Bulgaria, even though a very small country, has an ancient history, incredible scenery and unique customs and culture.

One of the many places bearing the spirit of Bulgaria is the village of Arbanasi. It is located in central northern Bulgaria about 5km northeast of Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanasi is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of its impressive Renaissance architecture, iconography and painting preserved old houses, monasteries and churches.

Today in Arbanasi has about 350 inhabitants, but is visited annually by thousands of tourists come not only because of historical and architectural significance of the place, but also for clean air and healthy climate.

Everyone who wishes to immerse fully in the spirit and traditions of this place can rent a room or a house in the village and of course to experience traditional and delicious dishes and enjoy the stories of local residents. All old houses in Arbanasi have huge stone walls that once protected the homes of owners of foreign invasions. The raw of the houses outside sharp contrast to the wonderful homes and courtyards filled with the fragrance and colors of various flowers and fruit trees. The houses have ornate carvings on their ceilings, windows and doors.

Arbanasi has centuries of history – over the years has been an important trade center, later the center of the fight against Ottoman rule, and now is a center, bearing the spirit and image of the old Bulgarian national revival culture.

Today there are about 140 reserved houses – architectural monuments, including the most famous “Hadzhihristova” house. The splendor of these houses testifies for the rise and economic recovery in Arbanassi during the XVIII century.

Among the cultural monuments are also and 5 churches and 2 monasteries, which are a symbol of Christianity and literature, which are preserved through the centuries of Ottoman rule and helped to impose Greek culture and Greek language in the sermons.

The modest buildings of the churches are situated among gardens full of greenery, fragrant flowers and vines. Both the monastery “St. Nicholas” and “Virgin Mary” keep behind their walls the ancient history and bring peace and tranquility to their visitors. Like most churches in Bulgaria, and these two have been demolished over the years, and then reconstructed thanks to the love and kindness of local people. It is well known the difficult life of the Bulgarians during the Ottoman rule and that the monasteries and churches were pillars of the Bulgarian spirit, literature and culture.

Therefore, when you visit such places as Arbanasi and its churches and monasteries, consider not only the love with which the beautiful buildings were built, but also the strength of its inhabitants and guardians over the years!

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