Etar Architectural Ethnographic Complex (Архитектурно-етнографски комплекс „Етър“)

Etar Architectural Ethnographic Complex (Архитектурно-етнографски комплекс „Етър“)



Location: 8 km (6 mi) South of Gabrovo   Map



Description of Etar Architectural Ethnographic Museum

 Etar Architectural Ethnographic Museum is situated just 8 km (6 mi) South of Gabrovo along a road that is leading to Sokolski monastery. Etar Architectural Ethnographic Museum was constructed in 1964 as a traditional Bulgarian village. Etar Open Air Museum was planned and build to demonstrate the ancient way of life and preserve it for future generations. Etar was designed as an open air museum with 50 structures in a traditional architecture.
Here you can see ancient masters create pottery, wooden carvings, metal works, different kinds of foods, carpets and other items right before your eyes. Price for the products made here is fairly low. Artisans who work in here use the power of water from the mountains for their purposes. Additionally a hotel was erected here for those who want to stay longer to explore Etar and surrounding woods. Many hiking trails are laid in the area around Etar.  


It is a reconstruction of the Bulgarian way of life, culture and crafts. It is the first museum of its kind in Bulgaria. It was opened on September 7, 1964. The museum is located 8 km south of the main part of Gabrovo.

Etar is the only collection of folk water equipment in Bulgaria. It contains 10 exhibits and is one of the rich and well-organized technical collections among European open-air museums. This is the reason why the water wheel has become an emblem of Ether. The most important feature of the collection is that all objects are in action, as in the past. Crafts Bazaar presents 16 examples of Balkan architecture, revealing the original talent of the Revival builders.

It is part of the Hundred National Tourist Sites.

History of the museum
Its construction began in 1963 under the direction and design of Lazar Donkov. Initially, the existing mill was restored, and later other sites were built. The construction of the museum is carried out through three main methods: restoration of objects found on the ground; transfer of original equipment and reproduction of buildings according to previously made photographs. It was officially opened on September 7, 1964. In 1967 it was declared a national ethnographic park. In 1971 it was declared a cultural monument.