According to the legend, a hefty young man named Racho settled by the Yantra River.
He used to shoe the horses of the caravans that passed the Balkan. Racho set his anvil under the branches of a huge hornbeam /named “gabar” in Bulgarian/, which gave the name of the new settlement – Gabrovo. Attracted by the place, the travelers remained here forever and brought about their knowledge and skills. The new settlers saw clothes, cooked delicious dishes, repaired carts and processed leather.
During the years, the co-existence and mutual work forms a community of the local people and the specific character of “the Gabrovian” – ever searching and constantly learning, open to innovations and modern thinking, always discontent and full of self-irony.
Gabrovo is situated in the central part of Bulgaria along Yantra River, in the suburbs of the Balkan Mountains.
During the national Revival period (18-19 c.) the entrepreneurial urban community of Gabrovo took active part in the formation of the four major pillars of the future modern State.
The economic upheaval and the broad national awakening in early 19 c. resulted in numerous impressive residential houses, churches, fountains, bridges, a clock tower, etc.
After the liberation from the Ottoman Empire the first textile factory was opened in Gabrovo in 1882. It is the place where modern factory production in Bulgaria was initiated more than 150 years ago. In the 2nd half of the 19th century crafts and trade evolved so rapidly that people called Gabrovo “The Bulgarian Manchester”, known by this name throughout Europe and in the near East.
Keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship alive, during the recent 20 years Gabrovo municipality has been one of the leading local authorities in Bulgaria in many aspects – implementing energy efficiency and clean technologies, building partnership and joint initiatives with local private businesses, universities and the civic sector, promoting cultural tourism.That was the first municipality in the country that re-conceptualized and upgraded its active urban planning documents during the transition period. The urban planning process is nowadays aimed at the development of participatory culture, the multipurpose use of GIS and the successful implementation of large projects for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of public infrastructure – technical, social and cultural.
Gabrovo Municipality has the potential to bring about the complex mixture of traditional factors, entrepreneurial spirit, innovative solutions readiness and openness to the experiment and new ideas.