Gabrovo: Wikis


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Coat of arms
Gabrovo is located in Bulgaria
Location of Gabrovo
Coordinates: 42°52′N 25°20′E / 42.867°N 25.333°E / 42.867; 25.333
Country  Bulgaria
 - Mayor Tomislav Donchev
Elevation 392 m (1,286 ft)
Population (2007-12-15)
 - Total 67,012
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 5300
Area code(s) 066

Gabrovo (Bulgarian: Габрово) is a town in central northern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Gabrovo Province. It is situated at the foot of the central Balkan Mountains, in the valley of the Yantra River, and is known as an international capital of humour and satire (see Gabrovo humour), 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 area around Gabrovo, inhabited since the Neolithic, gained economic importance after Veliko Tarnovo became capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 12th century. Craftsmanship and trade prospered due to the proximity to both the capital and the Balkan passes. Medieval Gabrovo was a small pass village of about 100 houses.

According to the most widespread legend, Gabrovo was founded by a young blacksmith called Racho, close to whose fireplace a hornbeam (габър, gabar in Bulgarian) rose, so the settlement acquired its name.

After the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans in the 14th century, the demographic position of Gabrovo changed significantly, as it was the only settlement in a considerably large geographic area and an attractive place for Bulgarians fleeing from the conquered capital and neighbouring fortresses. It turned from a village into a small town (palanka) and began to develop as an economic, cultural and spiritual centre.

Bulgarian Orthodox Theophany Crucession in Gabrovo. The priests are going to throw a wooden cross in the Yantra. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

During Ottoman rule, the rich tradesmen spent plenty of resources for the small town's public planning. The first Bulgarian secular school, the Aprilov Gymnasium, was founded in Gabrovo in 1835 with the aid of Vasil Aprilov and Nikolay Palauzov. Gabrovo was officially proclaimed a town by the Ottoman authority in May 1860.

Shortly before and after the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, Gabrovo developed as a centre of industry on the basis of its economic traditions. Joint-stock companies emerged, factories were constructed and connections to the large stock exchanges were created, prompting some to label the town "The Bulgarian Manchester".

The Bulgarian National Revival church of Gabrovo, an architectural monument.

It is hard not to notice that this is the longest town in Bulgaria. With the amazing 28 km (this is a lot fo Bulgaria, the Capital Sofia is only 21 km long), Gabrovo represent the past, the "now" and the future of the country. Recently the town won one of the biggest prices in the biggest National survey for "The best living town in Bulgaria" - Gabrovo won the "Greenest (Eco) city" and became 2nd in the readers contest. For more information you can see - Also Gabrovo is the town with most monumental statues - more than 14 000. The "city" also has an opportunity for business develepment. The Gabrovo Municipality Agenda says that Gabrovo has an BB+ credit raiting.


Internationally known as a centre of humour and satire, Gabrovo has two theatres, the Racho Stoyanov Drama Theatre and the puppet theatre, a House of Humour and Satire that serves as a cultural institute, a centre, museum and gallery to popularise comic art. There is also a cinema, Aleko Cinema, and a number of museums and menorial houses both in the town and around it, most notably the Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex and the Museum of Education at the Aprilov Gymnasium. A planetarium is also in operation. Gabrovo is twinned with the Belgian town of Aalst and Mogilev in Belarus.


Houses of the late 19th-early 20th century in Gabrovo's central part.

Places of interest in Gabrovo include House of Humour and Satire and Aprilov High School. In Gabrovo Province sites include architectural reserve Bozhentsi, Ethnographic Complex Etara, Dryanovo Monastery and Sokolski Monastery. Uzana, a local winter resort is some 22 km away. Hiking is widely available in the Central Balkan National Park. For admirers of historical tourism Shipka Memorial is a must-see.


  • City's most successfully sports club is FC Yantra Gabrovo, which was founded in 1919.
  • The city also has long handball traditions.
  • About 25 km from the city in Central Balkan Mountains is located the renowned winter resort Uzana.


A minor planet 2206 Gabrova discovered on April 1, 1976 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh is named in honor of the city.[1]

Gabrovo Knoll on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Gabrovo.

Notable natives

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Gabrovo is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. pp. 179. ISBN 3540002383.  

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun




  1. a town in central Bulgaria


  • Bulgarian: Габрово


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