The village of Arbanassi is situated at 4km to the northeast of the former capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, perching on a high plateau overseeing the Trapezitsa and Tsarevets hills. With a population of 310 residents it is one of the most picturesque old villages in the country.
The settlement saw its bloom in the 17-18th c. when it grew into a wealthy crafts and trade hub. It was during that period that most of its gorgeous houses were erected. The oldest houses of Arbanassi are made entirely of stone and resemble tiny models of fortresses that cannot be seen anywhere else in Bulgaria. These houses have internal staircases and small windows with metal bars, which strengthen the impression of fortress-like constructions. In 1921, the village was declared a holiday complex via a royal decree, while since 2000, it has been recognized as a historical village of national importance. The architectural heritage represents 144 renovated houses, 5 churches with rich internal decoration and 2 monasteries. Apart from the abundance of tourist spots, the village also offers several nice hotels and restaurants.
Arbanassi’s unique cultural-historical heritage and its immediate vicinity to the city of Veliko Tarnovo make it an attractive place. The ancient atmosphere of Arbanassi is in harmony with the modern tourist hospitality services.
Arbanassi has been declared an architectural site and has been included in the UNESCO list for world cultural heritage. The village has 5 churches and 2 monasteries built at the end of the 16th and in the beginning of the 17th century. The Nativity Church is the oldest and the most picturesque church. The biggest one is St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel's church and the smallest one is St. Atanas' church built in 1637. St. George's church and St. Dimiter's church date back respectively from 1661 and 1612.