Information about the village

Graovo is a historical-geographic and ethnographic area in Western Bulgaria. The region covers the Breznik and Pernik valleys, which are locked between the  Zavalska-Plana mountain range (the mountains of Zavalska, Viskyar, Lyulin and Vitosha) to the northeast and east, and the Ruysko-Verila mountain range (the mountains of Strazha, Cherna Gora and Golo Bardo ) to the southwest and south. This ethnographic region is typically Bulgarian and is characterized with the absence of mosques even during the Ottoman rule. The village of Kosharovo, Breznik Municipality, Pernik County, is located in South-Western Bulgaria. It is 18 km away southwest from Breznik, 35 km northwest from Pernik and 60 km west from Sofia. It’s located in a mountain area, at 805 m above the sea-level. For the first time, the village appeared on the lists of tax collectors – called the Jebelskans, in 1576, under the name Koshareva, to the Radomir kaaza (administrative-regional unit in the Ottoman empire) , and around the Liberation, there had been 14 houses with Bulgarians and 36 houses with Turks in the village, which they called “Mali Stambul” (the Small Istanbul) and since then, the expression has appeared: “May God keep you from a wolf from Golo Bardo, a robber from Dikanya and a Turk from Kosharevo“. According to the legend, the Vakal locality has been a possession of the Tsarna Gora  monastery, and it is presumed that it is the monastery cattle-pens (koshari) where the name of the village has come from. Another legend says that in a tax register kept in the National Library since  1530, it has been written: “And this time again, the villagers from Kosharevo did not pay their taxes”. The local people say that their ancestors met in ambush the three Turkish clerks who came to collect taxes and beat them up. Then the Turkish posse arrived and arrested four people. They began to call them the “cooped in” in the sense of “the taken to prison”  (“okosharenite”) and so the name Kosharevo appeared. Since antiquity this region has been inhabited. On a hill, at 6-7 кm south from the village, there is an Ancient fortress known as “Tepeto” or “St. Rangel”. According to the legend, an underground tunnel has connected the fortress with an ancient settlement on the Svetlya river. In Dubitsa locality, there is an ancient settlement and a mound necropolis. At 1 km west from the village, in the Monastery locality, also called “The Cross”, remains of a medieval church were  found. There is a vowed cross on the site. Once a year, Kosharevo is changing, comes alive and full of people. This is the time when Surva is in Pernik, as the local people call the custom get masked on the night of January 13th to 14th, and to go round, to wish health and prosperity in each house. The local holidays and fairs are: the winter tradition named “Surova”, „Spas’ Day“, on which the people cook boiled mutton (kurban). Every year on Cross Day – 27-th of September, there is a local (fellow) fair.