Gabrovo Region is situated in the central part of Bulgaria.
Its strategic location and proximity to the geographic center of the country make it an important transportation crossroad.
Through Gabrovo passes Corridor № 9 (Helsinki – Sank Petersburg - Kiev - Bukuresht - Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo - Gabrovo – Stara Zagora - Dimitrovgrad to Greece and Turkey).
An old legend says that one of the founders of the city was Racho the Blacksmith, who built his settlement near Yantra River to shoe the horses of the caravans that traveled to and from the mountain. Gradually new settlers came to live near his house and since there was a huge hornbeam tree nearby (in Bulgarian – gabar), people named the place Gabrovo.
The strategic location of Gabrovo – near the capital Tarnovo and Shipka pass and the boom of crafts, trade and public education shaped its urban appearance. Migration of Cumans, Vlachs and Bulgarians, pressed by Turkish expansion, gradually formed local population of a keen mind. Agriculture, gardening, stock – breeding, leather and textile working, carpentry and blacksmith’s made their way into everyday life of Ancient Gabrovians…
During the period of the Revival Gabrovo was separated into 5 neighborhoods with local councils, 3 churches and parishes, 4 school boards of trusties and typical urban center with 3 bridges, a clock tower, a town hall, pubs and a public market. In XVII C associations of craftsmen, small church schools and foundation of Bulgarian administration were established.
In 1861 Gabrovo was proclaimed a town and thus gained its right to assign a sitting judge, a doctor and a chief of police. A few calamities left a scar on Gabrovo for the period XVII – XVIII Cy – the plague, the great floods, the plunders and the fire of 1789.
Prominent people of Gabrovo like Captain Nikola, Master Nikola and Tsanko Dustabanov distinguished themselves in the liberation movements of Bulgaria and Russian – Turkish Liberation war.
After Liberation Gabrovo was one of the centers that shaped the Bulgarian State organization. Prominent Gabrovians were among the national representatives in Constituent Assembly to develop and pass the Turnovo Constitution.
In the beginning of XX C Gabrovo became one of the most prosperous industrial centers of Bulgaria. Leading factories for manufacture of wool braid, fabrics, bullets, soap, leather, metalwork and etc. were located here.
In the course of time Gabrovo was given more than one name – it was called the Capital of factories, the Bulgarian Manchester and the Loan office of Bulgaria in appraisal of great contribution of Gabrovo industry to the state treasury.
Gabrovians are considered to be industrious, sparing and inventive. The collection of Gabrovian jokes is being published and translated in 23 different languages in more than 40 editions. It contains funny stories from everyday life of local people, filled with wit and inner charge. It is not an accident that Gabrovo is called the International Capital of Humor.