Places of interest
Bozhentsi

Location: Bozhentsi is located in the middle part of the Balkan Mountain, 16 km east from Gabrovo and about 200 km from the capital Sofia.

Population: 50 people.

History: Bozhentsi is a village with more than 600 years of history. According to the legend, the village was founded by the boyar Bozhana, who, during the fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire, took her relatives out of the burned capital of Tarnovo and settled in the mountain. During the 18th century the economic progress in the Ottoman empire contributed to the expansion of the village. More than thirty shops of different crafts (blacksmith, wood carving, weaving, etc.) became the symbol of the active commercial relations with the country and the foreign markets. The inhabitants of the village took active part in the preparation of the April rebellion and the struggle for liberation. After the liberation of Bulgaria, there were already 120 houses here. At the end of the 19th century, however, the goods from the factory industry quickly took over the local craftsmens goods, which forced the shops and workshops to close their doors for business. Bozhentsi was abandoned. What remained was just the old glory of the village and the large houses, aged between 100 and 250 years. In 1962 the restoration of the valuable buildings and the complete renovation of the village were started. On 28th of January, 1964, Bozhentsi was pronounced for an architectural reserve from the Bulgarian Revival. The folklore style of the old buildings made it a preferred sight for domestic and international tourists. The village is interesting for scientists and art experts, as well as for lovers of Bulgarian lifestyle and the culture from the Revival period.

Landmarks: One can visit the museum houses from the 18th - 19th century, in which one can see authentic objects from that period. The houses are convenient, spacious, with two or three floors, with beautiful jetties, wide roofs, green vines that twine around the eaves and terraces and wild geranium and ivy around the low walls. Large two-folding gates add to the architectural ensemble of the typical house in Bozhentsi and its additional buildings. The ground floor includes household and craftsmans premises, stables and sheds for cattle, storehouses, cellars and shops. An external staircase leads to a veranda, through which one can first enter a guest room, and then the kitchen (soba) and bedroom (odaya). The furniture is abundant the walls have beech covering, the ceilings are richly ornamented, the furniture is in harmony with the carpets in lively colours and there are large corner fireplaces that heat the entire house.

  • The Prophet Elijah Church is a three-nave orthodox church, which was built in 1835. The inhabitants of Bozhentsi managed to obtain a permit to construct a bell tower, which used to be forbidden by the Ottoman rule at that time. The bell was delivered from the distant Russian town of Tula.

  • The Monastery School was built in 1872. There used to be a saloon and a library at the ground floor, while on the upper floor, which was accessible through an external staircase, there used to be classrooms.

  • The Museum exponents include a vice for wax with original mechanism from the 19th century, cutler's workshop and permanent bazaar exhibition of textile. Exhibitions and authentic reproductions of the national traditions are organized during the different national holidays.