Zheravna Museum Village

road in BulgariaI briefly visited Zheravna many years ago and so after a couple of weeks of getting on top of the gardens, we decided to head out on a day trip to see the museum town. What should have been around an hour and half’s drive from our house, turned into a bit of an adventure as we decided to try the scenic route, winding up the hills behind Sliven. Un-beknown to us and through a lack of sign posts, the road had actually collapsed several months back and after passing a couple of large piles of gravel in the road (dumped for future road repairs we thought) and going around a few rock slides, we got to a point where it was impassable and half the road had slipped off the side of the hill. So it was back down the way we had come and back to the main road for the longer way there.

ZheravnaZheravna is a museum village where many of the old style houses still remain and have been preserved and renovated. Most are now guest houses or restaurants. It is the largest architectural reserve in Bulgaria with over 200 preserved wooden houses, which date from the Bulgarian National Revival period in the 18th and 19th century. However, the actual village is much older, dating back to around the 12th to 14th century but as the village grew into a centre of arts and crafts in the 18th century and more money was available to the village inhabitants, the one or two story wooden houses started to spring up. Now there are many museum houses from merchants of the 18th century, famous artists and writers. The village and its inhabitants were actively involved in the rebellion against the Ottoman empire and were part of the April Uprising.
 house in Zheravna, BulgariaThousands of tourists flock here in the high season with coach parties from the coastal resorts and Sofia coming. However, out of season it is lovely to wander the cobbled streets amongst the old houses, have a traditional Bulgarian meal in one of the various restaurants (not all open out of season). If not in tourist season