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Settlements: Dryanovo

The town of Dryanovo (9707 inhabitants, 270 metres above sea level) is amphitheatrically situated along the two banks of the Dryanovska River, a right tributary to the Yantra River. It 241 km and 21 km north-east from Sofia and Gabrovo, respectively, 17 km north of Tryavna, 25 km south-west of Veliko Turnovo, 32 km east of Sevlievo and 15 km west of Kilifarevo. A cradle of Bulgarian construction genius.

History: The settlement is mentioned as a fortress on the Strinava Plateau by Byzantine chroniclers in 1186 for the first time in relation to the Uprising led by the members of Assen dynasty (1185-1187). It is mentioned under the name of Diranav (Diranava) in a Turkish register of 1430, and todays name of Dryanovo is found in a book of the Zograf Monastery of 1500. The name originated from the cornel-tree commonly found here.

The settlement reached its greatest prosperity (since 1883 it has already been proclaimed as a town) during the Revival Period. Dryanovo became famous for its masters - builders and wood-carvers. The most outstanding representative of Bulgarian construction genius during the Revival period - the self-educated architect and master-builder Nikola Ivanov Fichev (Master Kolyu Ficheto, 1800-1880) was born here.

The inhabitants of Dryanovo took an active part in the national liberation movement. There were citizens of Dryanovo in Velchos Conspiracy, in Georgi Rakovskis legion in Belgrade, in the detachments of armed volunteers of Stefan Karadzha and Hadzhi Dimitar, of Hristo Botev. In 1875 Georgi Izmirliev established a revolutionary committee here. During the fateful spring of 1876, in spite of the readiness of the citizens of Dryanovo for struggle, due to the lack of an eminent leader, no uprising burst out here. The settlement, however, gave revolutionaries for the detachment of armed volunteers of Pop Hariton and Bacho Kiro, which heroically fought for more than a week in the Dryanovo Monastery under siege. During the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation 88 citizens of Dryanovo fought in the Bulgariаn volunteer forces.

Nowadays the town and its surrounding areas develop more and more as a center of internal and foreign tourism. Dryanovo is the birthplace of the writers Racho Stoyanov, Atanas Smirnov and of the composer Todor Popov. In relation to its healthy climate and high average life expectancy the town is often referred to as the town of centenarians.
Landmarks: The Kolyu Ficheto Museum (in the eastern part of the town, Kolyu Ficheto Square, tel.: 0676 2079, also known as a museum of the Bulgarian Revival Architecture), in front of which the impressive bronze figure of the self-educated genius rises, work of the sculptor Boris Gondov. The home of the Master was not preserved. Lafchievs House (the eastern part of the town, Kolyu Ficheto Square) of 1840, is a genuine masterpiece of the Revival Architecture. Even a nail was not used in its construction. The Holy Trinity Church is remarkable for its magnificent wood-carved ceilings. The Saint Nikola Church, built up by Kolyu Ficheto, is located in the central part of the town. Elevated on the Bryasta ridge (the Elm-tree), at its time it dominated over the whole town. Interesting buildings of the old-time Dryanovska charshiya (marketplace), as well as the restored houses - Ikonomovs, Afazovs, Romounovs, Taninovs in the Boiuv Yaz area are preserved. The Clock Tower (the old one was destroyed in 1944) and the Art Gallery (Shipka Street) are located in the centre of Dryanovo, near to each other.

Accommodation: Momini Skali Hotel Complex (Maiden Rocks) (in the south-eastern end of the town, Apriltsi Residential Area, Block No. 12). Milkana Hotel Complex (in the central part, near the river).

Tourist information: at the hotels or at the Bacho Kiro Tourist Association (9, Stefan Stambolov, tel.: 0676 2332).

Transport: Bus and railway transport connect the town with the country. There are regular bus lines to Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Tryavna and other smaller settlements within the region. The bus station (1, Pop Hariton Street, tel.: 0676 2045) and the railway station (8, Zheleznicharska Street, tel.: 0676 3209) are located one opposite the other, on the two banks of the river (the bus station is on the left bank and the railway station is on the right bank of the river), in the southern part of the town. Dryanovo is a station of the main railway line Rousse Gorna Oryahovitsa Stara Zagora - Podkova.

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