7 sights in Gabrovo
Gabrovo is located only 15 km away from Tryavna. A city known not only for its love of jokes, for its annual carnival of humor and satire, for its numerous monuments and bridges, but also for being one of the longest cities in Bulgaria with a length of 25 km, along the banks of the Yantra river. Today we will present 7 sights in Gabrovo we would advise you to visit, that are only a few of the numerous sights in the mountain town has to offer.
1. Museum Home of humor and satire
Museum House of Humor and Satire was opened on 1st April 1972. It is the single such museum in the world. In ten halls it gathers and represents the work of over 150 humor masters from all over the world. The museum has a variety of functions – it is a museum of laughter, a gallery of international humorous art, an information center, a place for entertainment and a tourist attraction for all ages. The purpose of the museum is to collect, research, exhibit and promote the humor of the nations in the field of fine arts, literature and folklore, photography, posters, holiday and masquerade traditions around the world.
The museum is located in the center of Gabrovo, close to the bus station and railway station. The House of Humor and Satire welcomes its visitors with the cheerful greeting of favorite humorous characters, whose sculptural compositions can be seen there and form the Park of Dare: Hitar (Cunning) Peter, Charlie Chaplin, the inseparable Don Quixote and Sancho Pansa, the work of Prof. Georgi Chapkanov.
A Gabrovo family had some guests over. However, the guests stayed a while longer, so the eventually the wife reminded her husband: Come on, dear, let’s go to bed because our guests may want to go home already!…
2. National museum of education and National Aprilov high school
It is located in the building of the National Aprilov High School. The museum is listed as one of the 100 national tourist sites. It was created in 1973. It is the only specialized museum in Bulgaria that preserves and reflects how education used to take place. Its fund preserves the memory of Bulgarian education – about 200,000 documents, photographs and material related to the educational work from the 10th century to present day. Here you can see the reconstructions of a cell school, a kindergarten from the late XIX century, of the first contemporary Bulgarian school.
On January 2nd 1835 the First Bulgarian Secular School was opened in Gabrovo under the Bel-Lancaster method with donations from the prominent Gabrovo patriots Vasil Aprilov, Nikola Palauzov, Vasil Rasheev and others. For the needs of the school, the first textbooks, aids and tools were created, which were taken as a model by the later Bulgarian schools. Since 1872, the Gabrovo School has grown into the First Full High School in the enslaved Bulgarian lands. Since 1889 it has adopted the name of its benefactor Vasil Aprilov and was called The Aprilov High School. A new stage in the development of the high school began in 1988 when on January 25th the Ministry of Culture, Science and Education approved a new status of high school, with which it became a secondary school with a humanitarian profile with a course of education from 8th to 12th grade with a national acceptance of students without social restrictions.
3. Dechkova museum house
The Dechkova house is an architectural and cultural landmark, a historical monument of culture, built in 1835 and one of the best preserved houses from the Revival period in Gabrovo. It was home to one of the most prominent merchants in the city. In the years since its establishment there was a Girls’ School housed in it, then it was used as a town hall and during the Russo-Turkish Liberation War it used to be a hospital for wounded refugees. In November 1883, a branch of the Red Cross was also opened in the house. Today the Dechkova House looks exactly as the original since during the restoration the architectural traditions of the typical local style have been preserved and the rooms still have the original furniture from the early 19th century.
4. The Regional History Museum- Gabrovo
One of the oldest cultural institutions in Gabrovo is a regional history museum, which is also a direct successor to the established museum at the Aprilov High School. In the museum the visitors can see the unique finds from the Paleolithic period such as a cave bear, bones of an ancient man, tools of labor, etc. They were discovered in Bacho Kiro cave, which is one of the 100 national tourist sites. It is located near Dryanovo monastery in western direction. The museum has 4 departments: Archaeology Department; Department “Bulgaria XV – XIX century”; Department “Ethnography” and Department “New and Latest History”.
Nowadays its rich collection includes 120,000 units from the Paleolithic era, the late antique civilization of these lands (4th – 6th centuries BC), the First and Second Bulgarian Kingdoms, the Ottoman period, the Revival, the industrial upsurge until present day. Among its most valuable exhibits are: armaments of the Gabrovo derventzhii from the Ottoman period, the most thorough set of sokay headscarf in any Bulgarian museum, the first Bulgarian banknote of 20 BGN, the flag of the first factory in the Principality of Bulgaria after the Liberation – the only factory flag preserved in any Bulgarian museum, etc.
The museum is housed in a beautiful Baroque building – a monument of culture of national importance, designed by the great Bulgarian architect Nikola Lazarov, built in 1904.
5. Baeviyat (Bayov) bridge
Built in 1855 The Bayov bridge is one of the symbols of the city and has been declared a monument of culture. It is located in the center of Gabrovo and was made in 1855 by Master Mincho Stoyanov. It is dedicated to the participation of the people of Gabrovo in the April Uprising. The name is quite interesting and comes from an old mill, which was located very close to the bridge and was one of many built along the Yantra River. It is made entirely of cut stone and is one of the few that has been organically preserved within the new urban setting. In its high part you can see an inscription according to which Sultan Abdul Mejid personally allowed the bridge to be built and even financially supported its construction. Several interesting unique sculptural compositions are a part of the bridge: „The Wounded Rebel”, “The Figure”, “Science” and “Apriltsi”.
6. The Monument of Ratcho Kovacha (The Blacksmith)
The statue of Racho Kovacha is located on a large rock, next to the waters of the Yantra River. For the local people, Racho Kovacha is the founder of the city, because a settlement was formed alongside his forge and thus the town of Gabrovo appeared and formed its appearance as a town of craftsmen. An old legend tells that above the workshop of Racho Kovacha there was a large hornbeam tree and that is how the name of the settlement came to being.
The monument of Racho Kovacha is the only one built in a river in Bulgaria. Proverbial with their frugality the Gabrovo people decided to put the monument at this precise location in order to save living space and not to spend money on the honoring the monument.
The statue is made of bronze and its sculptor is Lyubomir Dalchev. It depicts a sturdy large man holding a hammer in one hand and pliers in the other, that hold a piece of metal on an anvil. Racho Kovacha himself is from Bozhentsi and moves to this area in order to horseshoe the horses of the caravans and repairing their carts. Over the years, Racho has formed a family, and by following his example many others have done so.
7. Church Ascension of the Holy Virgin Gabrovo
One of the most beautiful temples in all of Bulgaria is the Ascension of the Holy Virgin in Gabrovo. The building itself is a masterpiece of Christian architecture during the Revival period in Bulgaria. It is located near the first church in Gabrovo – “St. Petka”. In 1231, the relics of St. Paraskeva Epivatska passed through the town on their way to the capital city of Veliko Tarnovo and following Christian tradition the locals build a church on the location where the relicts stopped overnight. “St. Petka” also used to exist during the Ottoman period. In 1798, Capudan Hussein invaded the city with his troops and ravaged it. Then the church was mercilessly burned down. It has not been restored- instead a new temple has been built to the side of its remains without permission from the Turkish authorities. The new church is also called the Ascension of the Holy Virgin and it is small and dug into the ground. In order for it not to be closed due to the lack of official permission from the Sultan, it accommodated Samardzhii.
In the 19th century Gabrovo became a commercial and enlightenment center. Here the inhabitants needed a larger and more majestic temple. The old church was pushed down and a few days later in May 1865 began the construction of a new one. It was built by the most famous Revival master in Bulgaria, Gencho Kanev, architect of the April High School and several other churches in neighboring Romania and Hungary.
A Gabrovo family had some guests over. However, the guests stayed a while longer, so the eventually the wife reminded her husband:
Come on, dear, let’s go to bed because our guests may want to go home already!…
Give me five eggs of a black hen- said a man from Gabrovo to the salesman
If you can recognize them, take some!
The Gabrovo man took the largest ones and left.
A Gabrovo lady asked her husband how much of an egg she should put in the soup.
Today it’s a holiday- put a whole half in it- he replied generously.
We have presented to you seven of the most remarkable sights, that you would not like to miss out on in the town of Gabrovo. The photos are from rezervaciq.com. No matter if you are guests of the Kalina Palace hotel or you are travelling on your own through the region, take some time and visit Gabrovo. It is totally worth it and you will be very impressed!