Please, wait...
Gorna Oryahovitsa


     The town of Gorna Oriahovitsa (40 829 inhabitants) is situated at the northern foothill of Tarnovo Elevations, 7 km northeast from Veliko Tarnovo and 247 km northeast from Sofia.

     The first information about the settlement dates back to the second half of the 5th millennium BC and is related to the ruins found near Blatoto place (the Swamp). The ruins were of rectangular houses made of hedge and clay. There were also traces of early Thracian settlements near Pchelno Miasto place, which is approximately 3 km east from the town of Gorna Oriahovitsa, between  Kamaka elevation and Arbanassi Mound. The inhabitants of the settlement were from the krobizes tribe. The settlement had significant dimensions – it covered an area of over 100 decares. Kamaka Fortress was erected in order to provide security to the settlement. The settlement itself existed from the 5th to the 1st century BC up to the coming of the Romans who invaded the place and later built their own settlement over its ruins. The new Roman settlement gradually acquired economic power, growing mainly grapes and producing wine. The existence of the settlement continued up to the coming of the Slavs (6th-7th century AD). There is no substantiated evidence of a settlement life during the period from the 7th to the 12th century. 
     After the restoration of the Bulgarian State at the end of 12th century there was a need of protection of the new Metropolis Tarnovgrad. Several sentry fortresses were built, among which Rahovets Fortress, which is situated only 4 km northwest from the contemporary town of Gorna Oriahovitsa. During the Ottoman invasion the Turks conquered the fortress without demolishing it. Rahovets existed up to the year 1444 when Vladislav III Varnenchik destroyed it.
     Gorna Oriahovitsa gradually turned into an economically powerful settlement, especially during the Renaissance Period. Crafts prospered and trade was among the most active pursuits in Northern Bulgaria. Every Friday there was a big market of cattle, agricultural production, wood and charcoal.
     In 1870 Gorna Oriahovitsa was proclaimed a town. Citizens of the town took part in almost all manifestations of the national liberation process and struggles in the region. After the Liberation the town developed as a big transport centre and such it is even today. Its proximity to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi, the magnificent monasteries in the region and many other places of interest make it an attractive tourist centre.

     One can visit the Town Museum of History, the house of Sider Chieftain, Joint School, St. Nikola and St. George churches, the monument of Georgi Izmirliev, which is in the centre of the town, as well as the monuments of Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev and Sider Chieftain. 

     The town of Gorna Oriahovitsa is the biggest railway centre in North Bulgaria. 
     Surrounding Areas

     The ruins of the Rahovets mediaeval fortress are located 4 km northwest from Gorna Oriahovitsa. Guests of the town can also visit the Bahadur place where they can see a mediaeval necropolis, also St. Petka Fountain and Ovchar’s Fountain, from which a water pipelie was brought to Rahovets Fortress. The ruins of the Thracian Fortress on Kamaka elevation are located south of Rahovets.