LOCATION: The town of Gabrovo is situated in the northern folds of the Balkan Mountains, in a narrow but picturesque valley of Yantra river. In the immediate vicinity of Gabrovo is the geographical centre of Bulgaria. Gabrovo is 220 km northeast from the city of Sofia. Because of its locality the town is a busy road junction.
LANDSCAPE: The relief is hilly, as shaped by the central Balkans and by the flowing of the Yantra River. The earth formations of the region represent a number of small valleys, cut by gullies and ravines, narrow hills and rocky ridges with steep slopes.
Municipality and the surrounding area are considered to be one of the most ecologically clean regions in Bulgaria. The rich flora and fauna come to prove that.
The relative share of the agricultural land in Gabrovo municipality is a little bit higher in comparison with the average for the country.
CLIMATE: The territory of the municipality lies entirely within the temperate continental climate zone. The natural proximity to alpine massifs and the big percentage of forest areas determine the higher minimal temperatures during the winter and the lower maximal temperatures during the summer in comparison to the rest of the country. The winter in Gabrovo is mild, with heavy snowfalls.
THEN AND NOW: During the Middle Ages some tradesmen and craftsmen set up their business in the town of Gabrovo. Some people were occupied with wood, metal, wool, and leather working and the tradition was handed down until nowadays. At the end of the last century a lot of factories were built and at present the town is an important industrial centre. Textile industry, furniture manufacturing, plastics manufacturing, food, wine and tobacco industries, leading machine-building, electronic, and tool-making plants are of big importance.
WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO SEE: Due to its historical and ethnographical complexes Gabrovo has become an attractive tourist centre. There are located some places of interest of national and international importance. The specific image of Gabrovo municipality in the national cultural space is firstly formed by the uniqueness of the Ethnographic museum "Etar", the House of humor and satire, the Architectural and historical reserve Bojentsi etc..
Gabrovo had developed into an international art centre and is known as a capital of laughter. Therefore, we will mention first the unique House of Humour and Satire. This House not only collects but also investigates and popularises humour and satire in all the genres. Works of authors from 153 countries are exhibited in 10 halls. The House of Humour and Satire organizes a number of international, national and local initiatives. The International Biennale of Humour and Satire in Arts takes place in May every odd year under the motto "The World Has Survived Because It Has Laughed".
The most picturesque place in Gabrovo is the architectural and ethnographical complex “Etar” - a unique in south-eastern Europe open-air museum. It is situated 8 km. to the south of the town on an area of 7 ha, which includes 50 museums. The complex lives the authentic life of a typical craftsmanship settlement from the period of Bulgarian Revival. The way Bulgarian people lived 150 years ago can be perceived and felt here. Of 25 exposed crafts, 19 are revived. One may observe for hours knife forging, clay pottery making, and copper pots striking and to have a chance to buy yet "hot" maters' handy craft articles.
The museum disposes with splendid base for a recreation and is a place you shouldn’t miss to visit.
It is interesting to see as well the clock tower in the centre of the town, whose clockwork was made by local blacksmiths, and its bell was made in Vienna. The cobblestone Opulchenska Street and the old commercial Radetski Street are of interest to the visitors, too.
The monument to Racho Kovacha (Racho the Blacksmith) - the legendary founder of the town is located on a small rocky island in the Yantra River (the central part of the town).
A lot of theatrical, musical and folklore professional groups, puppet-show, pantomime theatre, Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra, "Gabrovo" - Swing Dixie Band and a lot of others contribute to the cultural life in Gabrovo.
Every year during August a Balkan youth festival is held in Gabrovo called “Youth on the Balkans”, and at the end of September - the beginning of October the town hosts the “Days of Chamber Music”.
16km east of Gabrovo and 40km from Veliko Turnovo, tucked away among the hills of the Balkan Mountains, the village of Bojentsi still keeps its appearance of past centuries and offers to the tourists calmness and quietness. The village is architectural and historical reserve with 600 years old history. Its architecture presents the typical characteristic features of the housing construction of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
According to the legend, the village was founded by a noblewoman named Bojana, who found shelter in the locality with her nine sons after the Turks conquered Veliko Turnovo in 1393.
The mountain locality of Ouzana near Gabrovo is a suitable place for your winter and summer holiday. Here you can do some skiing, horse riding, mountain-climbing, etc.
The distance from Lyulyatsite Resort (The Lilac Shrubs) to Gabrovo is 15 km. The resort is famous for its favourable effects on some cases of allergies and chronic diseases of respiratory system.
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