Today, despite its holiday homes, small hotels and cinematic fame, there is no buzz in Kovachevitsa. When the tourist buses and cars leave at the end of the day, the deserted village reverts to its peaceful, drowsy state. Those city dwellers who have settled here and those spending the odd night claim that this is Kovachevitsa's greatest advantage.
Some of the old Gabrovo houses were fortunate. They were moved to the Etara museum to become props symbolising the authorities' apparent care for Bulgaria's past. The rest of the houses in the complex are copies.
Today, more than a hundred years later, Tryavna's inhabitants have no problems with tourists, nor tourists have any problems with the town. Tryavna is among the few places in Bulgaria that are delightful to visit. It hasn't lapsed into an antiquated museum town or a tourist trap that, because of ubiquitous souvenirs and pubs of dubious quality, has totally lost its distinctiveness.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers