Bansko is a town in southwestern Bulgaria. It is located in Blagoevgrad, near Razlog and is the administrative center of Bansko. In the 19th century the village was the center of the Bulgarian Pirin in Macedonia territory, bordering with the Greek and Turkish populations. Nationally admired enlighteners Paisii Hilendarski and Neofit Rilski as well as poet Vaptsarov were born in Bansko. Today the town is a popular winter resort.
Bansko is located at the foothills of Northern Pirin mountain and is 927 meters above sea level. Bansko is 56 km from Blagoevgrad, 145 km from Plovdiv and 150 km from Sofia. Near the town of Bansko is Pirin National Park. The Glazne river flows through Bansko. The climate is mountainous and allows the snow cover from December to April, and the alpine character of the Pirin mountain provides excellent conditions for professional and amateur skiers. There is a light rail train running from Bansko to Dobrinishte and Septemvri.
Around 1850 was founded Bansko Bulgarian Municipality - organization of the local Bulgarian government, this followed the formation in 1833 of the village community council, headed by Lazar German for providing funds, materials and labour for the construction and painting of the church "Holy Trinity" built in 1835. Management of the municipality includes influential representatives of the trade and crafts community. In the 1860s to1870s the municipality headed the fight against the Greek church authorities for the independence of the Bulgarian church and the development of education in the village. On its own initiative in 1857 a new school building was built, and from this school they distributed newspapers and literature. The municipality organized the construction of the bell tower of the church "Holy Trinity" in 1850 and the installation of the clock in 1865.
In the 1870s, together with other municipalities in the town of Razlog, resisted the Protestant church. The Bansko Bulgarian Municipality assisted families, and victims of the repression in the Kresna-Razlog Uprising in 1878 - 1879 and the Ilinden Uprising in 1903
In the "Ethnography vilayets of Adrianople, Monastir and Salonika", published in Constantinople in 1878 reflected the statistics of the male population of 1873 and Bransko (Bransko) is listed as a village of 798 households and 2,700 resident Bulgarians.
According to certain statistics of Vasil Kanchov ( "Macedonia. Ethnography and Statistics") in 1900 Bansko is the biggest settlement in Razlozhkatakaza. The population is 6,500 Christian Bulgarians.
At the outbreak of the Balkan War in 1912, 131 people from Bansko were volunteers in the Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Volunteer Corps. During the war, the municipality organized the collection of food and clothing for the Bulgarian army and the volunteer groups of IMRO(Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committee). Bansko was freed on October 5, 1912 with the help of detachments led by Y. Vapcarov, Hristo Chernopeev, George Zankov, Michael Chakov, P.K.Yavorov, Stefan Chavdarov , Lazar Kolchagov and others. Two days later one of the greatest Bulgarian poets Yavorov welcomes people in Bansko as free citizens of Bulgaria. For the first mayor elected Asen Ivanov Todev and committee members are Lazar Gulubov and Marco Kovachev
The highest point of the ski resort center is 2560 m and the lowest point is 1000 m. Bansko has 75 km of ski runs, of which 35% are for beginners, 40% for advanced, and 25% for experienced skiers and snowboarders. The Ski Resort is equipped with artificial snow machines on 80% of the tracks. The ski season is guaranteed from December to May thanks to 170 snow cannons and track preparation machines TechnoAlpin Kassbohrer. The ski area offers 16 km ski trail equipped with artificial snow machines and lighting, connecting the higher parts of the resort town. A cabin lift with a capacity of up to 8 people per cubicle, a six-seat lift, six 4-chair lift model Doppelmayer, one 3-seat lift Poma, six ski lifts and ski lifts for ten children.
Environmental organizations protesting against the destruction of forests around Bansko, the expansion of tracks and construction of new facilities.
Bansko held the World Cup alpine skiing event in 2009 and annually since 2011
The town Bansko, has the following attractions from the book "100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria" written by the Bulgarian Tourist Union
· Velyanov House, visiting hours- 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00, on weekends it is closed. If you have the book “100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria” you are able to have a stamp inserted in the book stating that you have visited the house. This stamp is issued at the Museum "Vaptsarov"
· Neofit Rilski Museum , visiting hours- 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00 ,7 days per week. The stamp can be issued at the Museum "Vaptsarov"
· Nikola Vaptsarov Museum, visiting hours- 8:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:00 ,7 days per week. The stamp is issued by the museum’
· Art School of Bansko Icon Museum , visiting hours- 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00,on weekends it is closed. The stamp is issued by the Museum "Vaptsarov"
· The Church of the Holy Trinity, visiting hours- 7:30-18:00 (7:30-17:00 in winter) There is a stamp issued by the church..
· 01. January –‘Happy New Year’ Festive folklore concert and traditional kukeri (mummers) carnival
· January: Snowboard championship for the Cup of Bansko- for participants of all age groups.The snowboard championship in the Big Air discipline, is valid for the Bulgarian Cup and the Cup “Hopes”.
· February: Alpine Skiing - The national cup "Capi" and Cup "Pirin" for boys and girls of 10-14 years of age. Discipline 2 SL, 2 GS, category BC.
· February: National Competition for ice sculptures "Fire from Ice"
· February: National Championship for snowboarding- discipline HALFPIPE
· February: BALKAN OPEN CUP - alpine skiing. Men and women. Discipline 2 SL, 2 GS, category FIS
· Cup "Pirin" - cross-country skiing. All age groups. Category BC, NCh
· March: National Championship snowboarding. Discipline type 2 SBX. All age groups. Category FIS, NC, BC, NCh
· April: National Championship in Alpine skiing. Men, women, boys and girls. Course SL, GS, 2 GS. category BC
· April: National Championship for Biathlon
· April: National Cup "Pirin". Alpine Skiing. Men and women. Discipline SL, GS. category BC
· 18-24 April: events part of the Forest Week
· May: BANSKO OPEN 2005 - European tournament for arm wrestling
· May: Folklore Festival "Between three mountains"
· 17-24 May: Celebrations of the traditions of Bansko
· 01-04 June: The Campaign "Green Week" dedicated to World Environment Day June 5th. Held in Bansko and. Dobrinishte and near the thermal springs
· July: Football Tournament
· 1-7 July: Summer Theatre Festival
· August: Gold Armwrestling League - arm wrestling contest
· 8-13 August-International Jazz Festival,in existence since 1997, on an open stage in the city center, free to the public. Over the years at this festival international as well as Bulgarian performers have attended the festival, namely, Scott Hamilton, Igor Butman, Charles Papazoff, Axel Tsvingerberger, Milcho Leviev, Mario Stanchev, Yildiz Ibrahimova, Theodosii Spasov, Antoni Donchev and many other big names from the world and Bulgarian jazz scene.
· September: Children's Festival - a feast for the children of the town, donated by Manfred Diehl, owner of the hotel "Tanne"
· September: Pirin Folk Bulgaria - Bansko. International Festival of Bulgarian song. Traditionally, the contest involved artists from the Balkans
· 05 October-Celebrations for the official day of the town of Bansko
· November: International Festival of Arts "Morning Star"
· 25-29 November 2009 -IX International Mountaineer film festival
· 07 December: "Poets with guitar" - Concert recital devoted to Nikola Vaptsarov
· December-Christmas and New Year celebration events