Kotel town is located on the road of the strategic passage through the Eastern Balkan Mountains – Demir Kapia (today Kotlenski pass). Nestled in the splendor of the Kotleshnitsa river valley, the town has a rich history, and legend has it that it was inhabited by residents of the village of Novachka who went looking for a lost herd of horses. They found them grazing on a lush pasture near the three springs of Izvorova Polyana. The people decided to stay in this fabulously beautiful place, which they called Kotel because of the water that came out of the three holes in the rocks and “boiled like in a cauldron” (“kotel” means “cauldron”).
Because of its wealth, Kotel was attacked and burned in 1848 and 1863. After the Liberation, in 1894 the city was almost completely burned down, only the Galata neighborhood remained intact. Over 110 houses have been saved there, which today give an idea of the appearance of the city from those times and for which Kotel was declared an architectural and historical reserve. The old houses are built of wood and stone on one or two floors with huge eaves. The magnificent woodcarvings that decorate them are works of most fine art.
Today, Kotel is a significant cultural and historical city and is included in the 100 Tational Tourist Sites. The attractions of Kotel and its surroundings are numerous. The famous Kotlen hanwmade rugs with large geometric figures, woven with two different faces, can be viewed at the Galata School. Also noteworthy are the Natural History Museum, the Philip Kutev Music School, the Izvorite Park, the Holy Trinity and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul churches. In the Kotlenska mountain are located the caves “Lednika”, “Prikazna”, as well as many interesting rock formations.