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   The Architectural and Historical Reserve of Bojensti is a unique museum-village, situated in the geographical center of Bulgaria with plenty of things to be seen and done in the area. You can visit the ethnographic complex Etura to see functioning 17th century workshops, producing textiles, pottery, wrought iron, knives, pastries; take a two-hour hike through the mountain and visit the old crafts-center of Tryavna famous for its wood-carving and icon-painting schools; or drive for 30min. to the medieval capital of Bulgaria Veliko Turnovo and the numerous adjoining monasteries.
  The village of Bojentsi is cuddled in the picturesque mountain folds of the

Central Balkan Range Mountain. It is amongst the few places in the country, which have preserved completely their ancient appearance and valuable architectural and ethnographical monuments form the period of the Bulgarian Renaissance /19th century/.

  A legend says that back in 1393, when the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom Turnovo fell under Ottoman rule, the widowed aristocrat Bojana ran for refuge in the mountain in search for a new home for her children. There, by the rumbling mountain streams in the deep forest at the foot of a cold well, away from the oppressors, she built the first home of the village, which would bear her name in the future.
From that moment on magic started to happen in Bojentsi girls and boys were being born, got married, worked and lived in happiness and left this world to rest in piece.
The positive economic and social changes in the Bulgarian society during the second half of the 18th century had their impact on Bojentsi as well. A fast economic growth began. The local population was engaged primarily in trade and a small part in crafts. The goods of the Bojentsi merchants consisted of wools, leather, wax, honey and the produce of master craftsmen blacksmiths, fur-dressers, weavers and tailors.
Today, in calmness and serenity, the village of Bojentsi creates an illusion that life has stopped. We breathe in the fresh mountain air, climbing up along the narrow steep nooks, passing by the white walls of 2-storey houses, enveloped in ivy, with roofs of heavy hand-cut stone plates. The Bojentsi architecture is open and directed at the streets. The high first floor consists of household and commercial premises, stables and animal sheds, storage space, cellars and shops. The outdoor staircase leads up to a hall, through which first the guestroom is entered, followed by an entrance to the kitchen and bedroom. The large corner fireplaces are typical for this region. The second floor has several recesses and the roof is topped with pretty white chimneys. The furnishings are lavish oak tree covered walls, wood-carved ceilings and cupboards, colorful woven carpets. The house of Doncho Popa is one of the most typical monuments in Bojentsi, dating back to the 19th century. The church is another landmark /1835/, interesting for its slightly tilted floor in front of the altar and wooden iconostasis. The local population manages even to be grated permission to build a bell tower for the church something forbidden at the time by the Ottoman rulers. The bell was delivered from the distant Russian town of Toula. The village school was built in 1872 with a large hall and library on the ground floor and outdoor stairs leading to the classrooms on the second floor. In 1964 Bojensti, with its 100 houses and 7 public buildings has been declared an architectural and historical reserve.



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