the region

Open-air architecture and ethnographic reserve Etar Gabrovo

Nov 29, 2018

A magnificent place, that is a must visit, when you are in the Tryavna region. In order to reach the complex you have to head to Gabrovo and from there continue to Etara. The road is well marked, so the chances of getting lost are slim.

After you leave your car in front of either of the two entrances, leave the present behind and indulge in an age long gone. The Revival period along with its flourishing range of culture, crafts and traditions is there to meet each and every guest and involve them in Gabrovo from a few centuries ago.

Architectural and ethnographic reserve Etar was first opened for visitors on 7th September 1964. The idea of this one of a kind open-air museum on the Balkans belongs to Lazar Donkov.

Here different objects are exhibited- some of them restored on spot (status quo), original facilities re-built on spot, as well as buildings, recreated according to preliminary plans and photos ( original copies).

Etara represents a miniature of old Gabrovo. Here on spot different authentic crafts are presented such as pottery, copper smiting, candy making, leather working, smiting, weaving with goats wool and plenty of others. If you take a walk along the main commercial and crafts street, you can indulge in the authentic tradition of the Revival architecture, in which the houses are built right in the very street in order to be closer to the customers. In Etara just like in the old days the craftsmen themselves produce and sell their goods. You can try and purchase different local works of art from the small craft shops.

Did you know that Etara houses the single exposition of traditional local water facilities in Bulgaria? It comprises of 10 sights and these are really some of the best specimen amongst the European open-air museums. It is an important detail that every single one of those is actually still in fully functioning condition. Shown in original size and authentic environment, the locally invented water facilities presents the witty Bulgarian nature, that has managed to pass onto generations the traditions and skills in using the water force as a natural power source.

Here you can see a church with an adjacent school, a clock tower, several stone bridges, piped springs- all landmarks of national importance.

The youngest of visitors are also taken into consideration. In 2013 a Museum Children’s Area has been established, named “Find out what you can do best”. Here learning from experience every little craftsman can learn or find out some interesting new skills they never thought they have.

A lovely complex, that will not only take you back to see the past of the Bulgarians, but also will show you interesting facts, local crafting techniques and will eventually make you totally love this place.

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