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
The village of Bojentsi is cuddled in the picturesque mountain
folds of the
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.