"Kotel does not burn in fire,
Kotel does not get cut by saber,
in Kotel you can not easily get in. "
This song was proudly sung for more than 200 years by the elders in defense of their fortress in front of the Kardzhali invasion of Indje and Kara Feiz.
It is written even today on the walls of the kaleto, entering the city.
They call it Kotel "legendary city", "cradle of the Renaissance", "town of history", and someone said: "Kotel - this is Bulgaria!" The root of Kotel is a strong, Balkan spirit. The breath goes down when we have to list the giants born in this little Bulgarian nest: Sofronii Vrachanski - the most prominent representative of the Kotel Literary School, Dr. Peter Beron - author of the first Bulgarian literal, the so-called "Riben Bukvar" , left great work in five foreign languages; Neofit Bozveli - organizer and leader of the struggle for an independent Bulgarian church, teacher and enlightener; Georgi Rakovski - ideologist of the national liberation movement; Captain Georgi Mamarchev - famous revolutionary - fighter for national independence and holder of high military awards; Stefan Bogoridi, Gavrail Krustevich, Atanas Granitski, and many, many more enlighteners, revivalists and revolutionaries, have established the Bulgarian language with a feather and a sword.
Here Paisii was sleeping in the school, and here Stoyko Vladislavov (Sofronii) / for the first time wrote "History of Slavic Bulgarians". Here every stone and corner bear the spirit of bright names and dates.
Kotel burned three times and rose like a phoenix in the ashes, Kotel still carries today the Renaissance spirit and the mark of the pure Bulgarian, that troubled Bulgarian, always seeking his real place in the life and history of the Holy Fatherland.
An old legend tells of the emergence of the town of Kotel:
"High in the Stara Planina Mountain, on a main road was a small village called Novachka. Once a herd of horses from the village was lost. After a long search, the villagers found the animals to feed gently, in a place known today as "Izvorova poliana". Amazed by the incredible nature and clear spring water and tormented by the constant attacks along the road, the inhabitants of the village of Novachka decided to settle in the newly discovered place and so Kotel appeared. The location of the settlement in the valley gives its name. "
The name of Kotel is mentioned for the first time in an Ottoman-Turkish register in 1486. The town was then known as the Kazan Panara. In the second half of the 18th and 19th centuries the wave of 450,000 sheep raised by the Kotel Shepherds in Dobroudzha arrived back to the town for the Abi and Shayatsi processing. Long-term supply contracts for the Ottoman Empire provided local residents with some privileges / local government, tax exemptions/.
The favorable climate and lush pastures have defined sheep breeding as the main livelihood for the local population. Sheep breeding in turn was the start of many crafts in the region. Carpeting turns the city into one of the centers of weaving art. Even today the city is famous for its carpets, the oldest of which are exhibited at the Galatan School. In 1894, much of Kotel was destroyed in a fire. Only Galata has survived and today gives an idea of what the old city looked like.
On the coat of arms of the town of Kotel is depicted a torch - a symbol of enlightenment and a carpet - a symbol of the traditional craft. The motto below says, "I'm proud of the past and I live with the future."