The Ethnographic museum Etar is the first open air museum of this kind opened in Bulgaria. It was established on September 7th, 1964. The museum is situated 8 km South of the town of Gabrovo. The preliminary design and methodology were done by the Gabrovian Lazar Donkov (1908 - 1976) who was also the first director of the museum. "In the museum exhibitions so far the visitor was not placed in an immediate contact with the past - Mr. Donkov writes. That is how I came to the idea of establishing an active museum in the open air ... so that the past becomes visible, easy for perception and understanding and the vast national wealth in kept."
Do you want to feel the whiff of the past, to see the miraculous power of the water, flowing in a chute, to enjoy the Renaissance architecture, to observe ancient national customs, then visit the Ethnographical Open Air museum "Etar", 8 km. Southwards from the town of Gabrovo.
The museum territory covers an area of 7 ha and comprises 50 sites - water technical equipment, houses with craftsman's workshops, places with social importance. The aim of the museum display is showing the architecture, the life style and the economic past of Gabrovo region during the Revival period - the second half of 18 and the 19 centuries. More than 26 main crafts were developed in the town and the goods were sold in different parts of the country and in the region - Bucharest, Vienna, Marseille, Anatolia and other.
The first secular New Bulgarian school was opened in 1835. During the 30-ies of the 19th century under the favourable economic and political changes in the Ottoman empire Gabrovo grew as an important economic, educational and commercial center in the country.
The Ethnographic museum Etar was build and organazed by means of three methods;on site restoration; on site preservation; transportation of originals and restoration of buildings.