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Landmarks in Gabrovo

The unique House of Humour and Satire (64, Bryanska Street, tel.: 066 27228, 29300). Works of authors from 153 countries are exhibited in 10 halls with an area of 8000 square metres. This House not only collects but also investigates and popularises humour and satire in all the genres. Every odd year the House and the whole town become the centre of the International Biennale of Humour and Satire in the Arts, which is a part of the big May Cultural Festivals of Gabrovo.

The unique in south-eastern Europe open-air museum - the architectural ethnographic complex of Etura is situated at the distance of 8 km south of the centre of the town in the immediate proximity of the Etara quarter and past the Sivek River (at the distance of 3 km from the road-fork to Shipka). It is the most interesting place of interest in the town and one of the most visited site all over Bulgaria. Located over an area of 60 decares the complex lives the authentic life of a typical craftsmanship settlement from the period of Bulgarian Revival. The way Bulgarian people lived 150 years ago can be perceived and felt here. One can hear the rattle of wheels and mills moved by water, the whiz of the mills for woollen cloths and for flour. Metal ornaments, pottery articles, copper utensils, braids, hot buns and whatever else come out from the skillful hands of the masters there. The little cobblestone streets, the stone cheshmi (drinking-fountains), the gas lanterns, Sakovs house, the house with the tavern, the clock tower and a lot of other authentic details complete the whole picture. All of these is predominantly the work of the great patriot Lazar Donkov who dedicated his life to this noble cause  to create this authentic ethnographic complex. There is a town bus running to Etura.

The town Museum of History (19, Opulchenska Street, tel.: 066 25218). The National Museum of Education (tel.: 066 24071) and the Aprilovs High School (in the centre of the town), in which a lot of well-known Bulgarians studied (Aleko Konstantinov, Emanuil Manolov and others). Master Gencho Kunev built it at the initiative and with the funds of the rich merchant, enlightener and scholar Vassil Aprilov.

The Hristo Tsokev Art Gallery (10, Cyril and Methodius Street, tel.: 066 23381) exhibits Bulgarian and foreign works of art. Bayov Bridge, built in 1855. The Assumption Church (1865), whose icons and wood-carved iconostasis (work of masters from Tryavna) are among the masterpieces of  Bulgarian art. The clock tower (1835, in the centre of the town), whose clockwork was made by by local blachsmiths, and its bell was made in Vienna. The cobblestone Opulchenska Street and the old commercial Radetski Street are of interest to the visitors, too.

The monument to Racho Kovacha (Racho the Blacksmith) - the legendary founder of the town. It is located on a small rocky island in the Yantra River (the central part of the town). The Aprilov drinking-fountain built up in 1762 by Krustio Aprilov, a relative of V. Aprilov. It has 2 drinking-founatin heads and an interesting decoration. The Planetarium and the Zoo are located in the direction of the Gradishte area.

Being a big cultural centre, Gabrovo nowadays has 3 professional theatres - the Racho Stoyanov Theatre of Drama (2, Timok Street, tel.: 066 26722), The Puppet Theatre (11, Cyril and Methodius Street, tel.: 066 29051) and the Experimental Theatre of Satire and Variety (64, Brianska Street, tel.: 066 26594).

Every year during August a Balkan youth festival is held in Gabrovo called Youth on the Balkans, and at the end of September - the beginning of October the town hosts the Days of Chamber Music.

Gabrovo is a university centre, too - the Higher Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1963).

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