The town of Kotel is situated in a small valley in one of the passes of the Balkan Range linking North and South Bulgaria.

Kotel’s National Revival period houses are of the “wooden type” seen frequently in the Eastern Balkan Range. The only difference was that in Kotel they were higher up to 3-4 storeys, the ground floors housing shops and workshops, rather than the usual household premises. The originally open verandah is lost in later times, making the houses akin to closed urban homes with spacious central salons and a wealth of decorative elements. Although but a few, the preserved architectural examples provide a good idea of the town’s former appearance. Just take a look at the Kyorpeev House, now an Ethnographic Museum, the Koshichkov, Pisomov, Burnev, Bairumov and Karaivanov houses, Old water mill and the Inn. The yards are dotted with geraniums and carnations. The locals still weave their famous Kotel carpets, and many of their children study at the town’s secondary music school for national instruments and folk singing.