Museum of Speleology - Chepelare
the Museum of Rhodope Carst in Chepelare is unique in Bulgaria and the only speleological museum in Southeastern Europe. It is located at the first floor of the Alpine hotel building, purposefully called “Speleologist".
Why Chepelare? The love of nature stimulated the ambitious young teacher Dimitar Raychev to establish a school group of geology, back in 1950, and with that group he started visiting caves. In 1963 Raychev received support from other enthusiasts, scientists and speleologists and the Speleological Club was established. Scientific exploration of the caves started and it took just 5-6 years to explore almost 200 caves in the Rhodopes, and the results were presented in the Museum Exhibition on Speleology, opened in 1968. A scientific team of specialists, from national cultural institutions, further developed the museum exhibition in the Musym of Rhodope Carst, officially opened in 1980. The museum is the result of the heavy work of several generations of speleologists, assistants and scientists, spanning over the 60 year history of speleology in the Rhodopes.
Museum of Skis and Ski Sports - Chepelare
On 09 February 1998 at the Winter Olimpics in Nagano, Japan, the resident of Chepelare – Ekaterina Dafovska won the first Winter Olympic golden medal for Bulgaria. A museum exhibition, opened three months later was based on that victory.
Within minutes the name of Bulgaria spread around the world, and the name of Chepelare was in the news for weeks
As suggested by Dimitar Raychev – a teacher and public figure, speleologist-explorer, the founder of the Museum of Rhodope Carst, and with the support of former and current skiers, who became the first donors of the Chepelare Municipality and the Ski Plant, laid the foundations of the current exposition. Its main idea is to trace the development of ski sports in Chepelare and the skis, as the main item practicing this sports.
In the museum you will be able to learn more about legendary skiers, such as Ekaterina Dafovska, Shinka Kutsinova, Krastana Stoeva, Evangelina Peshinska, Mitko Hadzhiev, Borislav Kiryakov, Radoslav Yankov, Dimitar Gerdzhikov and many more of the old and new generations, who inscribed their names in the golden pages of history of the national and global sports.