Saturday, 21 July 2012 23:36
The municipality contains many popular tourist destinations and is known for its cool, clean mountain water and is famous for its unique geothermal mineral spring in the very centre of the town. Sapareva Banya is primarily popular for its mineral waters – the hottest mineral water in whole Europe with a temperature of 103 °C springs in the town. The only geyser on the Balkan Peninsula lies here too. The symbol of Sapareva Banya is the fountain-geyser, located in the center of the town. During hydrological researches in 1957, hot water and steam with temperature of 102°C were found 73 meters underground. The water column periodically pushes hot water with height of 18m above the ground.
The mineral waters of Sapareva Banya are clear, colorless, with a smell of hydrogen sulfide. The water heals diseases of loco-motor apparatus, peripheral nervous system, gynecological illnesses, acute and chronic poisoning with salts of heavy metals, dermic diseases, illnesses of the upper respiratory tract etc.
The healing qualities of the water in Sapareva Banya are a reason for the region to be populated from ancient times. The oldest known name of the town – Germaneya, was given by the Thracians, and was related with the hot mineral springs. Scientists say that in the language of the Thracians “Germaneya” meant “hot water”. Hypotheses exist that German was a Thracian god of heat. In the 3rd century AD Germaneya became one of the important centers of the Roman province Inner Dacia. The town suffered serious damage in the 5th century AD after the barbarian attacks. Remains of the ancient city can be seen near the medieval church “St. Nikolas”, located in the center of the town, opposite to the municipality.
The settlement became a part of the First Bulgarian State in the 7th century. In the Middle Ages Germaneya was an important commercial center with well-developed viticulture and agriculture. In 1205 year, when Bulgaria was governed by tsar Kaloyan (1197-1207), Germaneya was included in the territory of the Second Bulgarian State (1185-1393).
During the Ottoman dominion the local people were forced to leave the town, and settle where nowadays the village of Saparevo lies. Sheep-breeding was developed in the region for the needs of the Ottoman army and of the local Ottoman population. Many new settlers arrived, which led to economic uplift.
An interesting local landmark is the medieval church “St. Nikolas”, built in the 13th century. The local people found remains of the church in 1837, in the process of building a new church at the same place.
The icon of St. Mary, which is believed to be miraculous, is stored in another temple in the town – the church “Forty Holy Martyrs”. The temple was constructed in 1859 and the wall paintings were made in 1878 - 1879.
The finds made during archaeological excavations in the region, can be viewed in an ethnographic collection in the local school “Hristo Botev”.