Fiacre Museum

The first factory for horse-drawn vehicles was built In Vratsa after the Liberation. It is the work of an illustrious Vratsa local, Mito Orozov, whose carriages were appreciated as state-of-the-art not only in Bulgaria but all over the Balkan Peninsula. Locals proudly call their fellow citizen "the Bulgarian Henry Ford". This is what our prominent writer Aleko Konstantinov says about Orozov: "Take off your cap, my friend, bow to Mr. Orozov and pray that more such hard workers be born in Bulgaria!"

The museum is part of the Ethnographic- Revival Complex "St. Sophronius Vrachanski" and is the only one of its kind in Bulgaria. The collection presents restored carriages and other "fancy" vehicles of the time manufactured by Vratsa's prominent entrepreneur. The museum also features carriages which were casual for that time, e.g. the wooden ox-drawn wagon, a cart with iron axles and the jauntily painted donkey cart. The brand new fiacre manufactured in latter days through donations was designed by Orozov himself and was the hand-made by Anko Ankov, the last living factory employee.

Mito Orozov was born in Vratsa in 1859. The ambitious young man early lost his father and took the task of sustaining his family at the age of 17. He started as an apprentice with local ironmongers. In 1883, his self training and talent help him fulfil his dream - he launched his own wagon shop. Craftsmen, carpenters and painters were hired from abroad and paid five times the average salary to reward their expertise. Many of his models were based on Orozov's own designs. In 1907, the progressive entrepreneur decided to do something unheard of at that time, introducing a 9-hour day at his plant, arguing that tired workers were less useful for his business. Orozov enjoyed plentiful commissions, managed through a catalogue; he took pride in his manufacturing precision and strictly adherence to execution deadlines.

His convertibles were usually painted in pale yellow. The casual carriage or convertible upholstery included comfortable cushions on seats and backrests. Orozov's vehicles were distinguished by their strength, convenience and beauty: winning a gold medal at the 1892 Plovdiv Exhibition was not an accident! The entrepreneur also participated in international exhibitions with his models, winning the admiration of the British at the First Balkan Exhibition in London. Vratsa locals are particularly proud of the story of Orozov's heirs who even turned down a partnership proposal from a Ford car dealership located in Sofia at that time.

Mito Orozov's achievements as a public figure and captain of industry also earned him a seat in the 1908 Great National Assembly. He died in a fire on September 30, 1923, while participating in the rescue activities inside his factory. Today, a large boulevard in Vratsa bears the name of the town's prominent entrepreneur.

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