Arbanashki Han(called in earlier periods The Hadjihristov House) is among the outstanding examples of the olden Arbanassi houses, the legacy of past centuries. It is located not far from the Church of the Nativity of Christ and it is architectural monument of national importance. The building represents the typical Arbanassi style standing amid a spacious courtyard surrounded with high stonewalls and gates. Its interiors show the superb aesthetical taste of the Bulgarian family; its civilized habits and material capabilities. Splendid woodcarving adorns both the ceilings and furniture.
Miraculously preserved original beam with the year 1646 cut into it, talking about the age of the house. Over its 350-year existence the Hadjihristov House has witnessed dozens of significant events in Bulgaria’s history. There is a legend that one of its visitors was the Apostle of Freedom Vassil Levski. The Spiritual leader Stoyko Vladislavov, later Bishop of the Vratsa Eparchy with the name Sophronius of Vratsa, has also visited the house.
The beautifully laid out and functional Hadjihristov House belonged to Hristo Chamourov’s son, Stefan. It was one of a few houses owned by the large family of Hristo and Ana Chamourov.
For this noble family wrote Dr. Dimitar Papazov in his book “Arbanassi” – personal memories and data collection, a collection of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, released in 1935. More precisely, the book recounts of Stefan Chamourov, Hristo Chamourov’s son, who together with his wife Zafiritsa and his children lived in the large gorgeous home. The general description of the Arbanassi house that Dr. Dimitar Papazov provides, applies fully to the Hadjihristov House. „The Arbanassi houses were huge with roomy courtyards encircled with high stone walls: each represented a stronghold in itself. In terms of the pattern of houses and their comfort the village resembled a town proper. Surviving today are houses fully built of stone, with vaulted doors and windows.”
What all houses have in common is their rectangular structure, with straight walls, with no clear distinction of floors and without any protruding parts such as bay-windows and balconies.
During the second half of 20 c., the time of socialism, the house was handed over to the Fatherland Union Organization. The then-chairman of the Fatherland Union Pencho Kubadinski suggested the house be called Arbanashki Han(Arbanassi Inn).
A brief walk along the cobbled lane by the complex will take you to the place with most picturesque panoramic view to Veliko Tarnovo, Tsarevets and Trapezitsa hills.
Today Arbanashki Han kept the old traditional atmosphere in full harmony with requirements of modern time. The yard is particularly fascinating with its walnut tree – the same age as the house.
This superb symbiosis of history and present-day makes the complex quite appealing at any time of the year.
This temple of the Bulgarian spirit, of the national creative and architectural skill is a paragon of how the memory of a multitudinous family should be kept, but also of how the present-day new hosts recreate the tradition and heritage in a unique way. Anybody who spends hours or days in the Hadjihristov House, will be privileged to experience the thrill at the encounter with a remarkable masterpiece of architecture and masonry, with an emotional manifestation of the Bulgarian tradition and culture.
And such encounters are, indeed, a blessing!