The Colors of the Bulgarian Renaissance

About

Travel back in time to the Bulgarian Revival Period in the rural villages of central Bulgaria. We’ll start with a trip to the Etara Ethnographic Complex – the only open-air town-museum in Bulgaria. Here we’ll get in touch with Bulgaria’s traditional crafts and folklore. Just out of town is the Sokolovo Monastery, a gorgeously decorated example of Revival Period church art. Next we’ll stop by the Bozhentsi architectural museum, unmatched in its beautiful, old-timey atmosphere. We’ll then visit the town of Tryavna, known for its spectacular house-museums and reproductions of rural life in the past. We’ll finish our trip with a visit to the Dryanovo Monastery.

Highlights

• Explore the Etara Ethnographic Complex and see traditional Bulgarian crafts at authentic workshops that still use the age-old crafting methods

• See the stunningly beautiful Sokolovo Monastery, a splash of colorful architectural art in the middle of a tranquil mountain landscape

• Enjoy a tour of the Bozhentsi architectural reserve, known for its rich history and well-preserved 19th century rural houses

• Immerse yourself in Tryavna, a town famous for its historic house-museums that show a glimpse into life during the Revival Period

• Visit the Dryanovo Monastery, founded in the distant year of 1206 and later crucial to the Liberation Movement

Description

Our trip begins with 2.5-hours ride from Plovdiv to Gabrovo – the town of humor and satire. The whole region is famous for its architectural and historical landmarks, that’s why our first stop will be Shipka Memorial Church, part of Shipka Monastery. It was built to commemorate the Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian soldiers who died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). The bell tower of the church, which is 53 m high, has its bells poured out from the cartridges, collected after the battles.

Next we will visit the architectural-ethnographic complex of Etara. It is the first open-air museum in Bulgaria, which reveals the authentic Bulgarian culture and craftsmanship to guests and natives alike. There are 16 workshops along the artisan street, where you can see the production process, have a talk with the craftsmen and buy handmade souvenirs. Examples of pottery, woodcarving, icon painting, furriery, cutlery, bakery, sweets shops, musical instruments and many more can be observed in the complex.

Our next stop will be Sokolski monastery, which is a cultural monument of national importance. It was built in 1843 with the help of the people from the villages nearby.

The monastery played a vital role during the April’s Uprising and the Russo-Turkish War.Later, we will visit Gabrovo, situated in the central part of Bulgaria. The locals are famous for their specific sense of humor, not only in Bulgaria, but also worldwide. They are experts on moneysaving and bargaining, also, they know how to get something out of nothing. Having said that, we will not miss the museum “House of humor and satire” in the town. While walking around the main street, we will also visit the Interactive museum of industry, The Church of Assumption and the famous bridges.

After that we head to Bozhentsi, to accommodate at a guest house where we will have a dinner with traditional Bulgarian dishes.

The village is situated near the old Roman road Nicopolis ad Istrum – Augusta Trayana – Constantinople, which made travelling and trade easier for the locals. At the end of the 19th century, Bozhentsi was an administrative, commercial, cultural and spiritual center. Nowadays, there are 100 houses, between 100 – 250 years old. That is why in 1964 Bozhentsi was declared an architectural and historical reserve.

Price per person

• For a group of 6 or more: 150 €

• For a group of 4-5: 170 €

• For a group of 2-3: 200 €

• For a solo traveller: 320 €

Inclusions / exclusions

The price includes

• One night’s accommodation in a traditional house in double rooms on half board

• Transportation

• A tour guide

The price does not include

• Lunch

• Single room; +15 €

• Entrance fees for the museums

Notes

Price for groups of over 10 people: on request

150 €

per person

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Alternative Tourism, Weekends

Gabrovo, Bulgaria

Starting point - Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2 days

Summer, Autumn, Spring, Winter

Live tour guide available in English

Maxiumum number of participants - 10 people

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