Architectural Reserve Zheravna
The neat and tidy almost 300-year-old wooden houses of Zheravna fascinate every single visitor of the small Balkan village. As you walk through the winding, cobblestone streets you will probably feel like walking among authentic movie props and sets. That place is very real though and it’s a messenger from the past rather than the result of an exceptional set design.
The village was proclaimed an architectural reserve precisely because of the authentically preserved cottages from the Bulgarian National Revival period (18th and 19th century). Some of them are even older and there’re more than 200 of the unique buildings around. A majority of the houses were declared monuments of culture while others have been transformed into museums – the house where the Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov was born, the house of Sava Filaretov, one of the best known Bulgarian Revival activists and teachers, Russi Chorbadzhi’s home and others.
The narrow, cobblestone streets surrounded by high stone walls and wooden houses nestled in peaceful courtyards captivate visitors’ hearts with their magic and no one can see these architectural artworks and imagine all the Bulgarians who spent their lives here and remain unmoved. Whole generations sharing the joy and sorrow, good and bad, behind these stone and oak walls, together on covered porches under deep eaves….
Once Zheravna prospered and there were crafts and trade developed here. The ground floors of the houses on the main street were all designed to be used as shops and workshops. At present, the village of Zheravna is part of the ”100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria” - a national movement established by the Bulgarian Tourist Union .