Gabrovo is a town in central Bulgaria, administrative and economic center of the eponymous municipality of Gabrovo and Gabrovo district. It is located along the Yantra River at the northern foot of the Shipka part of the Balkan Mountains. In close proximity to it, in the Uzana area, is the geographical center of Bulgaria. According to the latest NSI data as of December 31, 2018, the population of Gabrovo is 52,169 people. Gabrovo residents are known for their love of humor (see Gabrovo jokes), for their annual humorous carnival of humor and satire, for their mechanical engineering, for their numerous monuments and bridges and long streets. Gabrovo is the longest town in Bulgaria with its 25 km from Yabalka district to Smirnenski dam.



The first known name of the settlement, Gabruva, is from 1477, and today's - Gabrovo, appears in the XVII century. One of the first written documents in which Gabrovo is mentioned is from 1704. It asks for permission to repair the church "St. Petka "and it is said that" it is ours from the conquest to the present day. " The name comes from the hornbeam tree.

History of the city
According to the most widespread legend, Gabrovo was founded by Racho Kovacha about 250 years ago. The story goes that he was a wandering master blacksmith who settled under a hornbeam tree. There are many other, but not so popular legends about the first settlers of Gabrovo.

Gabrovo emerged in the Middle Ages as a strategic settlement near the Stara Planina passes. 2 km east of the town is the fortress "Gradishte", which existed until the beginning of the VII century. According to the discovered gold and copper coins from the time of the Roman emperors Constantine I the Great (306 - 337) and Justin II (565 - 578), archaeologists date the Gradishte fortress as late antique and early medieval (from IV to VI century).

Archaeological excavations on the territory of the fortress have uncovered a fortress wall with a length of about 4 km, which surrounded the fortress, 42 densely built-up residential buildings, premises of the garrison guarding the fortress, the main entrance and three security towers. In the highest part of the Gradishte fortress was the main temple, built in the IV century, and a little later a baptismal room was built next to it, the so-called baptistery. Gradishte Fortress was destroyed and rebuilt many times; it is considered to have ceased to exist after the fall of Bulgaria under Turkish rule.

In 2012, the excavations in Gradishte were cleaned, and in 2013 the excavations are expected to continue.

Archaeological excavations in 1985 and 1989 have studied a multi-layered necropolis in the center of Gabrovo, which existed in the period XIII-XIX centuries, as well as the remains of the church "St. Petka". It is believed that the church was built after the stay of the relics of St. Petka Bulgarian in the village, when they were transferred from Epivat to Veliko Tarnovo in 1298. This confirmed the existence of a settlement on the territory of Gabrovo during the Second Bulgarian State.

Gabrovo is the hometown of Ivan Kalpazanov, who built and together with Vasil Karagiozov equipped with modern German machines the first textile factory in Gabrovo and in the newly liberated Principality of Bulgaria (1882). Became "Bulgarian Manchester", many prominent enterprising personalities were born and settled in Gabrovo. Thus, industry and education are developing rapidly here in parallel. The two became the progenitors of long-term Gabrovo-German relations. The beginning was set in December 1881 in the city of Chemnitz, Germany. The culmination was the establishment of a German consulate in Gabrovo with consuls Vasil Karagiozov (1926 - 1933) and Kolyo Karagiozov (1934 - 1935).

At the end of the 12th century, crafts and trade developed here, as well as productions related to the servicing and protection of the passes through the Balkans - blacksmithing, armory, etc. During the years of Ottoman rule Gabrovo was a large craft and trade center. In the 19th century, 26 crafts were practiced here - blacksmithing, knife-making, chakra-making, pottery, braiding, leather-making, sericulture and much more. The first textile factory (1882) was founded by Ivan Kolchev Kalpazanov with the help of Vasil Karagiozov in partnership with Petko Tsokev.

Ottoman period
Most likely, the initial settlements were around Toplika, a spring on the road to the Balkans, at the foot of Petkova Niva Hill. They probably happened about 600-700 years ago, and maybe even earlier. One of the first written documents in which Gabrovo is mentioned is from 1704. It asks for permission to repair the church "St. Petka "and it is said that" it is ours from the conquest to the present day. " From these words it can be judged that Gabrovo existed during the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule (1396) and long before that to have a church. The remains of the Gradishte fortress can still be seen today, although they need to be restored. The last excavations were made there in the 1990s.


In 1622, Evliya Chelebi crossed the Shipka Pass with an armed detachment of 500 men on their way to the Ottoman campaign against Austria. According to his travelogue: the people of Gabrovo, who were obliged to guard the pass, did not hesitate to attack the Turkish couriers, small groups of soldiers and other passengers passing through it. On the way down to Gabrovo, "in a narrow, wild and stony place, suitable for haidouk ambushes", Evliya Chelebi's detachment was attacked and the Turks fought twice. Evliya Chelebi writes about Gabrovo: God, forgive me, but the village is rebellious, it is not for five or ten people to stay in it ... In a word, these villagers commit robbery in the Shipka Mountain, they do not accommodate even 150-200 in their village. souls of horsemen, and those who settle there by force, do not send with health. The prudent do not go to these mountains, because in winter and summer there are many robbers.

In 1860 Gabrovo was declared a city. Felix Kanitz says of it that in the 1970s it was "a big workshop" and that it was a "city that lives on water" given the widespread use of water power. The fame of Gabrovo products is spread throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond. There is still a street in Bucharest named Gabroveni.

Bulgarian Revival
The rapid economic rise and the national awakening were the reason for the opening of the first Bulgarian secular school here in 1835. In 1872 it grew into a secondary school, and from 1889 - into Aprilov High School, named in honor of its founder Vasil Aprilov, a prominent Revival figure. Beautiful Revival houses, churches, bridges, fountains, a clock tower were built (1835). The inhabitants of the town took an active part in the uprising of Captain Grandfather Nikola in 1856, in the Tarnovo uprising of 1862, in the detachments of Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja (1868), of Hristo Botev (1876), of Tsanko Dustabanov (1876). - fully formed in Gabrovo). In 1868 Levski set up a revolutionary committee here. The city is the birthplace of Vasil Aprilov, Tsanko Dustabanov, Pop Hariton, composer Emanuil Manolov, Todor Burmov and many others.

After the Liberation
Even after the Liberation in 1878, Gabrovo developed as the largest textile center in Bulgaria, not accidentally receiving the nickname "Bulgarian Manchester". The city has long been famous for the thrift and wit of its inhabitants, which is why here is the world's only House of Humor and Satire.

Between the Balkan and World Wars
During the Balkan War in 1912, 13 people from Gabrovo joined the Macedonian-Edirne militia as volunteers.



The town of Gabrovo is located at the foot of the Balkan Mountains, near the Shipka pass. It stretches along the Yantra River. Gabrovo is connected to the railway transport in Bulgaria through the line Gabrovo-Tsareva livada. Through Gabrovo passes one of the most important road connections crossing Bulgaria in the north-south direction, which is part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor IX (Helsinki - St. Petersburg - Kiev - Bucharest - Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo - Gabrovo - Stara Zagora - Dimitrovgrad with deviations to Greece and Turkey).

Near the town is the area "Uzana", where the geographical center of Bulgaria is located.

In the land of the town of Gabrovo there are 19 villages that do not have their own lands: Baevtsi, Boynovtsi, Vrabtsite, Genovtsi, Gornova Mogila, Dumnitsi, Zeleno Darvo, Malusha, Mechkovitsa, Morovetsite, Prodanovtsi, Partevtsi, Ruychovtsi, Ryazkovtsi, Stoykovtsi, Sto Todorovtsi, Tranito and Chukilite.

Administrative partition
Gabrovo is divided into the following neighborhoods: Center, Shivarov Bridge, Radichevets, Bichkinya, Lyubovo, Etara, Nova Mahala, Yabalka, Charkovo, Dyado Dyanko, Nedevtsi, Lisets, Hadjitsonev Most, Borovo, Shenini, Sirmani, Velchevtsi, Gachevtsi, Traneto, Mlatola , Golo Bardo, Rusevtsi, Trendafil 1, Trendafil 2, Lakata, Garata, Koleloto, Voynovo, Instrument, Boltata, Ilevtsi, Kryakovtsi, Negentsi, Yovchovtsi, Bakoytsi, Kievtsi.



The territorial development of the district and the priority development of certain economic branches are favored by its diverse semi-mountainous and mountainous relief and favorable climate.

The climate in the region is temperate continental, characterized by cold winters and relatively warm summers. The precipitations are markedly continental. On average, about 900 l / m2 fall annually. In the autumn and winter months the northern and northwestern winds prevail, and in the spring and summer - the southern. The region is characterized by a high annual duration of sunshine. The average annual temperatures are around 10 ° С. In the high mountainous parts the snow cover lasts for about 110 days.