Regional Historical Museum of Gabrovo


The Regional History Museum is one of the oldest cultural institutions in Gabrovo, direct successor of the established in 1883 Museum at the Aprilov secondary school, with the idea of the school principal and future Minister of Education Raycho Karolev.

The interest in collecting and preserving the history of Gabrovo acquires a new dimension with the foundation of the Historiographic society, founded on July 19, 1920 by the eminent gabrovian historiographer Petar Tsonchev. According to its statute, the main aim of the society was “… to collect and preserve the scattered materials needed to write a complete history of Gabrovo …”. First archaeological excavations in the area of Gradiste were organized in October 1920 under the guidance of the invited by Dr. Peter Conchev and Ekim Andreychin archaeologist Max Neubert. From 1923 dates the first exhibition of materials collected by the company, shown in one of the rooms of the Aprilov secondary school. On March 31, 1926, at the annual meeting of Historiographic society of Gabrovo, the members of the board of trustees found that documents and belongings of the museum collection grew to the point where the latter may be called a museum.

On October 10, 1949 the society museum grew to city folklore museum with curator Ganka Ribareva and became state-owned. For the first time it acquired its own building, provided by the municipality. The first permanent exhibition of materials from the Renaissance period and the ethnography of Gabrovo region was displayed in it. Consultant was prof. Hristo Vakarelski. On October 1, 1960 the museum was named County museum and opened new departments like “Archaeology”, “New History” /Workers and revolutionary movement/ “Modern history” /Socialist construction/ and “Ethnography” were created. Based on the County Historical Museum of Gabrovo in 1978, was created “Cultural historical heritage” Directorate, which administrative integrated and managed the museum, the art gallery, museums and museum collections in the county. In 1988 there were 6 museums, 1 art gallery, 6 museum houses and 20 museum collections within the Gabrovo region. County Historical Museum supported the founding of several museums in the area, which over time become independent. Based on its rich funds and its methodical aid, arose “Hristo Tsokev” Art Gallery of Gabrovo, “Etar” Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, National Museum of Education, “Bozhentsi” Architectural-Historical Reserve. In 2006 the Historical museum was named Regional Historical Museum.

The rich collections of the museum include artefacts from the Paleolithic Age, from the late antique civilization on these lands (IV – VI c.), The First and Second Bulgarian Empire, from the Turkish rule, the Renaissance and the industrial boom of the city until present day. Regional Historical Museum of Gabrovo has in its funds nearly 90,000 fund units. The museum operates in terms of conservation and exhibition of movable cultural property, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, exploring the history and nature of the Gabrovo region.

Currently Regional Historical Museum of Gabrovo is housed in the former building of the Bulgarian National Bank. The massive, multistory Baroque house was built in 1904 by architect Nikola Lazarov, commissioned by the Hadjistoychev family, prominent Gabrovian industrialists and founders of the second woolen mill in the city.

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