Gabrovo is situated at the foot of the central Balkan Mountains, in the valley of Yantra River, and is known as an international capital of humour and satire. It is as well as noted for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Gabrovo is also known as the longest town in Bulgaria, stretching over 25 km along the Yantra, yet reaching only 1 km in width at places. Near Gabrovo is located the geographic center of Bulgaria – Uzana.
The territory of present Gabrovo was inhabited 10 000 – 8000 years ago during the Stone Age. There a rich culture had been already formed, when Thracian tribes built their settlements 1600 years ago. Some Roman and Byzantium fortresses are partially preserved even today.
In the course of time Gabrovo was given more than one name – it was called the Capital of factories, the Bulgarian Manchester and the Loan office of Bulgaria in appraisal of great contribution of Gabrovo industry to the state treasury.
Central geographic location determines Gabrovo as a busy transport hub. It is connected by roads with convenient surrounding communities and major cities in Northern and Southern Bulgaria. Regular bus lines to Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Kazanlak, Troyan, Tryavna, Sevlievo, Apriltsi, Shipchenski prohod. /Shipka Pass/.
BALGARKA NATURE PARK
Bulgarka Nature Park takes the northern slopes of Central Stara Planina Range. It is established in 2002 to preserve and maintain the beech ecosystems, the plant and animal life and cultural heritage of the region. The park lies on the territory of two municipalities – Gabrovo and Tryavna on a total area of 21 772 ha, with average altitude of 940 m above the sea level. More then a few protected areas are within its boundaries, including the Open Air Museum Etar and the Sokolski Monastery. About 80 % of the total area is taken by woods. The park is a natural habitat of more than 1300 plants, 32 of which are considered as protected species and included in the Red book of Bulgaria.
More than 70 % of the medicative herbs in the country can be found here. There is a great variety of animals – eagle, small eagle, rock partridge, small hawk, black woodpecker, woodcock, hollow-pigeon, marten, bear, otter, wolf, royal stag, deer etc. Beautiful nature and different landforms favor the development of many types of tourism.
The architectural-ethnographic complex “Etar”
The architectural-ethnographic complex “Etar” is the first open air museum of this kind opened in Bulgaria. It was established on September 7th, 1964. The museum is situated 8 km South of the town of Gabrovo.
Only 3 km away from downtown Gabrovo lays the Gradishte locality. Here, amid fresh pine woods a spacious meadow with a children play area and many picnic sites host Gabrovians in need of recreation. It is very close to the Omnitheatre and the small Zoo, situated by the road up the hill. Further beyond are the ruins of the Gradishte fortress, which was built somewhere between IV – V C to protect the pass to Shipka. On the highest point of the site a great basilica used to rise long ago. Today it is a beautiful viewpoint of Gabrovo from above.
The Lilacs Complex is a beautiful mountain location, situated at 16 km from Gabrovo at an attitude of 840 m above the sea level. The chemical components of the air and the high content of ozone are favorable for treatment of lung and respiratory tract diseases, allergies, high blood pressure, metabolism and neurological disorders. Here a tree – star hotel amid lilac trees with 121 beds, 8 flats, 44 double and 17 single rooms, a spacious restaurant and a beautiful summer garden, a conference hall with 150 seats, modern balneology and rehabilitation facilities welcomes its guests.
The structure of education in the region covers regional education network and academic education. The academic education is delivered at the Technical University of Gabrovo and the regional education includes: 29 kindergartens, 12 municipal and 30 state schools.