Etar Ethnographic Village Museum

Etār is a fascinating recreation of life in Bulgaria in the 18th and 19th century, with arts and crafts being produced in the old ways while you watch. Etār was opened in 1964 8 kilometers South of Gabrovo as an open-air museum to keep Bulgarian history alive, but it's also a great place for tourists to get to know Bulgaria.

The Etar Main Street

This is the main street from the Southern and main parking lot into Etar. The entire village follows the central stream which works as a drain for all the water used to power the different tools and machines on display in the Etār Ethnographic Village.

A water driven workshop in Etār

This is a typical sight: A small building with some kind of water pipe leading water down the slope to where it is needed, at the workshop.

A turner using a waterdriven lathe to create a wooden bowl in Etar, Bulgaria

The turner is using a waterdriven lathe to create his wooden bowls, plates and so on.

A potter making pots by foot

The potter is using footpower to make her pottery in one of the tiny combined workshops and shops in Etar. Note that some of the people working in Etar do not want you to photograph them. What they are doing in a museum if they do not want to be photographed is somewhat of a mystery, but don't be surprised if somebody react negatively to your camera.

A jeweller at work in Etar

The jeweller hard at work creating Bulgarian jewellery as it looked a century or two ago.

A water powered washing machine in Etār, Bulgaria

A typical water powered washing machine. Water is led down to the washing machine in such a manner that the water constantly spins. It takes 24 hours for a rug in the spinning water to get clean - very clean.

Hollow tree trunks and halved trees used to lead water where it's needed in Etar

This is an example of how both halved and hollow tree trunks are used to transport water to the watermills and workshops.

Bulgarian houses along the stream in Etār, Bulgaria

The houses along the stream are built in the early Bulgarian national revival style, where the fortress-like design is becoming less outspoken. But the top floors that are wider than the bottom floors are still there. There are about 50 workshops and shops scattered throughout the village, with a very comprehensive view of what was made how.

 

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