Vratsa: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Medieval Tower in Vratsa.
Vratsa is located in Bulgaria
Location of Vratsa
Coordinates: 43°12′N 23°33′E / 43.2°N 23.55°E / 43.2; 23.55
Country  Bulgaria
 - Mayor Totyo Mladenov
Elevation 344 m (1,129 ft)
Population (2008-03-14)[1]
 - Total 68,680
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 3000
Area code(s) 092

Vratsa (also transliterated as Vraca or Vratza, in some languages with a W; Bulgarian: Враца) is a city in northwestern Bulgaria, at the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. It is the administrative centre of Vratsa Province.

The city of Vratsa is a commercial and crafts centre and a railway junction. Vratsa accommodates textile, metal processing, chemical, and ceramics industries. It was an important administrative and garrison city under Ottoman rule (15th–19th century).



City of Vratsa is one of the most picturesque cities in the Country. It is nestled in the foothills of "Vrachanski Balkan" (Vratsa Mountain), with the Leva River calmly crossing the city, enormous and fearful rocks overhanging the roofs. The city is only 116 km far from the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The area has diverse and attractive natural features, which together with the opportunities of recreation gives a special charm of the eastern part of the Northwest Bulgaria. Several protected natural attractions and historical monuments are located on the territory of the Vratsa State Forestry.


Vratsa is an ancient city found by ancient Thracians. Vratsa was called Valve ("door of a fortress") by the Romans due to narrow passage where the main Gate of the city fortress was located. Nowadays, this passage is the symbol of Vratsa and is presented on the Town's Coat of Arms.

After the fall of Rome, Vratsa became part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium).

At the end of the 6th century AD, Vratsa was populated by the South Slavic tribes. Even if they came from Pannonia and Dacia on the north, the town reimained under Byzantine rule.

In the 7th century, the Bulgarians and the Slavs found the Bulgarian State and the Slavic Vratsa became part of it. The city grew into important strategic location because of its proximity to the South State border. The name of the city was changed from Valve to the Slavic Vratitsa, which has the same meaning and is the source of the modern name. Vratsa became famous for its goldsmith's and silversmith's production and trade, high-quality earthenware and military significance.

In the 8th century, the Bulgarian army captured Sofia, which led to the decreasing of Vratsa's importance because of the better strategic position of Sofia, its more developed economy and larger size. But Vratsa was again key for the resistance against the Byzantine, Serbian and Magyar invasions in the Middle Ages.

Street scene from Vratsa.


The mountains and forests are suitable for development of different types of tourism — hunting and fishing, skiing, speleology, delta-gliding, photo-tourism, etc.

Good opportunities exist for exercising different sport activities such as mountaineering, bicycle sport and for those who enjoy being thrilled can go for hanggliding and paragliding, or set out for carting, buggy and motocross racing tracks.

Conditions are provided for rest and entertainment — children's and adults' swimming pools, water cycles, discos, bars, restaurants, excellent hotel facilities and good service. If you are a fervent admirer of winter sports you will be glad to hear that the rope lines near the Parshevitsa Chalet are working, and the skiing tracks are well maintained.

There exist a Museum of History and an Ethnographic and Revival Complex.


Vratsa connects to the villages and city within the region and throughout the country by bus and railway transport. There are regular bus lines to Sofia, Pleven, Vidin, Montana, Kozloduy, Oryahovo, Mezdra (at short intervals), as well as to the smaller villages, scattered around the city. The bus station is located on the way between the railway station and the centre of the city. Vratsa is an important railway station along the railway route MezdraBoychinovtsiBrusartsiVidin (Lom). The city connects to the national railway network through the railway station of Mezdra. The railway station is located in the northeastern part of the city. There is regular bus transport within the city.


Vratsa Peak on Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Vratsa.

Use in popular culture

Vratsa is the home of a professional Quidditch team operating within the fictional Harry Potter universe. The Vratsa Vultures have won the European Cup seven times.[2]

Twin cities



  1. ^ http://grao.bg/tna/tab02.txt
  2. ^ Whisp, Kennilworthy (2001). Quidditch Through the Ages. WhizzHard Books. pp. 31–46. ISBN 1551924544.  

External links


Pictures of Vratza City

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Vratsa is a city in Northwest Bulgaria.

Get in

Vratsa can be reached by train, bus or car.

By train

The main railway station connects the city with the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, and also with the cities of Vidin, Lom, and Mezdra. The train frequency is acceptable. An express first-class-only train runs once a day from Plovdiv (via Sofia) and back.

By bus

The omnibus station is located near the railway station. Busses connect Vratza directly with Sofia, Vidin, Kozloduy, Lom, Oriahovo, and many other cities. Nearby villages are also connected via bus links. The bus frequency to and from Sofia is very good. In summer, there are also bus lines to some Black Sea resorts. There also buses to Spain and Portugal, but not as often as the inter-Bulgaria connections.

By car

Vratsa is situated on the international E-79 route, and thus easily accessed from Vidin (2 hours), Sofia (1.5-2 hours), etc. Road signs are mostly written in both cyrillic and latin.

By air

There is no regional or international airport in Vratsa. The nearest civil/international airport of entry is located in Sofia (SOF/LBSF).

By boat

There is no boat transportation to Vratsa. The nearest ports are in Oryahovo and Kozlodui (Danube river)

Get around

By walking

Most sites in the centre of Vratsa can be reached by walking. Remote places can be reached either by a taxi, a bus or a trolleybus.

By bike

Some remote places can also be reached by bike (like Hizhata), see it like a nice work-out. Note that cycling on the road can be dangerous, since not all car drivers keep distance and tolerate bikers. Cycling through the main street in the rush hour or in the weekend can be quite challenging when trying to avoid crashes with the huge amount of pedestrians. Mind that some pedestrian areas are forbidden for bikers!

By taxi

The yellow cabs can be spotted very often and are rather cheap. The prices are shown on the windshield of the vehicle. Mind that there are different fees (like call fee) that are added to the regular kilometre fee.

By trolleybus/Bus

This kind of transportation connects the remote parts of the city and the centre. Although rather slow it is a good and cheap alternative to the taxis. This is the means of transportation that is most often used by the locals.

  • Historical museum.  edit
  • Ledenika cave.  edit
  • Mountain Passage 'Vratsata'.  edit
  • Hizhata (the Hut).  edit
  • Different sport activities. at the sport complex of the city.  edit
  • Shopping, Targovska str.  edit
  • Urban Sightseeing.  edit
  • Trade center 'Sumi'.  edit
  • Billa Supermarket.  edit
  • Kaufland Supermarket.  edit
  • Pizzeria 'Milevi'.  edit
  • Hotel/Restaurant 'Chaika'.  edit
  • Bar 'Antik'.  edit
  • Bar 'Caramel' (opposite Hotel 'Hemus', a WLAN hotspot).  edit
  • Café Kadife.  edit
  • Trakijska Printzessa (Thracian Princess). one of the oldest cafés of the city, renovated  edit
  • Hotel 'Hemus' (located in the Botev Square. The theatre and plenty of clubs and bars can be reached within minutes).  edit
  • Hotel 'Chaika' (located outside Vratza in the Vratza Mountains near the river of Leva).  edit
  • Hotel 'Rade'.  edit
  • Hotel 'Hushove' ((located outside Vratza)).  edit
  • Hotel 'Vratza' (5 star hotel, still in construction).  edit

Get out

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative spellings

  • Vraca
  • Vratza

Proper noun


  1. A town in northwestern Bulgaria.


  • Bulgarian: Враца


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