The Village of Koprivshtitsa -- The most popular day trip from Sofia is Rila Monastery but an equally rewarding destination lies 110km (68 miles) east from Sofia: the architectural museum town Koprivshtitsa, one of Bulgaria's most beautiful villages, with almost 400 superb examples of the National Revival building style that swept through the country in the 19th century. Then populated with merchants and tax collectors who imported many of the artisans from Plovdiv to build homes that signified their wealth, tiny Koprivshtitsa also birthed a few of the key revolutionaries who, tired of the living under the corrupt Ottoman Empire, staged the April Uprising of 1876 -- a rebellion that was brutally squashed but signaled to the rest of Bulgaria, and the Russians, that the country was ready to liberate itself from the "Yoke of Oppression."
There are six house museums for which you purchase a single ticket from the museum administration office (daily 10am-6pm) on the main square. Note that most of the house museums are closed on Mondays (the exception being Oslekov House, which opens in the morning). Of the six, the most impressive are Lyutov House and Oslekov House, the latter's grand facade painted with images of Rome, Venice, and Padua. Kableshkov House is a far humbler abode, but of historic interest as the birthplace of rebel leader Todor Kableshkov (b. 1851): Todor launched his disastrous uprising on April 20 -- ahead of schedule, due to a traitorous spy -- by sending the Ottoman authorities notice in the famous "Bloody Letter," written in the blood of a dead Turk.
If you opt to overnight in town, try Bashtina Kushta ("Father's House"), a modern 14-room family-run inn at the edge of town, 32 Hadzhy Nencho Palaveev St. (tel. 359 07184 30 33; www.fhhotel.info) for 31€ ($46) per double (MC, V), or at the rustic, historic Dahlia at 12 Peter Jilkov St. (tel. 359 07184 30 65; www.dahlia.hit.bg) for 19€ ($30) per double (no credit cards). Rates for both include breakfast. Tip: For other meals, be sure to try the authentic, mouth-watering cuisine at Bashtina Kushta.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.