Three Generations Monument: A worthwhile half-day excursion from the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv
Three Generations Monument, Perushtitsa
Where is Perushtitsa Monument?
The small town of Perushtitsa is approximately 23km south-west of Plovdiv in south-central Bulgaria.
What is the Three Generations Monument?
Perushtitsa is well known in Bulgarian history for its part in the 1876 April Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. The uprising eventually resulted in the Liberation of Bulgaria a couple of years later and the imposing Three Generations Monument, which was inaugurated in 1976, marks the 100th year anniversary of Perushtitsa’s participation in the event. The memorial is also dedicated to two other revolutionary periods in Bulgaria’s more recent history. The first of these is the 1923 September Uprising, a military rebellion in which the Bulgarian Communist Party attempted but failed to oust Bulgaria’s existing government and seize control for themselves. The other important period is 1941-1944 when Bulgarian resistance fighters (partisans) fought against Axis forces and fascists during World War II.
Dominating the hill that overlooks the town, the Three Generations Monument is clearly visible for miles around. A pathway leads up to it from the main square in the centre of town (about a 30-minute walk) and on the final approach, stone steps lead past carved, ideological statues symbolising the three historical epochs, to the monument’s bell tower. Beneath the tower is an ossuary crypt containing the remains of twenty-two executed members of the Workers Youth League, an organisation tied to the Bulgarian Communist Party that was part of the resistance movement during World War II.
As with so many memorials erected at a similar time in Bulgaria, the Three Generations Monument is rather neglected and in a semi-state of abandonment.
Three Generations Monument, Perushtitsa
Is there anything else to see and do in Perushtitsa?
As well as the monument, Perushtitsa has a small museum near the main square that has a section about the uprising within it and there is even a Tourist Information Centre in town where you can pick up a map of the area and obtain help with bus timings back to Plovdiv.
During our visit, we also walked out of town (back in the direction of Plovdiv) to take a look at the ruins of the Red Church, a late Roman/early Byzantine basilica constructed and, unusually for the time, built entirely from red brick – hence the name. The church is 2.5km from the centre of Perushtitsa and after our visit, we returned to the main road and flagged down a passing bus that took us back to Plovdiv.
Red Church, Perushtitsa
How to get to Perushtitsa from Plovdiv on public transport
Getting to Perushtitsa from Plovdiv was straightforward enough for us once we had got the bus schedule from the Tourist Information Centre in Plovdiv. As mentioned in our Where to break the journey between Istanbul and Sofia post, the staff weren’t that forthcoming with information about things they didn’t know much about (given the close proximity of Perushtitsa and its significance in Bulgarian history, I was surprised by this) but after a bit of perseverance we found out that buses departed at 45 minutes past the hour from Plovdiv’s Yug bus station with the first one leaving at 6.45am and the last one at 9.45pm.
I can’t remember the exact schedule for the return journey but I think it was around the half-hour mark. My advice would be to check the timings with the Tourist Information Centre upon arrival in Perushtitsa and work around what they tell you.
Where to stay in Perushtitsa
There are places to stay should you want to overnight in Perushtitsa. Anita SPA Houses appears to be a good option. There is some lovely countryside and some nice walks around Perushtitsa and overnighting, or at least not being reliant on public transport, would allow more time to explore further afield. The Tourist Information Centre in Perushtitsa gives out a map detailing some walks (and mountain bike routes) in the area.
Planning a trip to Plovidiv? You might like to read: Where to break the journey between Istanbul and Sofia which includes our suggestions of what to do in Plodiv
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