The Etar architectural and ethnographic complex is located 8 km south of Gabrovo and 160 km east of the capital, Sofia. It is an open-air museum and was founded in 1964. If you have visited Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, it is basically the same. Its purpose is to show the Bulgarian lifestyle, architecture and culture of the city of Gabrovo and its surroundings since the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The complex has built with 16 architectural models of houses, which are copies of the real ones that exist in the city and the region, and were built between 1967 and 1973. The walk through the cobbled streets of the city-museum will take you to the past of the people and Bulgarian traditions. In some of the houses, on the ground floors, there are workshops and venues where demonstrations, trainings and competitions are held in various fields of handicraft: bakery, pottery making, confectionery, scarf production, cold pressed oil production, ceramics, etc. Teachers will gladly show you some of the subtleties in their trade.
For younger visitors there is an outdoor playground, where children learn new things through fun. You will also see hydraulic installations such as rollers, water mills, etc., and the most interesting thing for visitors is that they are put into operation. In Etara, several recreations of traditional Bulgarian festivals and customs are organized, such as Saint George, the saint of Lazar and others. Normally, the International Popular Crafts Fair is held annually on the first weekend of September, where masters from all over the country and abroad present their crafts. The open-air museum is open all year for visitors, and there is a hotel and restaurant with meals prepared according to authentic Bulgarian recipes. Nearby are the Sokolski Monastery (3 km), the Bozhentsi Architectural Historical Reserve, the city of Tryavna, the Shipka Peak and the Memorial Temple in the city of Shipka.