town, northwestern Bulgaria. It is situated in the northern foothills of the western Balkan Mountains at the point where the Leva River emerges from its picturesque Vratsata gorge. The town was moved to its present position in the early 15th century after the Turks had destroyed a previously standing Bulgarian fortress. Under the Turks, Vratsa was a prosperous trading centre on routes traversing Europe. After Bulgaria's liberation in 1878, Vratsa's trade and craft industries declined, but the town remained an administrative centre and garrison town.
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