Balkan Heritage Towns and regions:

The town of Tryavna (population: 12 000 inhabitants) is located in the northern folds of the picturesque Balkan Mountain in the Trevnenska River Valley, 440 meters above the sea level. It is famous for it’s crafts, icons, textiles and the Old Town area in typical Bulgarian National Revival Style (17-19 century). Local climate is temperate, influenced by the mountain: fresh, but sunny summers and cold and snowy winters.

You can reach Tryavna from:

  • Sofia (app.250 km) - the capital of Bulgaria having an international airport - by bus, train or car (app. 3½ hrs);
  • Varna (app. 270 km) - the largest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea Coast having an international airport and harbour - by bus, train or car (app. 3½ hrs);
  • Burgas (220 km) - the second largest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea Coast having an international airport and harbour - by bus, train or car (app. 4 hrs);
  • Ruse (150 km), the largest Bulgarian city on Danube having an international river harbour - by bus, train or car (app. 2½ hrs).


The Old Town area of Tryavna with the Old square (1814), the Clock tower (1844), St.George church (1848) and the Arch bridge (1845) is declared as an Architectural Reserve, featuring 140 cultural sights. The oldest building in the town is St.Archangel Michael church, built in the late 12th century by Bulgarian Tzar Asen commemorating his victory over the Byzantine army, led by Emperor Isaac II Angelos in 1192. The wood-carved iconostasis and the bishop's throne in the church are real masterpieces of the woodcarving art in Tryavna. The Tryavna School (1839) was among the first secular schools in Bulgaria. Nowadays its building on the Old Town square hosts temporary art exhibitions. The Icon's Museum is in the Tzar’s chapel, built in 1943 and 1944. The museum has the most representative collection of Tryavna style icons, painted between 17th and 19th century by members of six renowned family guilds of icon – painters, as well as painting tools, designs, guidelines etc. Numerous old houses keep and represent town's past and host museums: Daskalov's House hosts the Museum of woodcarving; Slaveikov's house hosts the Museum of Petko Slaveikov and Pencho Slaveikov (Petko Slaveikov is a distinguished Bulgarian poet, journalist and public opinion leader during the National Revival period. He lived there between 1835 and 1876. The house was a birthplace of his nine children - among them is the Bulgarian poet of Symbolism Pencho Slaveikov); Angel Kanchev's House hosts the Museum of the prominent Bulgarian revolutionary etc. The Museum of Asian and African Art is housed in the old public bath, on the riverside.

Today the town is a preferable tourist spot with modern hotels and holiday villas, numerous traditional restaurants and taverns. The local School for traditional arts and crafts still keeps the Tryavna style traditions in icon-painting and woodcarving.

Tryavna Environs:

  • Veliko Tarnovo – the medieval Bulgarian capital between 1185 and 1393;
  • Kilifarevo monastery (14th century);
  • Sokolski monastery (1856);
  • Dryanovo Monastery;
  • The district town of Gabrovo is a nice town, that hosts the World's  only Palace of Humour;
  • Etara Ethno park;
  • The architectural reserve of Bozhentsi (18th -19th century style village);
  • The countryside resort and 18th-19th century style village of Kostenkovtsi;
  • Old town of Dryanovo;
  • Bacho Kiro Cave and eco-trails in the area;
  • The spa resort of Voneshta voda.