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The Covered Bridge of Lovech

The Covered Bridge of Lovech, a captivating fusion of function and tradition, stands as an enduring symbol of Bulgaria's architectural heritage, bridging not only the banks of the Osam River but also centuries of history.

GuideBG Glimpse

Stepping back into the 19th century, the picturesque town of Lovech, nestled in the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains, bore witness to a unique architectural marvel – The Covered Bridge. It was 1874 when Bulgarian master builder Kolyu Ficheto took on the daunting task of constructing a covered wooden bridge over the Osam River. Ficheto drew inspiration from the earlier bridges that once stood here but had been swept away by floods.

The Covered Bridge, called “Pokrit Most” by locals, emerged as an awe-inspiring spectacle. It spanned 106 meters, stood 10 meters above the Osam River, and was held aloft by a series of stone piers. Its full wooden coverage, a rarity in bridge construction, made it a distinctive element in Lovech’s landscape.

The Bridge of Byala – another bridge by Kolyu Ficheto

An Iconic Bazaar

Unlike any ordinary bridge serving the purpose of the passage, The Covered Bridge was born with a dual role. It was a vital link connecting the two parts of Lovech and simultaneously served as a bustling bazaar. Its structure accommodated 64 shops, each a colorful window into the vibrant local trade and culture.

Goods, varying from artisanal crafts to aromatic spices, lured locals and travelers alike. The bridge became a throbbing artery, not just connecting two banks of a river, but also bonding people, cultures, and traditions. Here, every step resonated with the hum of lively trade, haggled prices, and tales of far-off lands.

The Phoenix Rises

However, disaster struck in 1925. A devastating fire swept across the bridge, reducing it to ashes. For several decades, Lovech was left without its symbolic heart. It wasn’t until 1981 that the bridge was reincarnated, thanks to the efforts of the Bulgarian engineers and architects Zlatev and Maleev.

Paying tribute to Ficheto’s original design while incorporating necessary modern safety features, Zlatev and Maleev breathed new life into the Covered Bridge. Today’s bridge maintains its historical look, complete with the charming wooden façade and its series of shops, once again teeming with life and commerce.

A Living Symbol of Lovech

Today, the Covered Bridge of Lovech isn’t just a walkway or a marketplace; it’s a vibrant symbol of Bulgarian resilience and artistry. It is a testament to the town’s rich past and undying spirit. Like the Osam river beneath it, the bridge has witnessed the ebb and flow of Lovech’s history, standing firm, lending character to the picturesque town.

The bridge’s architectural charm and historical significance lure visitors from across the globe. As they meander through the quaint shops and absorb the centuries-old atmosphere, they walk through Lovech’s rich history pages.

As the sun sets on Lovech, the lights from the Covered Bridge dance on the river below. The chatter from its shops blends with the gentle sounds of the Osam, narrating the story of a bridge that’s much more than a crossing. It’s the heart of a town, a monument to Bulgarian history, and a testament to the unyielding human spirit.

Essential details

Earliest cultural period:
Bulgarian Revival (1770 AD - 1900 AD)
Year of construction:
Can be seen on:
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