Arbanasi Reserve - Bulgaria
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Directions to Arbanasi Reserve
Arbanasi is a historical village and an architectural reserve, situated 5 km from Veliko Turnovo. Unique medieval house and church architecture attracts numerous visitors every day throughout the year. There is no definite evidence as to when exactly the village was established and where the name came from. The predominant theory is that Arbanasi was founded in the 12th century by Boyars (2nd Bulgarian Kingdom nobility) and was later looted several times through the centuries. There are historical records of great glamour and prosperity during the period 16-19th c. when Arbanasi was inhabited by multinational trade guild representatives. There were over 1000 houses all built like small fortresses that could keep safe piles of stock and their owners in case of an enemy attack or siege.
2 monasteries (The Saint Nikola Monastery and The Holy Mother of God Convent), a good number of churches (The Birth of Christ Church, The Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, The Saint Dimitar Church, The Saint George Church, The Saint Atanas Church, The Saint Nikola Church, etc.) and a few museums (e.g. Konstantsaliev house) are among the tourist attractions in this small village which is a living museum by itself. Icons and murals from the holy places in Arbanasi have been studied, reproduced and venerated by millions of Orthodox Christians over the centuries till present days. Either of the monasteries homes a miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin. The Saint Nikola Monastery's icon is believed to help with infertility while the Weeping Holy Mother's icon from The Holy Mother of God Convent makes other miracles happen.
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