What to See in Vratsa and Gabrovo (Bulgaria)

By | July 15, 2022

Vratsa (Bulgaria)

The city of Vratsa is located in the northwestern part of Bulgaria, in the foothills of the Stara Planina mountain range. It was founded in the Middle Ages by the Thracians. In those days, the city was a large fortress surrounded by battle towers. Today Vratsa is the center of the chemical industry, the gas and chemical industries are developing here.

Among the attractions it is worth noting the City Historical Museum, which is interesting for its valuable Thracian gold treasures, original samples of the famous Vratsa jewelry school, exhibits and information about the life and last days of the revolutionary poet Hristo Botev. On the central city square, named after the poet, an impressive monument was erected to him. Directly behind it rises a restored residential defensive tower of the Kurpashovtsev family. And 150 m northwest of it is the tower Mezhchiev.

The ethnographic complex of the era of the Bulgarian National Revival includes the house of the Khadzhitoshevs (the most valuable and interesting), the house of Grigory Naydenov, a member of the local revolutionary committee and militia, the house of Ivan Zambin, the Church of the Ascension of the 18th century. Another complex – Nikola Voevodov – consists of the native house of Voevodov and the house of Vratsa from the beginning of the 20th century.

The City Art Gallery houses a rich collection of a number of outstanding artists, including Andrei Nikolov, Tseno Todoarov, Ivan Funev, Pencho Gerogiev and others.

On the hill of Kale there is a beautiful house named after Hristo Botev, built in 1926 – 1931. Steep stone stairs lead to it. Nearby is a monument to the Herald of Freedom. A white-stone obelisk rises 100 meters from the monument, on which the names of volunteers from the Vratsa district are written.

In the southern part of the city, where the Leva River leaves the Vratsata gorge, there is an old handicraft part – the quarter of Kemer . Currently, the process of restoration of all workshops and shops of that time is underway. Some have already been completed and can already be visited.

Not far from the city there is a karst cave Ledenika.

Gabrovo (Bulgaria)

According to electronicsmatter, the city of Gabrovo is located on the northern slopes of the Stara Planina Range, near the Shipka Pass. It stands on both banks of the Yantra River in a picturesque gorge. Gabrovo was founded at the beginning of the 16th century on the site of a craftsmen’s settlement. Thanks to its favorable position, it developed rapidly and gradually turned into a major craft and trade center. Today Gabrovo is the largest center of the textile and leather industry in Bulgaria.

Gabrovo is known by its nickname “Bulgarian Manchester” because of the numerous textile factories and workshops. The first factory appeared here in 1882, and on the eve of the Balkan War there were already 27 of them.

In the center of Gabrovo there is a majestic monument to the blacksmith Racho, who is considered the founder of the city. He built his workshop under the shade of a large gabr, from which the name of the city came.

If you get to Gabrovo, you need to visit Etara – an ethnographic park-museum located on the outskirts. The two-storey buildings of Etara are an exact copy of the houses of famous old masters – with workshops and shops on the first floor and living quarters on the second. All mechanisms installed at workplaces and hand tools are genuine. The shops sell ceramic, leather, gold, silver and copper products – samples of artistic crafts, Bulgarian wooden musical instruments, dishes prepared according to old recipes.

The city is remarkable for its fresh air and surrounding greenery. Fruit orchards and forests spread in its vicinity. Excursions to Stara Planina and Shipka Pass are organized from Gabrovo.

National festivals of humor are held here every year.

Gabrovo (Bulgaria)