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Stonemasonry in Momchilovtsi

Stone Masonry in MomchilovtsiThe builders in Momchilovtsi are known as one of the first masters of stone in the Rhodopes.

It is considered that the beginning of the stonemasonry in the village was the building of the road from Xhanti to Elidge during 1896- 1905 ?. by the Turkish government. The bridges on the road above the Derebash river were undertaken by an Italian – Silvester, who hired builders from Momchilovtsi as workers.

For two years Kostadin Kanev learnt the stonemasonry and called his brothers Nedelcho (Hadji Nedelcho Kanev), Georgi and Anastas. Nedelcho became a favourite of Silvester.

Later they were joined by Ivan and Kostadin Pavlovi, Kosta Karapaunev, Stoyan Gunchev, Kosta Ketev and others. The stonemasons from Momchilovtsi left lovely “monuments” on roads, tunnels, bridges, train stations, public and religious buildings.

Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

Hadji Nedelcho Kanev is among the most eminent representatives of this craft. He is the builder and “the architect” of the tower, the narthex and the yard of the church in Momchilovtsi, of the church in the village of Borovo, of a lot of drinking - fountains.

He conducts the building of the monument in the village of Serafimovo ( a monument, dedicated to the Balkan war ).

The project of the church tower in Momchilovtsi belongs to Hadji Nedelcho Kanev. It is realised under his management by a team of stonemasons.

The building is started in 1914 and after an interruption during the First World War is completed in 1925.
Some cut the stones at the stone –pit within a millimetre of the dimensions required, others calculated and drew patterns.

The church tower is built by sandstone which is destroying slowly. This made father Nikoilai Rangelov to cover the unique stone cupola, made of rhomboid blocks, and the stone cornices with copper sheets.

Other monuments of stonemasonry in Momchilovtsi

Kanjuska drinking fountain

The church drinking fountain – 1924 /Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

The church drinking fountain – 1924 /Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

church drinking - fountain – 1924

The church narthex / Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

The church narthex


St. Nedelja chapel / Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

St. Nedelja chapel

Baklarska drinking fountain – 1924 /Hadji Nedelcho Kanev

Baklarska drinking fountain – 1924


Surkoska ( Tolkina) drinking fountain

Surkoska ( Tolkina) drinking - fountain

Horishtenska drinking fountain – 1922

Horishtenska drinking - fountain – 1922

Horishtenska drinking - fountain – 1922

Shukerska drinking fountain – 1923

Shukerska drinking fountain – 1923


Shukerska drinking fountain – 1923

Shukerska drinking fountain – 1923

Barchinska drinking fountain – 1930

Barchinska drinking fountain – 1930


Barchinska drinking fountain – 1930

Barchinska drinking fountain – 1930





The stonemasonry is a higher stage of the building trade, which combined the traditions of the Rhodopean craft and the Italian school.

It brought European harmony and aesthetics in the local building.



Literature used: Kanev, Konstantin, “The History of Momchilovtsi”, Sophia, 1975 , p.454- 459

Tourist Information Centre, Cultural Centre, 5 Elitsa Str. Momchilovtsi Village 4750, Smolyan District, Bulgaria