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If you drive out of Burgas and into the Strandzha, you will come across many odd villages but one will stand out as being particularly bizarre. Not only has it been spared the large-scale construction evident all along the southern Black Sea coast, but it is full of wooden sculptures that make it look like a woodcarvers' colony.

The sculptures are vestiges of the International Wood Sculpture Symposium, which used to be held in the village at irregular intervals.

According to the legend, the village was settled by admirers of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, who followed him on what was to be his last attempt to reach Jerusalem. Tolstoy, who had become increasingly mystic toward the end of his life, set off for the Holy Land, but fell sick at a town not very far from Moscow, and later passed away at the station. His followers continued the journey, but did not make it as far as Palestine. They stopped in this village and named it after the resting place of their great mentor. The name – and reputedly some offspring of the Tolstoyists – remains to this day.

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Email your answers by 10 May to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you can win a weekend for two at the Medite Spa Hotel, Sandanski, where you will experience the ultimate in relaxation and service.

The winner will be selected in a draw*.

*Winners of competitions produced by Vagabond, Bulgaria's English Monthly, are selected in a draw. The decisions are final and correspondence will not be entered into. Prizes may be collected in person at the editorial offices in Sofia or shipped anywhere in Bulgaria postage-free. Postal charges will apply for shipments abroad. For customs reasons we are unable to ship alcoholic beverages abroad. Any customs or other duties levied on shipments abroad will be the responsibility of the addressee. Prize winners will be interviewed and featured in the magazine, unless they have specifically indicated otherwise.

Vania Slavova in Sofia wins our Where in Bulgaria Are You? competition. She loves exploring the countryside and it shows – she guessed we were asking you about the town of Pirdop in last month's quiz. Vania will be enjoying a weekend for two at the Medite Hotel, Sandanski, courtesy of Vagabond.

Read 5373 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2016 20:48

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