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    The history of Dryanovo dates back to Thracian and Roman times and there are plenty of 2000-years old fortresses ruins to prove it since it is situated right at the border between the Roman provinces Thracia and Moesia. At the “Orlovo gnezdo” plateau, where in 1190 the Bulgarians defeated the army of the Byzantium Emperor Isaac Angel, the ruins of an old castle could be seen – probably the stronghold of a boyar or of a tsar from the Assen’s stock.
    The name of Dryanovo has been mentioned for the first time in 1470-1480 in Ottoman documents as a village of 38 houses, all Bulgarians’. In 18th century Dryanovo turned into a craft centre and the famous clock tower with a bell was built.
    Long time ago the local people have discovered in what kind of heaven they live and have done a lot to develop the tourism. The relief is extremely complex – rivers, sheer cliffs up to 100 m, rich vegetation – and one can hardly see the old cottages and new luxurious villas if not facing them directly.
    Dryanovo was proclaimed a mountain resort in 1930. For years the main sightseeing place has been the “Bacho Kiro” cave. It was illuminated recently and now visitors can enjoy the rock formations some of which named after people or animals, like Jack Frost, Baba Yaga, the Monks, Pop Hariton, the Three Gossipers, etc.
    Another sight is the Dryanovo Monastery, situated 3 km (1.8 miles) away from the town. The monastery combines Old Bulgarian history with brand modernism in tourism. It was renovated and played on, and three hotel complexes with variety of attractions were built.
    In 2000 to the Dryanovo Monastery was opened up the first eco path in Bulgaria. The Dryanovo eco path covers an area of 2 km2. The path merges active travelling and high quality unpolluted nature. Different relief phenomena can be seen – rock wreaths, niches, several types of caves, rapids, waterfalls, gorge-like valleys. The round trip takes you to really unusual and outfield nature. Part of the attraction is the visit to the miniature village of Dolni Varpishta, where one can watch how rakiya (Bulgarian fruit brandy) is distilled and how cheverme is made. The duration of the route is about 4 hours and for some people walking on just a narrow wooden stairs and bridges over abysses, is true adrenalin.
    Place that should not be missed is the Dryanovo Museum. There is a collection of medieval and Bulgarian Revival icons all coming from the churches in Dryanovo. The exposition includes works of the Tryavna Art School icon-painters and it is arranged in the Ikonomov’s House. The house is an architecture monument built by the prominent Bulgarian mason Kolio Ficheto.
    He was born in Dryanovo in 1800 and has pieces of art spread over Bulgaria – the curches “St. Trinity”, "St. St. Constantine and Helen”, “St. Nicola”, the covered bridge in the town of Lovech, the bridge near the town of Elena, the Hadji Nikoli’s Caravanserai, the Ottoman Konak (Police Office) in Tarnovo and the bell towers in the Preobrazhenski and Plakovski monasteries. All his works are presented through photos and miniature models in the Museum in Dryanovo.
    More than 120 monasteries in Bulgaria still fascinate the visitors with the magnificent architecture, rich history and beautiful nature surrounding. Each of them has its own appearance and intriguing story but they all keep the Bulgarian spirit and faith.
    Adventure, eco tourism and cultural sightseeing are the things that distinguish Dryanovo as a resort. It could be visited in any season and be sure that you’ll find entertainment whatever you do. You have to visit it, discover it and let yourself to its charm.

Andyka 2006  
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