Lukovit is situated along the both banks of Zlatna Panega River. The river’s picturesque valley gives life all over the vicinity. Even for poets it is hardly to describe the beauties of the river’s spring situated near the village named after it, Zlatna Panega. Beneath branches of lime and weeping willow trees, the emerald calm water of the lake is actually the second largest spring after the Devnia’s karst springs. It is known from the very beginning of time with its cure powers. Many have sought healing or relief of their illnesses and physical sufferings into the coldness of the water. On the very bank of the spring was built a temple as a symbol of gratitude to the Greece god of medicine, Asclepius, and the river itself they named after his daughter, Panaka (later transformed to Zlatna Panega).
There are many legends about the divine power of the waters of the river. One of them is coming from the lakes of Rila and Ochrid: “Once upon a time a shepherd had pastured his sheep in the Rila mountain. One day he threw his rod after a sheep. The rod fell into the lake and disappeared. The shepherd was a poor and lonely man and all the gold that he owned was hidden in the rod. Desperate and sad, he wandered about and reached the Head Panega Spring. Here, he finally found his rod and realized that the water had carried it there, thus the river brought happiness back to the shepherd.”
According to research done by Professor Atanas Ishirkov, a famous Bulgarian geologist, the Head Panega originates partly from the Vit river and the rest from the karst country side among the valleys of Vit and Batul rivers. His research was confirmed by a group of geologists in 1948 and 1952. Studies have concluded that most of the river's streams flow from Vit river.
The first known signs of inhabitants in the municipal territory are datedbetween 2 000 -3 000 BC. Subsequently came Thracians – the founded thracian treasure is a proof of their presence; Romans and Bulgarians – evidenced by the discovery of bracelets, bronze axes, coins, slab stones, earthenware vessels, ornaments, and other household items.
It is believed that Lukovit dates from the 17thcentury. But there are reports for existence of village Gorni Lukovit back in 1430 AD, shown in Turkish administrative documents, kept in The National Library of Sofia. The documents say that Gorni Lukovit had 47 houses, Dolni Lukovit had 44. According to other historical documents and articles Bulgarians were forcibly enslaved by the Turks near the rivers Vit, Iskar and Skat between 1683 AD and 1687 AD. The very period produced a unique song of Lukovit, which the town became famous for. The song called “The Maids of Lukovit” became the anthem of the local choir.
In 1799 the inhabitants of the Gorni Gligor and Dolni Gligor countryside near the river Iskar, expatriated running away from the Turkish oppressors.
During 1889–1890 Pleven District was separated in two regions. The Pleven Region was established with 25 municipalities and 49 villages; and Lukovit Region consisted of 16 municipalities and 23 villages.
In 1898 the District Department and Court and Tax Department was established in Lukovit. The town also built a district hospital, primary and secondary schools, and public library. A water driven power plant was built in Lukovit – one of the first in Bulagria – a sign of the longsighted mind of the local people.
Historic heritage and museum exponents
Lukovit had been dating at the chronicles since the 17th century; and at the Turkish annals – since 1470. The archeological finds have shown existed inhabitancies since 2000 - 3000 years B.C., which had been really impetuous at the Thracian period.
At the “Temnata dupka” cave, situated at Zlatna Panega canyon were found primordial people tracks – the first Homo sapiens, who lived on the planet.Among the unique archeological finds, kept from the mercilessness of the time the material evidences of spiritual culture of the Thracian, Romanian and Slav tribes, the most attractive is The Lukovit Silver Treasure from 4 th century B.C. Treasure was found in 1954 at the surroundings of the town. Its content is 200 parts with different predestination. You can find the specific features of Thracian arts and the tribe's development, during the 4th century and the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., hidden at The Treasure.The Treasure was a property of a local Dynastian, tribe aristocracy member, who was compelled to dig it in an earthenware vessel far away of his land, because of -3- tumultuous events during the first half of 3rd century. The treasure stayed hidden for many centuries, till accidentally was found by residents of Lukovit and submitted to The National Archeological Museum of Sofia. Its replica was submitted to the Museum of Lovech.
Unlike Panagurian Treasure – one of the most valuable, that has a foreign origin, the Treasure of Lukovit is distinguished with its creations of the local trakian goldsmith's work.Among the great number of legends delivered from generation to generation, a real masterpiece of the Bulgarian National Works is the Lukovit Maids song, returned to a symbol of the town.Near the village Karlukovo and the river Iskar, is located The Monastery of Karlukovo. In 15th century was plundered and ruined. At the end of the 16th and the beginning of 17th century it was revived. Afterwards again is ruined and becomes desolated. In 1834 The Monastery of Karlukovo is rebuilt with the support of St.Chalakov from Plovdiv. Nowadays is only retained the old Church “Uspenie Bogorodichno” /“Holy Mary”/. It was a part of grant cloister complex, which according the legends had a healing effect. Here were engraved the patrons of the healers - brothers saints Damian and Kuzma. The healing effect of the place is confirmed by the legend and the existence for many sanctuaries.
The church with a vault ark was entirely built by stones. The columns and bases, and floors are built by rough worked up stones too. The sacred image is oak-worked, the walls and the ark are engraved. The church is announced for a Cultural Monument of the Nation.Across from The Monastery of Karlukovo are preserved two more rock-formed churches; 5-6 km to the northwest of the railroad Karlukovo is located the church “Saint Grigorii”, where are kept mural paintings from the 14th and 17th centuries.There is a large fortress at the country side “Mushat”, where have been found a lot of coins, owned by Byzantine emperors, some decorations and ornaments too.
With a great significance to the Bulgarian History are the national herоs and defenders – Angel, Valchan, Vasil Levski. The National Apostle of Liberty – Vasil Levski founds a revolutionary committee, develops Bulgarian Education Enlightenment and struggles all his heroic life for the national liberty. In 1848 a school was established in a small room. First tutors had been Kancho Velin and Dimitar Odjakov, who taught children to write and read, and adults – to revolution.Four years after The Liberation in 1882 the settlement becomes a center of Pleven District. In 1892 it is an officially proclaimed by Prince Ferdinand for a town.
The spiritual life of Lukovit is identified with the cultural and educative activities of Evgenii Vashchinko, Petko Stoinov, Krustyo Sarafov, Konstantin Zidarov, Dimitar Talev, Spas Kralevski and others – very significant for Bulgarian Culture and History.
The thracian treasur from Lukovit, 4th century BC