Zheravna emerged between the 12th and 14th century and grew to become a cultural and handicraft centre in the 18th century.As the local population came to wealth, the architectural appearance of the village was shaped by one – or two-storey wooden houses surrounded by stone walls and cobblestone alleys.

Once this place was an old tracian village called Potuka.There are several versions for the origin of the name of the village.One is that it comes from the bird crane (in Bulgarian ‘zherav’).Another one is that it comes from ‘zherna’,’zherka’-words with old Slavic root meaning ‘watermill’.There are many mills in the area.

There were crafts,livestock and trade developers here.The village prospered in the 17th century because it was on the main road to the old capital Tarnovo.

Zheravna is an easy location to travel to ,situated 32km from Petolachkata Junction on the road from Sofia to Burgas.

Each year Zheravna is visited by about 20 000 tourists.The village is a heritage site .Today there are nearly 200 houses registered as monuments of culture.People come to Zheravna to travel back in time,inhale fresh mountain air, sleep in a traditional house and enjoy local cuzine-most of the guest houses spoil their guests with home made, traditional dishes-made in a clay oven with home pruduced vegetables, meat and fruits very often hand picked in the local forest.There is a traditional festival of national constumes held every Summer-it lasts up to 3 days and people wear traditional old folklore costumes, masks or uniforms,dance traditional dances called ‘horo’ and ‘rachenitca’, and sleep under the stars near an open fire.

One of the most impressive and beautiful sight seeings is The Saint Nicholas Church which was built in 1834.Today the church is adorned with a rich collection of icons,stone sculptures and church plates.The icons are dated from the second half of the 18th and the early 19th centure.Other interesting sight seeings are the Chorbadzhi Rusi’s house and the native house of the famous Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov born in 1880, the art gallery occupying the old class school as well as the museum house of the educator Sava Filaretov.

The rooms of the houses have carved ceilings and exquisite decoration on the doors,windows and iconostaces(a wall of icons and religious paintings).Today, the old school is turned into a gallery, and a lot fountains and old mills are preserved.There were schools of carving in the town.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual trip to one of my favorite places and if you have any questions or need more information about visiting,please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at trulynaturalphotography@yahoo.com

Love :Nadia x