Koprivshtitsa was first settled in the 14th century. At the time the local population was mainly engaged in cattle raising, home spun tailoring, fur making, decorating and other trades. The people of Koprivshtitsa were also good tradesmen, doing business in far-away places like Constantinople and Alexandria. This affluent town was three times plundered and burnt down by the kurdjali, but it rose again from the ashes and achieved its heyday in the 19th century when it had over 1000 houses and almost 12 000 inhabitants. This was the period when spacious houses, schools, churches, water fountains and bridges were built on a large scale. In 1837 Neofit Rilski opened the first school there and nine years later Nayden Gerov established the first independent boys’ school in Bulgaria. In 1864 a girls’ school welcomed its fist students and three years later Todor Kableshkov set up the student association ‘Dawn”. In 1869 the local community center was opened. In the same year Vasil Levski set up the revolutionary committee. At the same time Lyuben Karavelov, born in Koprivshtitsa, headed the expatriate Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee in Bucurest. On 20 April 1876 the first gun of the heroic April uprising went off to mark the beginning of this glorious epic of the Bulgarian people. The uprising was announced by Todor Kableshkov and it was lead by another man from Koprivshtitsa – Gavrail Hlatev, known by the generations as Georgi Benkovski – the unyielding and zealous leader of the people’s uprising, who perished heroicly near Teteven in the Balkan mountains. Unlike Batak, Bratsigovo, Perushtitsa and other towns – martyrs of the uprising, Koprivshtitsa was spared by the Ottomans. The rich people from Koprivshtitsa bought it off from the invaders, thus ensuring that Bulgaria retains its richest architectural treasure untouched throughout the centuries.
The town’s uniqueness lies also in the fact that it is the birthplace of a number of prominent Bulgarians, e.g. Lyuben and Petko Karavelov, Georgi Benkovski, Nayden Gerov, Dimcho Debelyanov, Todor Kableshkov and many others.