If you find yourself in the region of Gabrovo, make sure to visit the architectural historical reserve Bozhentsi. This is one of the most beautiful and authentic places recreating the Bulgarian traditions from the 18th and 19th century. Bozhentsi is situated 15 km away from Gabrovo and 24 km away from Tryavna. The reserve is small but make sure to dedicate a whole day there in order to have enough take your time there and to feel the spirit of this magic place completely.

Български

The entrance

The legend

There is a legend about Bozhentsi related to a woman from Tarnovo named Bozhana. After occupying Tarnovo from the Ottomans in 14th century, she ran away and settled down here with other citizens of the ex-Bulgarian capital. When they came here, they brought their rich culture and traditions. In 18th and 19th century trading and crafting were rapidly growing here in the area.

Bozhentsi


Architecture

The houses here are built in the typical Bulgarian revival style and most of them have a second story. On the 1st floor would be the so called “dyukyan” (a Turkish word for a small shop). The 2nd story would be used for living. The rooftops of the houses are covered with massive stones, and the streets are cobbled.

Typical houses in Bozhentsi
Usually they have a 2nd story
And "chardak"
There are 6 guest houses in Bozhentsi, each of them represents the architectural style from 18th and 19th century with the typical for these houses “chardak” (an open hall of a house’s upper living room). The whole house can be rented or as well as individual rooms. The prices vary around 20 BGN per night per person.

There are 6 guest houses you can choose from

Museums

There are also a couple of museums hosting different expositions. The etno exposition from the 18th century could be seen in the museum house “Baba Raina”. In the museum house “Doncho Popov” the local lifestyle of the people living here in 19th century could be observed. The house was owned by a wealthy merchant of wool and fur in Bozhentsi.

Museum house "Baba Raina" on the left
The New School
The exposition “The horse in the way of life of the Mountaineer from Central Balkan Range” is being presented in the New School building and it represents the history of the village and its families. In the so called Mengema you can watch the way of purifying beeswax from the beginning of 19th century.

Prices to visit the museum
Adults – 6 BGN
Students and invalids – 5 BGN

Retro "mehana"
The museum shop
There is also a museum shop where magnets, ceramics, semi-gems and minerals, books and wooden crafts are being sold. Take a look at the event calendar as well – different exhibitions, workshops, lectures and meetings are being organized through the year. If you get hungry, make sure to try one of the traditional Bulgarian dishes in the Mehana and the Bulgarian “byalo sladko” or lokum from the opposite cafeteria.

There are 4 restaurants ("mehana") in Bozhentsi
And a cafeteria. Make sure to try the "Byalo sladko" here
The cafeteria inside

Eco-trails

There are a couple of eco-trails to get you from and to Bozhentsi. The first one leads to Tryavna, the second one to Gabrovo and the third one to Dryanovo monastery. The eco-trail “Rome patch” from Bozhentsi to Gradishte (Gabrovo) is 8 km long. The trail is in place of an old Rome path from the 4th century.

Bozhentsi is connected to Tryavna, Gabrovo and Dryanovo monastery via eco-trails
There are 2 legends related to this road. The 1st one is from 19th century about the sailor Bogdan from Bozhentsi. He was raped and killed by robbers on his way back to home near Odrin. The authorities caught the robbers and sent Bogdan’s money and possessions to his mother. She built the path using the money in memory of her son. The 2nd story is about grandpa Minio Popa. He used to donate money maintain the path in order to walk it barefoot because he didn’t want to wear out his shoes. 😏

Another "mehana"
Wooden crafts
The architectural historical reserve Bozhentsi is one of the places you will fall in love with. You can easily combine it with a trip to Gabrovo, Etara and the picturesque Tryavna – all of them situated in the heart of Bulgaria and located close to each other.

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