Arbanasi is one of the most picturesque old settlements in Bulgaria.
It is situated upon the rocky plateau of the same name and looks on to the old
part of the ancient Bulgarian capital Veliko Turnovo. Arbanasi
is famous for its unique housing construction and its churches, abounding in
mural paintings. The settlement was founded in the 13th century by distinguished
Bulgarian boyars. It gradually turned into a rich settlement where stock-breeding
and trade flourished. The houses numbered 1000.
During the 16th and the 17th centuries the houses in the village acquired their
typical imposing appearance. Today, they look like strongholds with their high
stone walls, but their outer facades contrast with their inside coziness and
comfort. The ceilings, doors, furniture and windows are abundant in wood-carving
and the walls in plaster ornaments.
There are also 7 churches, dating as far back as the 17th century which are
famous for their beauty. With their strong high walls, tiny windows and oak doors,
studded with iron nails, they match perfectly the authentic appearance of the
whole settlement. In contrast to the exterior of the churches, which lacks any
kind of ornaments, the interior is abundant in mural paintings and wood-carvings:
the works of Bulgarian masters.
Arbanasi is located 4 km north-east of Veliko Tarnovo.
- capital of the Second Kingdom