was found in Medieval times as a strategic settlement in immediate proximity
to the two passes in the central part of the Balkan Mountain. The legend
tells us its founder was Racho Kovacha (Racho the Blacksmith). Gradually
other settlers came here. They were skilled in dressmaking, cooking, carts
repairing and leather-processing. Because of the big elm by the blacksmith’s
fireplace the town was named Gabrovo (elm-tree is ‘gabar’ in Bulgarian).