Bansko is a small town founded in the 15th century, which manages to mix traditional Bulgarian architecture with holiday-resort flair. This is the newest and the most dynamic of Bulgaria’s winter sports resorts and holds the record for snow in both quantity and duration as you can ski here from December 15 to May 15. At an altitude of 925 meters,located in the highest and also the most beautiful part of the Pirin Mountains, Bansko offers a stay in a wintery resort where the local people have managed to preserve the originality of its traditions, and of its cuisine and craft industry. There are many cultural events all year round. Its name comes from the old Bulgarian word "ban", which means"master."
The style of Bansko is representative of the rural landscape of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unique in their kind, the fortified houses are silent witnesses to the independent nature of its former inhabitants. The timber-framed stone houses which hide behind thick walls with stout double doors and loopholes in the walls used for protection are also “home” to one or more of secret hiding places.
Some of these houses are now converted to restaurants (mehana) where dinner is often a show, mixing live music, culinary delights and ancient customs.
Stroll around the old neighbourhood. Visit the Bansko Veljanov house with its magnificent murals. Also, stop at the church of St. Trinity (a great example of the Bulgarian Renaissance in 1885) and admire its imposing tower.
Decorative art - painting, woodcarving, was so well developed here that during the Bulgarian Renaissance the town gave birth to its own style.