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Gabrovo - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria
Gabrovo - City and District Information
Gabrovo - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria

Gabrovo Basic Data

City Population: 67,026
District Population: 144,170
Area size: 2,025 square km.
Places of interest: Gabrovo, Sevlievo, Dryanovo, Tryavna

Gabrovo General Information
The town of Gabrovo is situated in Northern Bulgaria, along the River Yantra, in the north Sredna Stara Planina Mountain spur, 392 m above sea-level. Gabrovo is 220 km north-east from the city of Sofia. In the immediate vicinity of Gabrovo is the geographical centre of Bulgaria. Because of its locality the town is a busy road junction. There are a lot of roads leading from Gabrovo to the other towns and municipalities in Northern and Southern Bulgaria. The district is bordered by Veliko Tarnovo, Stara Zagora and Lovech regions. The nearest airport is in the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa (60 km). The nearest river port is in the town of Rousse (160 km). The nearest sea port is in the town of Bourgas (230 km).

The density of the population is 68 people per square km, a little below the country average of 70 people per square km. In the town of Gabrovo it is 130 people per square km.

The relief is mountain and semi-mountain. The average height of the district is 392 m above sea level. The highest point is Rosovatets peak – 1970 m. The climate is temperate-continental with cold winter and hot summer. A typical natural occurrence for the district is the foehn wind (warm wind) coming from the mountain. This raises the winter temperatures and increases the number of warm days during the winter a little bit compared to the other regions in the Danube plain. The part of the district that is situated further away from Stara Planina has a coled winter as well. The region is well water supplied. Two bigger rivers are passing through it – Yantra and Vidima – a couple of small ones. All the rivers have rainy-snow regime with spring maximum of the flow. Due to the diversified relief, there are many different types of soils in the district. The grey forest soils are spread the most – 72% of the territory.

Due to its clean mountain air, historical and ethnographical complexes Gabrovo has become an attractive tourist centre. Municipality and the surrounding area is considered to be one of the most ecologically clean regions in Bulgaria. The rich flora and fauna come to prove that. Some of the best hunting trophies such as bear, red deer and mouflon can be found in the game reserves.

There are some places of interest, which are of national and international importance.

Such place is The House of Humour and Satire. There you can see different art and ethnographical exhibitions and collections of African ritual and carnival masks and accessories. Thousands of world famous humourists from more than 150 countries have visited The House of Humour and Satire during the Festivals of Humour and Satire.

The most picturesque place in Gabrovo is the architectural and ethnographical complex Etur - a unique open-air museum. The Bulgarian Renaissance atmosphere is reserved there in the old workshops of traditional Bulgarian arts and crafts. The visitors can watch the craftsmen doing everything by their own hands and by water-driven machinery. There are some hotels, restaurants, and taverns available. The visitors like them for the Bulgarian traditions in cooking are still reserved there.


With its cobbled streets, pure mountain air, sound of flowing water and sonorous clinking of the bells of cattle pasturing nearby, Etura will meet all your expectations of an escape from the bustle of everyday life. Etura museum is an artificially created village on the small river Sivetz. Bulgarian architect Lazar Donkov made the idea happen in 1964. The complex includes a museum part, a hotel and a craftsmen's street. It is situated eight kilometers from the center of Gabrovo in impressive natural surroundings. The atmosphere in Etura, vibrant with the spirit of the 19th-century Bulgarian Renaissance, captures the lifestyle and customs of the time. The village is a cozy capsule of past times that will shelter you away from the hectic pace of your daily life. All the workshop machinery in Etura is propelled by water running through wooden channels and bobbins. In the summer you can watch women washing their carpets in wooden basins, while the cattle trot past the plum trees. Turkish coffee in the Etura coffee shops is prepared on heated sand in a copper pot and is served in small cups along with a spoon of white jelly sweet placed in a glass of water. The coffee is hot and steaming and the jelly is always very sweet. The woman in charge of the coffee shop wears a national folk costume. From a small balcony you can see the workshops of master craftsmen, who fashion beautiful gold, silver, copper, leather and wooden objects. The fragrance of freshly baked bread drifts across from an old bakery round the corner. Don't miss to taste the simits, or small Bulgarian breads, and the woven banitza. All around are old houses painted blue, yellow and green, roofs covered with flat stones, flowers on the window sills, small shops with wooden shutters, gas lanterns at street corners and a stone sink where you can drink mountain water with a silver spoon. In the cool basement of the restaurant you are invited to sit on small chairs and low round tables made of old cherry wood. Garlands of dried onions, red peppers and garlic hang from the ceiling. Waiters wear traditional clothes in white and red. The atmosphere would be even more authentic if you order rakia with sour cabbage and red pepper and finish your meal with buffalo yogurt with honey.


Near Gabrovo is the 600-year-old village Bozhentsi - an architectural and historical reserve. Bozhentsi is located in a pretty valley, and all its authentic houses date back to The Renaissance period. Bozhentsi is an excellent place for individual and family tourism.

Uzana is a mountain locality near Gabrovo. The geographical centre of Bulgaria is found here. Uzana is a suitable place for your winter and summer holiday. Here you can do some skiing, horse-riding, mountain-climbing, etc.

The distance from Lyulyatsite Resort (The Lilac Shrubs) to Gabrovo is 15 km. The resort is famous for its favourable effects on some cases of allergy, hypertonic and chronic diseases of respiratory system.

A lot of theatrical, musical and folklore professional groups, puppet-show, pantomime theatre, Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra, "Gabrovo" - Swing Dixie Band and a lot of others contribute to the cultural life in Gabrovo.

The visitors can see the unique expositions of the History Museum, Art Gallery and National Museum of Education. National Museum of Education is located in the building of Aprilov Grammar School - the first non-clerical secondary school in Bulgaria.

Gabrovo Economy
During the Middle Ages some tradesmen and craftsmen set up their business there. Some people were occupied with wood, metal, wool and leather-working, and the tradition was handed down until nowadays. At the end of the last century a lot of factories were built and stock-joint companies of European kind were set up there. At present the town of Gabrovo is an important industrial centre. A few state and municipal companies and a lot of private wholesale and retail trade companies are in the trade and public services of the town. The private companies have more than 98% of the business in Gabrovo. A lot of world-famous companies from other countries have representative offices in Gabrovo. The biggest investors are from USA, Austria, Holland, Italy, etc. From the five districts situated in middle north Bulgaria – Gabrovo, Lovech, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo and Rousse – Gabrovo is the leader in FDI with 47% of all the capital invested in these 5 regions. The region takes 5th place in Bulgaria on the same index after the biggest industrial districts - Sofia, Varna, Sofia District and Plovdiv. Unlike most of the districts in Bulgaria, Gabrovo is not an agricultural one. This can be explained with the geographical location of the region as well. There are a little over 1,000,000 decares of agricultural land in the district, 68% of which is cultivated. Forests take up 85,200 ha, which is 47% of the territory of the district.

The registered unemployment is a little less than 7%, considerably below the country average.

The region possesses favorable preconditions for stable economic development on the development of the district. The industries, which have a greater share in the regional economy are: electric hoists construction, textile machine building, metal working industry, production of machine tools and metal constructions, moulding, production of rubber and plastic articles, manufacturing and sales of sanitary and industrial fittings, carriage building, leather and shoe industry. The textile, the food and the woodworking industries keep their relative share in the narrowing regional economy. The building enterprises are specialized in the following activities: high construction, design, facing, flooring and pavement, metal article manufacture, road construction, etc. The direct and portfolio foreign investments are concentrated in Sevlievo municipality in manufacturing sanitary and industrial fittings.

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