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Stara Zagora ↓

The municipality of Stara Zagora is situated in the southern central part of Bulgaria. It covers an area of 101,937 sq km, which is about 1% of the country and 18,08% of the district territory. The average altitude above sea-level is 150-180. The municipality includes 1 city and 50 villages.
The transport and geographical situation of the municipality is favourable when looked at from the side of its potential for further development. Road and communication links, which are elements of the national road and communication infrastructure, pass through the municipal territory.
Due to its thermo-mineral waters located in the Stara Zagora Mineral Baths, Yagoda and Sulitsa villages, the municipality is a balneological (medical mineral spa) centre of national importance.

Stara Zagora is one of the most ancient settlements in Europe. It has been inhabited for at least 8000 years. The recently established public organization Eight Thousand Years Stara Zagora has the ambition to promote, at all levels, its historical and cultural heritage.
Both the remains of Neolithic dwellings (6th century B.C.) and the various archaeological excavations from Thracian and Roman times witness to its millennial history. It was established by the Thracians in VI century B.C. under the name of Beroe. Later (II-IV century A.D.) when Thrace had been included in the Roman Empire, the city was rebuilt again, next to the ancient Thracian settlement, experiencing its peak in development, when it was named Avgusta Trayana (Ulia Augusta Trayaa) in honour of Emperor Marcus Trayan. The excavation of the remains from the forum, thermal baths, and the city wall of the southern and western gateways reveal the citys importance, as the second largest in the province. During the centuries, it has also been named Vereya (VI-ХII c.) and Irinopolis (VIII c.) after the Byzantine Empress Irina. During the Middle Ages it was named Boruy (ХIII-ХIV c.), while after their conquest the Turks called it Eski Zaara. During the second half of the 19th century it was called, for a short period, Zheleznik. It received its present name, Stara Zagora, in 1871.

During the Russo-Turkish War, in 1877, some of the most violent and intense battles took place near Stara Zagora. That year the Turks burnt the city and razed it to the ground, leaving Eski Mosque as the only untouched building. The city received its freedom on January 23rd 1878, but according to the Berlin Treaty, it remained within the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia. Numerous monuments on the territory of the city remind of these dramatic for all Bulgaria events and the memorial. The Defenders of Stara Zagora was raised, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Liberation at the place of the bloodiest battles.
The rebuilding of the city was started by Aleko Bogoridi on October 5th 1879; in accordance with the architectural plan developed by the Czech architect Lyubomir Bayer, which made Stara Zagora into the first post-liberation city with novel and contemporary urban planning. In 1895, the bishop of Stara Zagora, Methodiy Kusev, established, on the slopes of the mountain, the magnificent Ayazmoto Park. At the expense of enormous hardship, and with determination, he turned the bare, rocky, and arid hills into a marvellous park, containing species of trees unique for Bulgaria.

Many of the citys cultural institutions have sprung from amateur community clubs. As a result, as early as 1897, the Kaval music society was established, which in 1925 progressed into the first opera house in Bulgaria outside of the capital, Sofia. In 1905 the Theatre association was established, which began organizing the theatrical life of the city and built the citys Dramatic Theatre house. Two years later the Avgusta Trayana archaeological society was founded, being the ancestor of the Historical Museum. With private funding, several cinemas opened their doors in the beginning of the last century. The citizens of Stara Zagora are also proud of the first regional radio station in Bulgaria, which began transmission in February 1936. During that period, about 145 periodicals and over a thousand Bulgarian and foreign books were printed in the city.

During the second half of XX century, new cultural and science institutions were founded the Puppet Theatre, the Zachary Knyazhevski library, the Literaturna Stara Zagora house, the Art Gallery, the Astronomical Observatory, the Trakia University, as well as many other specialized educational institutions. The Stara Zagora region has a cultural tradition with an impressive number of talented poets, writers, artists, musicians, and actors.
Contemporary Stara Zagora is a city with a developed economy and intense cultural life. Key economic sectors are metal processing, machine-building, hydraulics, food industry, tobacco, beer and wine production, wood processing and furniture manufacturing, textile, clothing, cosmetics, and perfumes.

The municipality of Stara Zagora has a very skilled work force over 20% of its workers have higher education, which is very attractive for foreign investors. The economic structural changes led to closing or limiting the production capacity of many enterprises. The municipality has a large number of specialists in the fields of electronics, electrical equipment, machine building for the food industry, etc.

Today, Stara Zagora is poetically nicknamed as the Town of Limes for the numerous lime trees planted along the main streets of the town and enchanting visitors with their marvellous scent in springtime. As the town was ruined to the ground during the Russian-Turkish Liberation war, after the Liberation in 1878 it was rebuilt in the fashion of the straight geometrical system. The town plan, designed by the Czech Loubor Bayer, strikes visitors with its perfectly straight and perpendicular streets and makes Stara Zagora unique in Bulgaria. Yet despite its through reconstruction, the town keeps the remains of the Augusta Trayana fortress and other sights of interest, such as Roman mosaics in 20 different places in the town. The Eski Mosk (Eski Dzamiya), built during the 15th century by the Ottoman authorities, is another place of tourist interest.
The climate is temperately continental, with some elements of Mediterranean influence and an average annual temperature of 12.8 degrees Centigrade.

The municipality enjoys short, mild winters and dry, warm summers.
Natural subterranean mineral water springs are found 14 km from
Stara Zagora in the picturesque Sredna Gora Valley where the Stara Zagora mineral baths are located. This water is beneficial in the healing of neurological, gynaecological, kidney and intestinal ailments. The clear fresh mountain air and agreeable climate is conducive to treatment for respiratory illness, as well as general revitalization. These subterranean waters are rich in minerals and taste providing the potential investor with opportunities for successful bottling and exporting and an avenue for tourism.

The Stara Zagora Region, located at the crossroads of multiple civilizations, has a particular glow coming out of its past - hidden in the depth of millennia. Inhabited by Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Ottomans, and Bulgarians, this antique land bears the immortal historical testimony The Stara Zagora Region, located at the crossroads of multiple civilizations, has a particular glow coming out of its past - hidden in the depth of millennia. Inhabited by Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Ottomans, and Bulgarians, this antique land bears the immortal historical testimony of its past civilizations.

The town of Stara Zagora has been burned to the ground and raised from ashes in a number of devastating fires. It has entered the modern era as an important cultural centre and as a vital thriving community with tree-lined streets, lively cafes and beautiful parks.
The Stara Zagora Region has a cultural tradition with an impressive number of talented poets, writers, artists, musicians, and actors. Stara Zagora's National Opera Theatre, founded in 1928, is the first provincial opera company in Bulgaria and continues to provide world class operas.

Numerous cultural events take place throughout the year - the Festivals of the Opera and Ballet Arts, of the Old City Song, of the Children's Song, Thrace Sings and Dance Festival; and the St. Lazar's Days rituals of folk song and dance and many others.
The city's life style offerings include museums, libraries, art galleries, a brass band, cinemas, sport stadiums, an equestrian training centre, Roman ruins, and many lovely parks. Eternally green, the AYAZMOTO PARK dominates the northern section of the city with 939 acres of exotic trees, an astronomy observatory, a zoo, children's playgrounds, a sports complex and an open-air theatre, where the National Festival of Gypsy Music and Songs is held each summer. It is a popular weekend gathering place.

Just southwest of the city of Stara Zagora lays the ruins of the largest prehistoric settlement found in Bulgaria dating back to the early Neolithic age - from the 6th millennium BC to the 12th century AD. A necropolis (burial ground) dating from the early bronze epoch, 3rd millennium BC, is found east of the mound.

Remains of two houses from a settlement of the Neolithic age, dating from the 6th millennium BC, in Stara Zagora are considered

This antique forum is one of the most the best preserved from this early time uncovered, to date, on the European continent - monumental public facilities from the Roman town of Augusta Trayana.

Exhibited in the lower level of an administrative building at 38 Ruski Street, in a fortified section of the walls, are the remains of the entrance gate to the ancient town of Augusta Trayana.
The nearby "Valley of the Roses" is magically transformed with breathtaking blooms in May and early June each year when "The Festival of Roses" is celebrated.


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