Page update: 01 January 2000


ELENA - a town in the Middle Balkan Range, 42 km south-east of Veliko Turnovo; a mountain resort at an altitude of 280 m. Population of 7200. Terminal station on the railway line Gorna Oryahovitsa - Elena.

Elena is an old settlement founded in the 15th C. In the 18th-19th centuries it is established as a crafts, trade and educational centre. There have been preserved several architectural ensembles dating back to the Bulgarian National Revival and comprising about 130 old houses. Wall-to-wall construction forms interesting street silhouettes. The houses have stone basements with white-washed or wooden walls of the upper floor with protruding bays above.

There have been preserved the first class school, founded in 1848 and named Daskalolivnitsa where future teachers have been educated (nowadays a museum exhibition is arranged), St. Nicholas Church (16th C., with valuable mural paintings, icons) and the three-naved Church of the Assumption, built entirely of stone (1837). On the highest elevation the town clock-tower (1812) raises with an antique clock mechanism.