- Gabrovo Province
Infobox Province of Bulgaria
Cyrillic = Област Габрово
Municipalities = Gabrovo, Sevlievo, Dryanovo, Tryavna
Area = 2,023 km²
Population = 137,461
LicensePlate = EB
Governor = Tsvetan Nanov
Website = http://www.gb.government.bg/
Gabrovo is a small
provincelying at the geographical centre of Bulgaria.
Gabrovois the main city of the Province of Gabrovo. Long known for producing leatherarticles and textilesthat earned the town the sobriquetof the “Manchester of Bulgaria”, Gabrovo is a charmingly laid-back provincialplace.
Bulgarians, Gabrovo is mainly known as the home of Humourand Satire, which opened on Aprils Fool’s Day 1972in recognition of the position traditionally occupied by the town in the Bulgarian humour. People in every country tell jokesabout the supposed miserliness of a particular community, and in Bulgaria the butt of the jokes has always been Gabrovo.
A Festival of Humour and Satire takes place in May, comprising
masked actors, folk music, animated cartoonsand the giving of prizes. There are plenty of restaurants in the city itself but the local people will recommend that you go out of town and visit Bozhentsi and the Etaracomplex.
Bozhentsi and Etara
Bozhentsi is preserved as an old village
museum. There is an ethnographic open air museum, Etara, nearby. Strung out along the valley, with its clear bubbling stream and rich bird-life, the Etara complex has the look and feel of a film set, and even though it is artificial, it is nonetheless convincing and a joy to explore.
craftswere inseparable from the charshya( bazaar), and the reconstructed bazaar of the type once common in Bulgarian towns forms the heart of the open air museum. Throughout much of the day artisans are at work here, hammering blades, throwing pots, carving bowls and the like, and everything they make is for sale. Note that many of the artisans leave an hour or so before the complex officially closes.
Even if your interest in crafts is minimal it’s difficult not to admire the interiors of the old houses, which achieve great beauty through the skilful use of simple materials. Besides
dwellings and workshops, the bazaar includes a couple of places for grabbing a quick drink, including a traditional café, and a bakeryselling Turkish Delightand many other sweet treats.
An hour or so walk southwest from Etara,
Sokolsky Monasteryperches on a cragabove the village of Voditsi. During Ottoman times the monks offered succour to Bulgarian outlawsand an assembly point during the uprising against the Turks in 1876. Nowadays it is a discreet, little-visited place, with rosebushes and privetshrubs laid out in a courtyard dominated by an octagonal stone fountain.
Places of interest in Gabrovo province include architectural reserve
Bozhentsi, Ethnographic Complex Etara, Dryanovo Monasteryand Sokolski Monastery. Uzana, a local winter resort is some 22 km away. Hiking is widely available in the Central Balkan National Park. For admirers of historical tourism, Shipka is a must-see.
Provinces of Bulgaria
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