Chuprene is situated on the Manastirka and Chuprene Rivers in the western Balkan Mountains, at the foot of the Sveti Nikola Mountain and close to Midzhur, the highest peak of the western Balkan Mountains at 2,169 metres.
The entire population is Christian, Bulgarian Orthodoxy being the dominant confession. Chuprene has a church with a bell and clock tower. The Chuprene Biosphere Reserve is located in the surrounding mountains.
Berkovitsa Municipality covers an area of 464 sq km. It is the southernmost municipality of Montana Province. It lies on the northern slopes of the western Balkan mountains, with hilly terrain broken up by streams flowing through its territory. The area is rich in wildlife and vegetation, with blueberries and raspberries filling the stomachs of many a wanderer during long summer afternoons.
There are 20 villages and towns in the municipality with a total population of about 18,000 people. Almost 75% of the population, over 13,000 people, reside in the town of Berkovitsa. Barziya, population 1400, and Zamfirovo, population 1200, are the only other villages of any size. None of the rest rises above 300 souls. They include Balyuvitsa, Bistrilitsa, Bokilovtsi, Borovtsi, Chereshovitsa, Gaganitsa, Komarevo, Kostentsi, Kotenovtsi, Leskovets, Mezdreya, Parlichevo, Pesochnitsa, Rashovitsa, Slatina, Tsvetkova Bara, and Yagodovo.
Economy of Chuprene Municipality
There are 35 micro enterprises in the municipality, mostly in the sectors of services and trade, incl. farmers. There are two small and one medium-sized enterprise. The structure defining enterprises in Chuprene are: “Videx” AD (powdered explosives, village of Gorni Lom), State Forestry Station (Chuprene village), “Runo-Kazanlak” AD (owner of cascade Gorni Lom). “Videx” AD is the largest industrial plant in the municipality employing around 160 workers. The company is manufacturing explosives, blasting tools and other goods with special and dual-purpose use, around 90% of which are exported. The State Forestry Station in Chuprene village protects and monitors the activities in nearly 18,000 ha of forests on the territory of the municipality. The natural resources, preserved environment and the hospitality of the local people are a good basis for development of tourism in the municipality.
Tourism in Chuprene Municipality
Berkovitsa offers tremendous opportunities to escape city crowds and wander amidst the great outdoors of the western Balkan mountains. The famous Bulgarian author Ivan Vazov said it best:
Such wonderful nature here! What beauty in this unknown little paradise.
Berkovitsa town is a good starting point for excursions into the mountains and valleys of the municipality. There are over a dozen different marked trails leading to places of interest in the area. Some of the more popular destinations are:
- Kom Peak At 2016 m (6614 ft), the highest point in the region. 90 minute walk from Kom Hut. Panoramic views from the starting point of the Kom to Emine trek (European E-3 long distance trail.)
- Zdravchenitsa Peak Hike up to the summit at 1176 m (3858 ft). Trails from Berkovitsa town and Chereshovitsa.
- Haiydushki Waterfalls Hike beside streams and cascades to reach the waterfalls.
- Klisura Monastery A working monastery founded in the 13th century.
- Siniya Vir The Blue Pool. A favorite local spot for trout fishing.
- Ashiklar Mountain meadows for walking and picnics. Close to Berkovitsa town.
- Kaleto Nature Park For outdoor excursions. Roman fortress ruins found on the hill.
Museums in Chuprene Municipality
Berkovitsa Ethnographic Museum
Ivan Vazov House Museum
Klisurski Monastery Museum
Famous People from Chuprene Municipality
Asen Balkanski Partisan
Mihail Dimitrov Intellectual
Todor Tsrinski Engineer
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