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Destination Details

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

50 km south of Veliko Tarnovo is situated the Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, the most impressive open-air museum dedicated to traditional crafts and customs in Bulgaria. What lures tourists to visit the complex is the enchanting song of the past sung there: it mixes the voice of bagpipes and the chirping of the birds with the metallic rhythm of sledge-hammers coming from the craft shops and the cow-bells in the lush green meadows. This is the original soundtrack to every tour around the Etar. The museum complex spreads out on a territory of 7 hectares and is home to more than 20 traditional handcrafts. If you want to, you can actually take a crash course in any of them. Lessons are available in all workshops. Alternatively, you can just go and buy something from the craftsman’s market. The objects sold there are made by the best-skilled craftsmen in the country. The 19th-century shoemaker’s workshop and the tannery house built in 1860 are two of Etar’s most notable attractions. The complex also exhibits the only collection of water-driven machinery in Bulgaria. The museum is located at the very outskirts of Gabrovo, the capital of humor, and just few kilometers away from the beautiful town of Tryavna, our next stop.

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