Huddled at the foot of the Balkans, in the depths of virgin forests 15 km east from Gabrovo is the Architectural and Historical Reserve Bozhentsi. It is a picturesque spot which has preserved the fragrance of past times. The legend of the first settlers has been kept by each generation for six centuries; the story of the boyar from Tarnovo Bozhana and her nine sons who managed to escape in the mountains from the Turkish conquerors during the siege of Veliko Tarnovo.
Till the end of the 19th century Bozhentsi was an economic, administrative, educative and cultural center for the nearby towns and villages. Today there are 100 houses between 100 and 250 years old, which have preserved the practical and artistic flair of Bulgarians.
There are colorful taverns, shops for souvenirs and a small number of private hotels in old houses in the village of Bozhentsi. In two of the houses, museum exhibits display items dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The church of St. Elias the Prophet (1835) deserves special attention.
The people of Bozhentsi managed to get permission for the construction of a bell tower - something which was expressly forbidden by the Turks. The church bell arrived from the remote Russian town of Toula. It is very interesting to see the monastery school and the wax purifying shop, dating back to the 18th c. Near Bozhentsi are the monasteries of Dryanovo, Sokolovo and Kilifarevo.