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Dryanovo

The Municipality of Dryanovo is disposed in the central part of the foremountain Predbalkana ) in 248,50 sq.km deeply transected relief and from 180 to 640 m. above sea level.
The beautiful mountain slopes are covered with mixed deciduous forests and between the slopes and the rocks smoothly flow Dryanovska River and Yantra River.

Dryanovo offers to its visitors extremely various and interesting tourist objects.

  • The Kolyu Ficheto – Life and Work Exhibition is displayed in the History Museum in Dryanovo. The exhibition was opened on 20 July 1969 in memory of the renowned master builder.

Nikola Ivanov Fichev, nicknamed Kolyu Ficheto, was born in Dryanovo in 1800. He began learning the trade at an early age and became a mason’s apprentice (builder, brick layer). He studied the craft with master builders of the Tarnovo and the Bratsigovo Architecture Schools. Evidence of his talent was the fact that he was just 33 years old when he was recognised as a junior master builder, a title that was not usually given to someone so young. He later moved to Veliko Tarnovo where he died in 1881. In the course of his life he built some of the most beautiful public and residential buildings from the Revival Period in Bulgaria. Many of them still exist and impress with their exquisite and functional architecture and excellent construction.

Archive photographs of Dryanovo are shown in the first section of the exhibition. Among the exhibits visitors can see the tools and the personal seal of the master builder. Information boards in Bulgarian and English tell facts about the life, building skills, and features characteristic of the style of Kolyu Ficheto.

Very impressive are the models of buildings built by the master builder, such as the Nativity of Mary Cathedral in Veliko Tarnovo, which was his earliest individual work, the Holy Trinity Church in Svishtov, Saints Constantine and Helena Temple in Tarnovo, the building of the Turkish police office in Veliko Tarnovo, where the session of the Constituent Assembly was held after the Liberation of Bulgaria, as well as the beautiful inn of Hadji Nikoli also in Tarnovo.

The models of the bridge over the Yantra River at Byala, Ruse Region, the Covered Bridge in Lovech, and the stone bridge over Rositsa River at Sevlievo demonstrate the work of the master builder in detail.

Photographs taken in the past and the present reveal the current condition of the architectural masterpieces built by Kolyu Ficheto.

Three other exhibitions displayed in different buildings in Dryanovo are also part of the history museum.

Information materials and souvenirs are sold in the museum.

  • For centuries the Dryanovo Monastery “St. Archangel Michael” has been one of the centers of development of the Bulgarian Christianity and culture, and nowadays it continues to attract worshipers and tourists. The Monastery is situated at a distance of about 6 km from the town of Dryanovo, on the road to the town of Gabrovo.

The Dryanovo Monastery was established in the 12th century during the time of Tsar Kaloyan (1168– 1207). For the first time the monastery was built 2 km from the place where it is situated now. In 1393 the Ottoman Turks burned it down to ashes; in 16th century the local people restored it on the other bank of the river, but this time the holy monastery was also demolished.

On the place where it is situated now, the monastery “St. Archangel Michael” exists from the end of 17th century. In the monastery there was an enormous library, which turned it into one of the largest education centers during the Revival. The Kurdjalis (bandits who were usually acting in groups in the Ottoman Empire) set the monastery on fire for the third time, but after that it was restored again.

In 19th century a renovation of the holy monastery began, residential buildings were constructed, and in 1845 a new temple was raised.

The Monastery “St. Archangel Michael” is one of the centers of preparation of the April Uprising (1976) for liberation from Ottoman Dominion. Upon the rout of the uprising the monastery was demolished again. Soon after that it was partially restored and on 3 April 1877 its main temple was solemnly consecrated.

The museum exposition “Archaeology and Revival” is placed in the Dryanovo Monastery. The finds discovered in the region of the monastery are placed here and they describe the development of the region and the holy monastery. The exposition contains domestic objects, tools, coins, ceramics, etc. from the early stone age and the stone-copper age (4000-3000 years BC). A central place in the exposition occupies the history of the April Uprising. Among the exponents there are items belonging to the rebels, pictures, guns, clothes, etc. Information materials and souvenirs can be bought in the museum.

A resting corner is constructed in the monastery, and there is also a children playground. In front of its entrance, on the parking lot there are stalls on which souvenirs are sold. Near the church there is a mausoleum with a chapel and ossuary. The mausoleum was raised to the memory of the killed rebels, and their bones are kept inside it.

A hotel part works by the monastery “St. Archangel Michael”.

The Dryanovo Monastery was declared a national monument of culture by Decree of the Council of Ministers of 1971 and it is a part of the 100 National Tourist Sites. The temple celebration of the monastery is celebrated on 8 November - Michaelmas.

  • The Bacho Kiro cave is situated near it, at a distance of about 300 m.

The region around the Dryanovo Monastery and the Bacho Kiro cave is an starting point for tourist passages – to the villages Bozhentsi, Gesha, Ritlya, etc.

The monastery is a starting point of the Dryanovo eco path, which passes along the banks of river Andaka, then by the Bacho Kiro cave. In 2003 in the region of the monastery was developed another eco path - Via Ferrata. The path begins from the holy monastery, passes by the railway line, and then it continues in the south direction by the bank of the Dryanovska river to the Sini Vir waterfall. The path is marked in blue and also has designative board-signs. After that along a stone staircase one can get on the edge of the stone crown of the Dryanovska river. The route presents a wonderful view towards the canyons of the rivers Dryanovska and Andaka. The eco path continues along the Strinava plateau, where remains of the Gradat fortress are laying. From here the path continues backwards to the Manastirsko Loze locality.

The tourist society Bacho Kiro provides a tour guide for the eco paths and the tourist transitions in exchange for payment.

Bacho Kiro Cave is located approximately 6 km southwest of Dryanovo. The entrance of the cave is 300 m away from the Dryanovo Monastery of Archangel Michael.

The cave is cut in a 25 m-high vertical limestone rock and is situated at an elevation of 335 m.

In 1937 it became the first developed cave in Bulgaria, and in 1940 it was named after Bacho Kiro, a revolutionary who participated in the April Uprising (1876).

The cave was declared a natural landmark by Ordinance No 2810 of 10 October 1962. It is also included in the list of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.

Bacho Kiro is an intricate 3600 m-long maze of cave rooms and forking passages. There are two routes for visitors to take in the cave. The first one is about 700 m long and takes 70 minutes to cover. The short route is 350 m long and can be covered in approximately 30 minutes. Visitors of the cave must be accompanied by a guide and the lecture is included in the ticket price. Long-route tours around the cave are only available for groups of at least 15 people.

For thousands of years rivers have been forming the rooms and the chambers of the cave. The beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, and columns have taken various bizarre shapes.

The cave has impressive lighting system that allows visitors to better see the various shapes of rocks, such as the Stone Flower, the Jellyfish, the Lonely Column, the Elephant, etc. The Rain Room, the Concert Room, and the Guest Room are particularly interesting.

There are marked tourist paths that take 4 to 6 hours to cover and bike paths in the region of Dryanovo Monastery and Bacho Kiro Cave; rock climbing is available too. The local Bacho Kiro Tourist Society provides guides for such activities against consideration.

Information materials and souvenirs are sold at the entrance of the cave.

 

Source: Official Tourism Port of Bulgaria http://bulgariatravel.org

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