The Tourist Hut above the city is among the most favorite places for walking, relaxation and entertainment for the people of Vratsa and visitors. It has become our emblem, its construction preserves an interesting story about the unity and unification of the people of Vratsa, who decided to lay its foundations with voluntary work and donations nearly 100 years ago.
The whole story was told by Vesela Pelova from the State Archives - Vratsa.
It all started in 1900, when forty residents of Vratsa gathered to realize an idea with which they infected their fellow citizens - to get to know the natural beauties of Vratsa and the Vratsa Balkan and popularize them as widely as possible. They create a real "FanClub" of the beautiful nature of Vratsa, which has had its ardent supporters for more than 100 years. Thanks to this rapturous worship of nature, the tourist movement in the city was started and Vratsa acquired the fabulous Tourist Hut, which has become a symbol.
The ideas that united the pioneers of Vratsa tourism in 1900 are still relevant and avant-garde even today: to reveal the beauty of Vratsa nature to the people of Vratsa, to attract foreigners to the Vratsa Balkans, to create tourist premises and dormitories where visitors can stay and the guests of Vratsa, to build a tourist hut with a tourist bedroom, to systematically and gradually reforest the surroundings of Vratsa, with the support of the Vratsa City Municipality and the forestry department, to write and publish guidebooks, to mark the tourist trails, to popularize the "Ledenitsa" cave, to establish and promote the lobby of Hristo Botev, promote the tourist routes to all the remarkable natural areas, make trips to the villages to get to know the village life and environment, promote sports games, for which they begin to spread the game of football, name the beautiful localities around Vratsa, which do not have their own names, to publish the newspaper "Tourist", to build a road to Ledenika and to Okolchitsa, to promote winter ski sports, to create a tourist choir.
They undertake to implement these initiatives with the deep conviction that "Vratsa has all the advantages of being a center of tourism, which will benefit both its members and the Motherland in general".
Among all these magnificent ideas, one rises to the greatest height – to be a symbol and emblem of the city. This is the idea behind the construction of the Tourist Hut.
In 1903, Metodi Majdrakov for the first time proposed to his like-minded tourists to consider the need and possibility of creating a "tourist locale" - to accommodate the guests and visitors of Vratsa. The very next year, 1904, the members of the association recorded in their draft budget the first 50 BGN to create a fund for the construction of a tourist lodge. And this one year before the first stone was laid on Cherni Vrah by the Sofia tourists, for the construction of the "Aleko" hut!
Unfortunately, the many difficulties and the few companions of the tourists made the realization of the Hut possible only in 1925.
On Ilinden, August 2, 1925, in honor of the 25th anniversary of its establishment, the Vratsa society called the people of Vratsa to attend the festive event: the laying of the foundation stone of the future lodge. From Ilinden 1925 to Dimitrovden (then - old style, Archangelovden now) November 8, 1926, when the opening of the newly built Hut was celebrated with indescribable delight, Vratsa and its people experienced the most incredible year in their new history. They managed to unite around a brilliant idea and do their best to realize the project of architect Dogramadzhiev and his friends and like-minded people from the tourist association "Veslets". From the bricks to the gleaming sheet metal cladding of the towers, every item needed for the construction and furnishing of the Lodge was donated by the citizens, institutions and organizations of the city.
The hut became the proud work of all Vrachans, as evidenced by the lists of donors and the thanks of the society, published on the pages of the local newspapers of that time. The symbolism of unity and unification is the first magnificent meaning that acquires this latest and most modern, not only for the time, creation to grow into a true emblem of the new, modern urban spirit.
The hut becomes the focus of all the avant-garde ideas of its creators. They were the first to introduce new city holiday customs and traditions - festive fun and celebrations for Christmas Eve and the Liberation of the city. Therefore, naturally and logically, it became a symbol and emblem of the city, a favorite place for fun, relaxation and contemplation of generations of Vratchans. A place for winter rinks, love encounters and holiday parties, patriotic celebrations and all kinds of sporting endeavors, for walks with friends and children's games throughout the year - from early spring to late autumn. A place of memory and appreciation for the ancestors and a place of solitude in nature!
"You don't put out what doesn't go out," said the poet, and in 2006, experts proved that it can't burn. The lodge is rebuilt again, perhaps as proof of the eternal truth that true values must be rediscovered, defended and protected to be earned. Today's generations had to face the danger of losing one of the symbols of their city in order to rediscover it; to realize and appreciate the legacy bequeathed by their forefathers to deserve the privilege of being its heirs.