Gabrovo (Bulgarian: Габрово) is a city in Bulgaria with 63,004 inhabitants (31 Dec 2005). It is the capital of the oblast Gabrovo. Gabrovo stretches along the river Jantra and is located near the geographical center of the country. Gabrovo was an important trade route, that ran from the Danube on to the south 'Sjipkapas'. The city was in the 19th century one of the centers of the Bulgarian national rebirth. It developed at the end of that century into an important center of textile industry, the Manchester of Bulgaria. Since 1995, Gabrovo has a technical university.
The legendary founder of the town is blacksmith Ratsjo (Ratsjo Kovatsja) for whom a statue has been established on a rock in the Jantra.
The inhabitants of Gabrovo in Bulgaria are known for their frugality and their humor. In the since 1972 existing House of Humour and Satire, you can find different art and ethnographical exhibitions and collections, paintings, humorous writings, pictures, carnival masks and costumes from all over the world. The Festival of Humour and Satire takes place every year in May with thousands of famous comedians from more than 150 countries.
Gabrovo was the birthplace (1935)of Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, who became, mainly thanks to his packed buildings, probably the most famous Bulgarian artist of his time.
Gabrovo is an attractive tourist center including the clean mountain air, historical, ethnographic and cultural monuments. Gabrovo is seen as one of the most ecologically areas of Bulgaria, as confirmed by the rich flora and fauna.
Gabrovo has a rich cultural life, musical and folklore professional groups. The tourists can visit the Historical Museum, the Art Gallery and National Museum of Education. But the most attractive part of Gabrovo are the old neighborhoods, which are situated beyond the bridge Igoto on both sides of the river Iantra.
The first known name of the Gabrovo goes back to 1430 (already under the Ottoman occupation) - Gabruva, and the name of today, Gabrovo dates from the 17th century. The name comes from the hedge tree (Carpinus betulus, in Bulgarian "Gaber"). During the 19th century crafts practiced here were 26-forging (hooves), knives and cutlery, pottery, manufacture of braids, leather processing, the breeding of the silkworm, etc.