The architecture research of the Kotel region discovered continuing life as early as the pre-historic times – the Chalcolite, Bronze, and the early Iron Age. The Thracians lay down the foundations of the first fortress fortifications on the surrounding tops, which, during the late antiquity, were significantly expanded and fortified by the Byzantine Empire. They represent part of the defense system on the ridge of the Balkan Mountains, which was used and developed by the Slavs and the proto-Bulgarians. The defensive wall at the Zhelezni Vrata (Dimir Kapiya) (“iron gates”) pass are of particular importance as well as the fortress Vida connected to it, which was named after the peak of the same name, where on 17th of July, 1278 the detached forces of Ivaylo defeated the armies of the Byzantine military commander Murin.
The region of Kotel became the centre of the Bulgarian Renaissance in all aspects – national-liberation, church and educational movement. Here, the detachments of Kara Tanas, Altanla Stoyan, Panayot Hitov, Hadzhi Dimitar and Stoil Voyvoda performed their deeds. At the end of 1871 the apostle of freedom – Vasil Levski, came in Kotel.
It is not by chance that a number of prominent persons gained their spiritual and ideological maturity within the Kotel region, such as Georgi Rakovski – founder and ideologist of the national-liberation movement; Zahari Stoyanov – one of the most eminent revolutionaries, a political and public figure after the Liberation;
The Kotel region is one of the few places in Bulgaria that stored such a rich abundance of cultural monuments till the present days. 727 architectural, 23 art and 13 archaeological monuments have been proclaimed in the region.