Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora is the sixth largest city in Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, and a nationally important economic center. Located in Southern Bulgaria, it is the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province
Stara Zagora Province
Stara Zagora is a province of south central Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative and industrial centre—the city of Stara Zagora—the sixth-biggest town in the country...

. As of February 2011, the city has a population of 136,363 inhabitants.
According to Operative Program Regional Development of Bulgaria the agglomeration of Stara Zagora is the fifth largest in Bulgaria and has a population of 213,444 inhabtans 39).

Stara Zagora is known as the city of straight streets, linden trees, and poets.


The city of Stara Zagora is one of the oldest cities in Europe with an eight thousand-year history. The favourable geographic and climatic conditions of the territory around Stara Zagora contributed to the establishment of several prehistoric settlements in the remote past. More than 100 prehistoric mounds from the 6th to 3rd millennium BC were found in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. One of them, the Bereketska mound, is the largest in Bulgaria, containing traces of people that lived there from the New Stone Age (6th millennium BC) to the Middle Ages (12th century). A prehistoric settlement can be found within the city itself. Two dwellings from the New Stone Age are preserved in the Neolithic Dwellings Museum. These are the best preserved dwellings from the New Stone or Neolithic Age (6th millennium BC) in Europe and contain a rich collection of tools and artefacts. The oldest copper mines in Europe (5th millennium BC) were found 8 km (4.97 mi) east of the city, A considerable amount of copper ore was extracted from the 11 mines by the ancient inhabitants of this land who traded with it throughout the continent.

Located at the cross-roads of multiple civilizations, Stara Zagora is an important piece in the European cultural routes mosaic. Inhabited by Thracians, ancient Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and Bulgarians, this unique city bears the historical imprint of those past civilizations along with many of their historical treasures. Proof of its longevity can be found in the multiples names of the city, each one connected with a different era of its development.

Augusta Traiana

Founded around 106 AD by the Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 AD), Augusta Traiana, "the most flamboyant city of the Traians" was the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace during 2nd - 3rd c. AD, after Philipopolis. It occupied an area of 38 hectares and was fortified by strong fortress walls.

Augusta Traiana had the statute of an autonomous city of the ‘polis' type (i.e. city-state). From the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) to the Emperor Galienus (253-268 AD) it had the right to mint its own bronze coins, which were in circulation all over the Balkan Peninsula.


Between 4th and 7th centuries the city had the name of Beroe. It was a religious centre of the early Christians on these lands and the residence of an archbischop.


For a short period it was named after the Byzantine Empress Irina who visited the city in 784 AD.


In 812 AD the city became part of the First Bulgarian State under the name of Vereya or also found as Bereya, Beroya.


During the Second Bulgarian State (12th through 14th centuries) the city had the name of Boruy. It became the centre of an administrative region within Medieval Bulgaria. Some of the most remarkable Medieval stone plastic arts date back from this period - five bareliefs featuring animals. One of them, a lioness with its cub, became the symbol of Stara Zagora.

Eski Zagra

In 1364 the medieval city was captured by the Turks who called it Eski (Hissar) Zagra (the Old fortress Zagora). During the Bulgarian Revival it evolved into an important centre of crafts and trade.


At the end of the 1850s, the Turkish name was replaced by the Bulgarian name Zheleznik.

Stara Zagora

The city's current name, Stara Zagora, appeared for the first time in documents from the Church Council of Tsarigrad in 1875.

July 31, 1877 is a tragic date in the city's history. On that day, the first major clash between the two belligerent armies of the Russian-Turkish Liberation War took place near Stara Zagora. The large Turkish army consisting of several thousand soldiers was launched on the town, which was merely defended by a small Russian detachment and a small unit of Bulgarian volunteers. After a six-hour fight for Stara Zagora, the Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers surrendered to the pressure of the larger enemy army. The town then soon experienced its greatest tragedy. It was burned down and razed to the ground during the three days following the battle. The only public building surviving the fire was the mosque, Eski Dzhamiya. The number of the casualties from Stara Zagora and its neighboring villages reached 14,500. While the people of Bulgaria lost this particular battle for Stara Zagora, they did ultimately win the war. Today, several monuments witness the gratitude of the Bulgarian people to its liberators.

October 5, 1879. Stara Zagora's restoration from the destruction began immediately after the liberation of Bulgaria. The first symbolic foundation stone was laid on October 5, 1879 by prince Aleko Bogoridi. The city was rebuilt on plans designed by the Czech architect Lyubor Bayer, and became the first modern-looking Bulgarian city after the Liberation with its large straight streets and spacious squares.

Geography and climate

Stara Zagora is the administrative centre of its municipality and the Stara Zagora Province
Stara Zagora Province
Stara Zagora is a province of south central Bulgaria. It is named after its administrative and industrial centre—the city of Stara Zagora—the sixth-biggest town in the country...

. It is located about 231 kilometres (143.5 mi) away from Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, near the Bedechka river in the historic region of Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...


The city is located in an area of transitional continental climate with considerable Mediterranean influence. The average yearly temperature is about 13 °C (55.4 °F).


Stara Zagora was the biggest town in today's Bulgarian territory before liberation from Ottoman rule. But the town was fired and destroyed by Turkish army during the Liberation war in 1877-1878. During the first decade after the liberation of Bulgaria
Liberation of Bulgaria
In Bulgarian historiography, the term Liberation of Bulgaria is used to denote the events of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 that led to the re-establishment of Bulgarian state with the Treaty of San Stefano of March 3, 1878, after the complete conquest of the Second Bulgarian Empire, which...

, in the 1880s the population of Stara Zagora decreased and numbered about 16,000 inhabitants. Since then it started growing decade by decade, mostly because of the migrants from the rural areas and the surrounding smaller towns, reaching its peak in the period 1989-1991 exceeding 160,000. After this time, the population has started decreasing in consequence of the low birth rate. Stara Zagora is one of the richest cities in Bulgaria with much better economic situation than average for the Bulgarian provinces.

Main sights

  • Historical sites
  • Regional Historical Museum
  • The Antique Forum
  • Thracian Tomb
  • The Roman Baths
  • The Samarsko Zname
    Samara flag
    The Samara flag is one of the most important military symbols of the Bulgarian Army. Sewed by local nuns and given to the Bulgarian volunteers in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 by the citizens of the Russian city of Samara on 18 May 1877, it became famous when it was heroically prevented from...

  • Ayazmoto Park
  • Defenders of Stara Zagora Memorial Complex
  • Memorial House of Geo Milev
    Geo Milev
    Geo Milev , born Georgi Milev Kasabov , was a Bulgarian poet.-Life:Geo Milev studied in Sofia and later in Leipzig where he was introduced to German Expressionism. His university thesis was on Richard Dehmel. Beginning in 1916 he fought in the World War I, where he was severely injured...

  • The South Gate of Augusta Trajana
  • The Opera House
    Opera house
    An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building...

    , built in 1925
  • Stara Zagora Transmitter
    Stara Zagora Transmitter
    The Stara Zagora Transmitter is a high power mediumwave broadcasting station near Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. It has at least 3 guyed masts. One of these masts is a Blaw-Knox Tower. It is one of the few Blaw-Knox towers in Europe, along with similar masts at Vakarel, Bulgaria, at Riga, Latvia,...

     with one of the few Blaw-Knox Tower
    Blaw-Knox Tower
    The Blaw-Knox company was a manufacturer of steel structures and construction equipment based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company is today best known for its radio towers, most of which were constructed during the 1930s in the United States...

    s in Europe
  • Neolithic Dwellings Museum
    Neolithic Dwellings Museum
    Neolithic Dwellings Museum in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria is a museum in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, which contains ruins of two of the oldest surviving buildings in the world....


  • Bedechka - Gradinski (Бедечка - Градински, named at river Bedechka)
  • Central City Part (includes Supercenter, Chayka & Zagorka) (Централна градска част (Суперцентър, Чайка и Загорка) - Chayka - Sea-gull
    The Tianjin Sea-Gull Watch Company is a Chinese company that manufactures watches. Originally founded in 1955, they are the largest watch industry group in China.- Further reading :...

    , Zagorka - named at Zagorka brewery)
  • Makedonski (Македонски - Macedonian) know also as Chumleka (Чумлека)
  • Dabrava (Дъбрава - former village of Dabrava)
  • Eastern Industrial Zone (Източна индустриална зона)
  • Geo Milev (Гео Милев - named at Bulgarian poet)
  • Golesh (Голеш)
  • Industrial Zone (Индустриална Зона)
  • Kazanski (Казански)
  • Kolyo Ganchev (Кольо Ганчев - named at famous Bulgarian revolutionary)
  • Lozenets (Лозенец - from лозе - vineyard
    A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice...

  • Mitropolit Metodiy Kusev (Митрополит Методий Кусев - named at famous Starozagorian bishop)
  • Opalchenski (Опълченски - Volunteer's district named at Bulgarian voluntary army units
    Opalchentsi were Bulgarian voluntary army units, who took part in the Serbo-Turkish War of 1876 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. The people in these units were called opalchenets-pobornik meaning "volunteer combatant"....

    ) also known as Chaika (Чайка - Sea-Gull)
  • Samara 1, 2 & 3- (Самара 1, 2 и 3 - named at sister city of Samara, Russia
    Samara, Russia
    Samara , is the sixth largest city in Russia. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers. Samara is the administrative center of Samara Oblast. Population: . The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti-Syzran within Samara Oblast...

  • Slaveykov (Славейков - named at famous Bulgarian poet Petko Slaveykov
    Petko Slaveykov
    Petko Rachov Slaveykov was a noted nineteenth-century Bulgarian poet, publicist, public figure and folklorist.-Early years and educational activity:...

  • Studentski grad - (Студентски град - Student town)
  • Tri Chuchura north, center & south - (Три чучура север, център и юг - "Three spouts")
  • Vasil Levski - (Васил Левски - named at famous Bulgarian revolutionary)
  • Vazrazhdane - (Възраждане - Renaissance)
  • Zheleznik (small & big) (Железник - named at former name of the city)
  • Zora (Зора - Dawn)

Future districts :
  • Atyuren (Атюрен - future district of the city)
  • Bogomilovo (Богомилово - village of Bogomilovo)
  • Hrishteni (Хрищени - village of Hrishteni)
  • Malka Vereya (Малка Верея - Vereya - old name of the city, Malka - small, village of Malka Vereya)

Famous people

  • Anna Tomowa-Sintow
    Anna Tomowa-Sintow
    Anna Tomowa-Sintow is a Bulgarian soprano who has sung to great acclaim in all the major opera houses around the world in a repertoire that includes Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. She enjoyed a particularly close professional relationship with conductor Herbert von Karajan...

    , dramatic soprano opera singer
  • Vesselina Kasarova
    Vesselina Kasarova
    Vesselina Kasarova is a Bulgarian mezzo-soprano opera singer.- Early life and education :Vesselina Kasarova was born in the central Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora. Under the communist regime she studied Russian as a second language and had an early start in music education...

    , coloratura mezzo soprano opera singer
  • Vesselin Stoykov
    Vesselin Stoykov
    Vesselin Stoykov is a German opera singer and manager, from Bulgarian origin.- Education :* New Bulgarian University – Doctor of Philosophy ;...

    , Bass-bariton opera singer Web page
  • Kiril Hristov, writer
  • Stefan Kisyov
    Stefan Kisyov
    Stefan Kisyov is a novelist, journalist, playwright and short story writer. Kisyov was born in Stara Zagora in 1963. He studied at Sofia and Plovdiv universities, and also at the Sorbonne in Paris...

    , writer
  • Stefan Slivkov
    Stefan Slivkov
    Stefan Slivkov , was a notable 19th-century Bulgarian leader, revolutionary and politician, associate of national hero Vasil Levski, and one of the founders of the local revolutionary committee in Stara Zagora. Slivkov fought for the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire...

    , revolutionary, mayor of Stara Zagora (1885 - 1886) and Bulgarian National Assemblyman
  • Anelia
    Anelia Georgieva Atanasova , best known as Anelia, is a Bulgarian pop-folk singer. She gained popularity in Bulgaria with her second single "Pogledni me v ochite"...

    , pop-folk singer
  • Maria
    Maria (Bulgarian singer)
    Maria Panaiotka Kirova , best known as Maria , is a Bulgarian pop-folk singer.-Early life:Maria was born in Stara Zagora. She made her debut on the children show for young talents with the song "Clovers"...

    , pop-folk singer and commercial model of Ariana beer.


  • Beroe Hill
    Beroe Hill
    Beroe Hill is a hill of 400 m in the southwest extremity of Gleaner Heights, Livingston Island, West Antarctica. It is surmounting Perunika Glacier to the south and Saedinenie Snowfield to the northwest...

     on Livingston Island, West Antarctica
    West Antarctica
    West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica, one of the two major regions of Antarctica, is the part of the continent that lies within the Western Hemisphere including the Antarctic Peninsula.-Location and description:...

     is named after this city, in its previous incarnation as Beroe.
  • One of the two lighting factories Svetlina
    Svetlina AD
    Svetlina AD, or more commonly only Svetlina is the name of two Bulgarian lighting manufacturing plants. The word svetlina means light and AD is a similar abbreviation to the French s.a. or English Ltd.- Svetlina AD :...

     is situated here.

Twin towns and sister cities

Stara Zagora is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Radom
Radom is a city in central Poland with 223,397 inhabitants . It is located on the Mleczna River in the Masovian Voivodeship , having previously been the capital of Radom Voivodeship ; 100 km south of Poland's capital, Warsaw.It is home to the biennial Radom Air Show, the largest and...

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

Larissa is the capital and biggest city of the Thessaly region of Greece and capital of the Larissa regional unit. It is a principal agricultural centre and a national transportation hub, linked by road and rail with the port of Volos, the city of Thessaloniki and Athens...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

Samara, Russia
Samara , is the sixth largest city in Russia. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers. Samara is the administrative center of Samara Oblast. Population: . The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti-Syzran within Samara Oblast...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 County Down
County Down
-Cities:*Belfast *Newry -Large towns:*Dundonald*Newtownards*Bangor-Medium towns:...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Kruševac is a city and municipality, and the administrative center of the Rasina District, in central Serbia. According to the 2011 census, the municipality has a population of 127,429, while the town has 57,627....

, Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 Barreiro, Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

External links

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