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 XIII-th century by distinguished Bulgarian boyars. It gradually turned into a rich settlement where stock-breeding and trade flourished. The houses numbered 1000.
During the XVI-th and the XVII-th 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 XVII-th 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.
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