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Tryavna

Tryavna is a town in central Bulgaria, situated in the north slopes of the Balkan range, on the Tryavna river valley, near Gabrovo. It is famous for its textile industry and typical National Revival architecture, featuring 140 cultural monuments, museums and expositions. Tryavna is the birthplace of Bulgarian writer Pencho Slaveykov and revolutionary Angel Kanchev. The village was founded as early as the Thracian Era. However, the first documents of its existence date back to the 12th century. During Ottoman Bulgaria period locals defended the pass and enjoyed privileges for this reason. Only Bulgarians lived in the town; the Turks never gained access to it. During the period of Bulgarian National Revival, the town was heavily involved in the development of crafts. Houses from this period feature their own architectural design. The ground floors had irregular forms and housed craftsmen and traders. The upper floors featured wooden bow-windows, the roofs were covered with well arranged rocks.

The town square, named Capitan Diado Nikola, with the clock tower, dating from 1814, are among the landmarks. Another tourist attraction is the "kivgireniyat" bridge, built above the river behind the clock tower. One of the first secular schools in Bulgaria was built on Capitan Diado Nikola Square. Another symbol of Tryavna is the St. Archangel Mihael Church, situated in the town center and built in the late 12th century after Bulgarian tzar Asen defeated Byzantine emperor Isaac II. The wood-carved iconostasis and the bishop's throne in the church are real masterpieces of the woodcarving in Tryavna. Next to the school, is the Raykov house with its ethnographic collection, which is the birthplace of the first Bulgarian chemist, Pencho Nikolov Raikov. Not far away from it is the museum-house of Angel Kanchev who was Vassil Levski's compatriot. One of the most visited museums in Tryavna is the Daskalov house built in the year of 1808. The museum features the famous wood carved suns. The house is a museum of woodcarving and icon painting art. The remarkable ceilings were made after a bet between two of the best masters of wood carving — Dimitar Oshanetsa and Ivan Bochukovetsa. Тhe two masters worked hard for six months in the two largest rooms in the house without having a possibility to see each other's work.

Today the town is a preferable tourist spot, featuring modern hotels, private lodgings and villas, restaurants and taverns. There is also an Art school where successors of the old icon painters and woodcarvers master these crafts. The Voneshta voda village resort, famous for its healing mineral springs, is located 20 km away from Tryavna. The town is well connected with the whole country thanks to its excellent road network and railway station. Besides Bulgarian National Revival figures, another native is former Bulgarian NBA player Georgi Glouchkov.

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