|The town of Gabrovo is situated in Northern Bulgaria, along the River Yantra, in the north Sredna Stara Planina mountain spur, 392 m above sea-level. Gabrovo is 220 km north-east from the city of Sofia. In the immediate vicinity of Gabrovo is the geographical centre of Bulgaria. Because of its locality the town is a busy road junction. There are a lot of roads leading from Gabrovo to the other towns and municipalities in Northern and Southern Bulgaria.
During the Middle Ages some tradesmen and craftsmen set up their business there. 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 stock-joint companies of European kind were set up there. At present the town of Gabrovo is an important industrial centre. There are a lot of leading machine-building, electronic, and tool-making plants. Textile industry, furniture manufacturing, plastics manufacturing, food, wine and tobacco industries are also of great importance.
A few state and municipal companies and a lot of private wholesale and retail trade companies are in the trade and public services of the town. The private companies have more than 60% of the business in Gabrovo. A lot of world-famous companies from other countries have representative offices in Gabrovo.
Due to its clean mountain air, historical and ethnographical complexes Gabrovo has become an attractive tourist centre. Municipality and the surrounding area is considered to be one of the most ecologically clean regions in Bulgaria. The rich flora and fauna come to prove that. Some of the best hunting trophies such as bear, red deer and mouflon can be found in the game reserves.
There are some places of interest, which are of national and international importance.
Such place is The House of Humour and Satire. There you can see different art and ethnographical exhibitions and collections of African ritual and carnival masks and accessories. Thousands of world famous humourists from more than 150 countries have visited The House of Humour and Satire during the Festivals of Humour and Satire.
The most picturesque place in Gabrovo is the architectural and ethnographic complex Etar- a unique open-air museum. Eight km from the center of Gabrovo, master craftsmen fashion beautiful gold, silver, copper, leather and wooden articles right before your eyes from early morning until late at the night. The waft of freshly baked bread drifts across from an old bakery and a tiny coffee shop serves streaming sweet Turkish coffee cooked in a copper pot. Pastry cooks offer delicious home-made cookies and cakes. And around this - lovely old houses, flowers on the window sills, small shops with wooden shutters and gas lanterns on the street corners.
Near Gabrovo is the 600-year-old village Bozethtsi- an architectural and historical reserve. Bozhentsi is located in a pretty valley, and all its authentic houses date back to The Renaissance period. Bozhentsi is an excellent place for individual and family tourism.
Ouzana is a mountain locality near Gabrovo. The geographical centre of Bulgaria is found here. Ouzana 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 allergy, hypertonia and chronic diseases of respiratory system.
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.
The visitors can see the unique expositions of the History Museum, Art Gallery and National Museum of Education. National Museum of Education is located in the building of Aprilov Grammar School - the first non-clerical secondary school in Bulgaria.
Tryavna-Tryavna is a town preferred by tourists for its clean mountain air and unique Renaissance architecture.
The guests of the town will enjoy their excursions to various villages and huts, scattered in the vicinity.
Tryavna is situated 400 meters above the sea level. A good road and railroad network connects the town with all farther spots of the country.
Feeling the beauty, with faith towards centuries-old traditions and love towards the Bulgarian Heritage, the Tryavna masters gain popularity in the field of building, woodcarving and icon painting, which they handle to perfection and transform into art. Thus comes into being, develops and flourishes the oldest Renaissance Art school in the Bulgarian land - the Tryavna school.
In Tryavna and the surrounding vicinity there are many places where one can find the unique beauty of the Renaissance period. Such are the architectural and historical ensembles The Old Square, P. R. Slaveikov street, Kachaunska neighbourhood and the place Tepavitsite, Skortsite village, the temples St. Archangel Michael and St. George, the unique museums - Daskalov's house, Raykov's house, Angel Kunchev's and P. R. Slaveikov's houses, Staroto Shkolo (the old school) and the Museum of Icon Painting and Wood-carving, art exhibitions of Dimitur and Nikola Kazakovi, Nikolai Maistorov and Ivan Kolev, the Gubenskies' collection of pictures.
The town of Dryanovo (8700 inhabitants, 270 m. altitude) is situated in the northern side of Fore-Balkan Mountains. amphitheatrically along the two banks of the Dryanovo River, a tributary to the Yantra River. The town is a centre of a municipality, which is composed by 62 villages, hamlets and huts picturesquely spread out of the mountain folds. The population of the town is 9 707 inhabitants. Dryanovo has a favourable geographical position, it is situated 20 km away from Gabrovo, 24 km from Veliko Tarnovo, 17 km from Tryavna and about 30 km away from Sevlievo.
In Dryanovo region were discovered the oldest traces of life on Balkan Peninsula- proofs for human presence from paleolithic epoch were descovered in Bacho Kiro cave, near Dryanovo monastery, situated in Andaka river valley. There were found numerous relics of ancient villages, fortresses, pillars with inscriptions and ornaments from Thracian and Roman times (Boruna and Diskoduratera fortresses).
Bacho Kiro cave -In 1962 the cave was pronounced for א natural landmark, and in 1964 it was electrified. The fairytale underworld was revealed for the people’s eyes. It is the first well laid out cave in Bulgaria. The cave “Bacho Kiro” has several levels with length of 3m.
Not far ago the Tourist Association called “Bacho Kiro” has realized a project with a goal to reconstruct the tourist route to the cave and to put modern lighting in it. The realization of the project has given the opportunity beautiful halls and cave formations to be seen.
The cave is a complicated four storey labyrinth of cave galleries and ramifications with length of about 3 600m. According to the researches, the forming of the cave continued about 1 800 000 years.
For the first time the cave is surveyed by professor Urichin in 1890. In 1937 English expedition with American leader - Dorothy Garat works in it. And from 1971 to 1976 an excavations by Bulgarian-Poland expedition were made. They have discovered for the first time a medial Paleolithic finds from 40 – 70 thousands years b.c. There were found a couple of bilateral rough sharp blades, symmetric and non symmetric knives. At the upper layers there were found weapons and tools made from bones. From historical point of view, the found objects prove that the cave has been inhabited since ancient times.
There are three guides who take care for the visitors. The cave is open for visitors all year round.
Dryanovo monastery-In existence as early as in the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, it was subsequently destryed and re-built on two occasions. It was restored in its present location - in the Dryanovo River gorge, 4 km away from the town of Dryanovo- in 1845.
During the 1876 April Uprising an armed detachment of 200 men who, purued by the enemy, found shelter behind the walls of Dryanovo Monastery. Throughout nine days, they engaged in fierce battle before being crushed: the insurgents and monks were killed, the monastery burned to the ground.
Relics of the April epopee are preserved in the monastery museum today, along with some valuable icons.