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Arbanassi - architectural historical complex

See it on the map Bulgarian properties in Veliko Tarnovo Region - Arbanasi

Arbanasi is a village in northern Bulgaria. It is located in Veliko Turnovo, Veliko Turnovo region.

Arbanasi is a village in Veliko Tarnovo municipality, Veliko Tarnovo Province of central northern Bulgaria, set on a high plateau between the larger towns of Veliko Tarnovo (four kilometres away) and Gorna Oryahovitsa. It is known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th and 18th century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned it into a popular tourist destination.

It is located 4 km northeast of Veliko Tarnovo, 4 km southwest of the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa and about 229 km northeast of Sofia city.

Its altitude is 350 m.

The population is about 330 people.

The village's name comes from the Albanian word Arbanas, which means "land worker". From this root word, the Turkish arnavut, was used to denote Albanians and other people that came from parts of Macedonia and Albania that had a large Albanian population, regardless of nationality. As of 2005, Arbanasi has a population of 291 and the mayor is Tosho Krastev.


The lack of other documentary material leaves different opinions and speculations about the settlement's origin, name and population. It is accepted by some scholars that the village was populated by Bulgarian boyars that came from the westernmost parts of the Second Bulgarian Empire after Ivan Asen II's important victory over the Byzantines near Klokotnitsa on 9 March 1230, when the tsar conquered "the land of the Albanians". This assumption is supported by 19th century notes from Georgi Rakovski and other scholars, but by no direct evidence or contemporary source.
The earliest written document that marks the beginning of Arbanasi's history is a royal decree by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent from 1538, according to which the sultan offered the lands of the modern localities of Arbanasi, Lyaskovets, Gorna Oryahovitsa and Dolna Oryahovitsa to his son-in-law Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha as a gift. The four villages are united under the name Arnaud Kariyeleri ("the Albanian villages") in the document, and the first settlers may have been Albanians and Greeks from Epirus; although Albanian-sounding names could be found in the Ottoman tax registers, Orthodox and Slavic names already prevailed.


• Arbanasi Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God (17th-18th century)
• Monastery of Saint Nicholas (17th-18th century)
• Church of the Nativity of Christ (c. 15th-17th century)
• Church of Saints Archangels Michael and Gabriel (16th-18th century)
• Church of Saint Athanasius (17th century)
• Church of Saint George (17th century)
• Church of Saint Demetrius (17th-18th century)
• Konstantsaliyata's House (18th century)
• Hadzhi Iliya's House
• Other 18th century merchant's houses

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