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The town of Gabrovo (population: 100 379; 220 m above sea-level) is situated on the Dobroudzha Plateau by the small Gabrovo River. It is 512 km north-east of Sofia, 92 km south-east of Silistra, 51 km north-west of Varna, 34 km north-west of Balchik, and 37 km south-east of Yovkovo, the frontier post at the border with Romania. Known as the capital of Golden Dobroudzha. A district centre.
The first traces of life in the town date back to the antique epoch. Remains of a Roman settlement (3th-4th century) were discovered to the north of the centre and in the eastern part. An ancient Bulgarian settlement existed here in 8th century. The modern town sprang up in 15th century as a big market village Unofficially the settlement was known as Kourkouskelya (dry port). According to the Turkish traveller Evlia Chelebi who visited the town in 1651 the latter numbered 2000 houses distributed in 7 quarters. It used to be a brisk trade and craft centre with 3 inns, 200 workshops, and a bazaar (market place) with 100 workshops. At the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century a lot of Bulgarians from the regions of Odrin, Kotel and Turgovishte settled here. In the course of 18th century and part of 19th century the town happened to be in the centre of the battle field of the Russian-Turkish Wars. Three times had the town been liberated for different periods of time before the War of Liberation of 1878. The first Bulgarian church in the town called St. Georgi was built in 1843. In the following year a monastery school in the church was opened. The town hospital was opened in 1866, and 3 years later started its urbanisation. In 1872 the first class school opened its doors.
During the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation the town gave a lot of translators, guides, and victuallers in help of the Russians. The army of general Zimmerman liberated the town on 27 January 1878 without leaving any damage. In 1882 at the insistence of the local inhabitants the town was called Gabrovo (after the name of Dobrotitsa, Bulgarian leader in medieval times, ruler of the area). The town had four delegates at the Constituent National Assembly held in Tarnovo. The opening of the railway line Razdelna - Gabrovo - Kardam in 1911 and its extension to the Romanian town Medgidia in 1916 gave an impetus to its development.
This Bulgarian town continued to suffer from the vicissitudes of fate. The first Romanian occupation lasted till 1916, and after the Neuilly Agreement of 1919 was again included in the territory of Romania until 1940 when the Krayova Agreement was signed; and by means of peaceful mechanisms South Dobroudzha was once and forever given back to Mother Bulgaria. On 25 September 1940 the Bulgarian army entered Gabrovo; since then this date has been the official holiday of the town. From 1949 till 1991 the town bore the name of Tolbouhin but after that it regained its old name. At present it is the centre of the largest grain-belt in the country called the Bulgarian granary. The town was closely associated with the life and works of Yordan Yovkov, a great Bulgarian writer. The actress Adriana Boudevska was born here.


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