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A plot of land with area of 44 472 sq.m in a complex of two golf courses in progress near Haskovo city. PRICE: 12 EUR per sq.m
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Northeastern Bulgaria
Dobrich
The town of Dobrich (population: 100 379; 220 m above sea level) is situated on the Dobroudzha Plateau by the small Dobrich River. It is 512 km north-east of Sofia, 92 km south-east of Silistra, 51 km north-west of Varna, 34 km north-west of Balchik, and 37 km south-east of Yovkovo, the frontier post at the border with Romania.
Pliska
The town of Pliska (population: 1243; 140 m above sea level) is situated in the south end of the Loudogorie Plateau.
Provadia
The town of Provadia (population: 15 000; 30 m above sea level) is situated on the banks of Provadia River in the south end of the gorge of the same name.
Razgrad
The town of Razgrad (population: 39 036 inhabitants; about 200 m above sea level) is situated on the Loudogorie Plateau (and is considered the capital of the Loudogorie), on either bank of the Beli Lom River.
Shoumen
The town of Shoumen (population: 89 054; 220 m above sea level) is situated at the eastern mouth of the Shoumen Plateau, on either bank of the Bokloudga river (Poroina -which means torrential).
Silistra
The town of Silistra (population: 42 153; 20 m above sea level) is situated on the right (Bulgarian) bank of the river Danube, 375 kilometers from the river mouth, at the point where the river enters the territory of Romania and the terrestrial boundary between Bulgaria and Romania begins.
Toutrakan
The town of Toutrakan (population: 11 977; 100 m above sea level) is situated on the high Bulgarian bank of the Danube River, 433 km away from the river mouth.
Turgovishte
The town of Turgovishte (population: 40 775; 170 m above sea level) is situated at the southern foot of the low mountain of Preslav along either bank of the Vrana River.
Veliki Preslav
The town of Veliki Preslav (population: 10 645; 120 m above sea level) is situated on either banks of the Ticha River shortly before it flows into the Golyama Kamchia River.

Pliska (top)
Intro:
The town of Pliska (population: 1243; 140 m above sea level) is situated in the south end of the Loudogorie Plateau.

Full text:
It is 404 km northeast of Sofia, 24 km north-east of Shoumen, 6 km north-west of Kaspichan, 6 km west of Novi Pazar, and 2 km south of the remains of the first Bulgarian capital of the same name. The first capital of Danubian Bulgaria. Two kilometers away from the present day town are the remains of the imposing construction of Pliska - the first capital of Danubian Bulgaria in 681, the year of its foundation by Khan Asparouh until 893-894 when the capital was moved to Preslav by Tsar Simeon I the Great. The town consisted of three concentric fortifications. The Exterior City is marked by a moat in the ground with a rampart enclosing a rectangular territory of 23 square kilometers. Almost in the middle of the Exterior City is the interior fortress surrounding the Interior City. The fortress has a solid stonewall (2.5 m wide), made of huge ashlars slabs. At each corner, there was a trapezium-shaped tower, and on each of the four walls, there were two five-angled towers and a gate. The main entrance is the east gate. The third inner defensive zone is a solid-built brick wall surrounding the citadel situated in the centre of the Interior City. The most characteristic and interesting architectural monuments whose remains have been preserved until these days are: The Grand Palace (the best preserved building in the Interior City) - the throne-room of the Bulgarian rulers was a formal representative building for the Khan's Council, the official receptions of foreign envoys, and for rich parties. His throne was there, as well. The size of the palace is as follows: 52 m long and 26.5 m wide. It was built by Khan Omourtag (814-831) whose merit is the turning of Pliska into one of the biggest East-European centers in early Middle Ages. The Small Palace (the most imposing building in the citadel), occupying an area of 568 square meters was the Khan's residence. Unlike the Grand Palace, the Small Palace is more exquisite and richer. Besides the Small Palace, the citadel houses the temples, the catchments basin, the swimming pools, the farmhouses. Pliska underwent not only great constructions but also a high degree of improvements, i.e. floor heating installation, drainage system of clay and lead pipes for the clean and dirty water, glass windows! Prince Boris erected the Grand Basilica (situated in the Exterior City, 1.5 km northeast of the Interior City. It has three naves (the biggest on the Balkan Peninsula) with imposing size (100 m long, 30 m wide) - one of the stateliest Bulgarian architectural works dating back to the second half of 9th century. It is in Pliska that one can trace back the development of Bulgarian architecture from the ancient Bulgarian epoch to the period of adoption of European features. There is a rich archaeological museum near the excavations (tel.: 05323 2271). The oldest source of information about Pliska is the inscription on the stone column of 821 (Khan Omourtag's) in the vicinity of the village of Chatalar (at present Tsar Kroum railway station) Under the Turkish rule the name of the settlement was changed to Aboba, which was preserved till 1925. After that it was called Pliskov, and in 1947 - Pliska.

Accommodation: A motel situated in the immediate neighbourhood of the excavations. A hotel in the modern town.

Tourist Information - at the hotel, the motel and the town hall of Pliska.

Transport. There are regular bus lines to Shoumen, Novi Pazar and Kaspichan as well as to other smaller towns and villages in the district. It is only 6 km away from Kaspichan railway station where there are connections to Sofia, Varna, Bourgas, Rousse and Silistra.

Shoumen (top)
Intro:
The town of Shoumen (population: 89 054; 220 m above sea level) is situated at the eastern mouth of the Shoumen Plateau, on either bank of the Bokloudga river (Poroina -which means torrential).

Full text:
It is 380 km northeast of Sofia, 115 km south-east of Rousse, 90 km west of Varna, 140 km north-east of Veliko Tarnovo, 41 km east of Turgovishte, 49 km south-east of Razgrad, 113 km south of Silistra, and 56 km north-east of Vurbitsa. An old Bulgarian fortification. It is a regional administrative centre.

History. Shoumen is an old town of fortresses. Its foundation and development were connected with the fortresses at the eastern end of the Shoumen Plateau (in the area of Hisarluka). The famous fortress of Shoumen was built in four basic periods: early and late Antiquity, and early and late Middle Ages. It was first created by the Thracians (5th century BC), then consequently inhabited, and built on by the Romans, the Byzantine, the Bulgarians and the Turks. Together with Pliska and Preslav, Shoumen was an old Bulgarian fortification of 7th-10th centuries and it developed into a feudal town with a castle and an interior fortress, a number of churches, workshops (12th-14th centuries). This is the place where Tsar Ivan Shishman's inscription was found. The inscription announced the Tsar's visit to Shoumen. The Arabian traveller Idrisi first mentioned it as Simeonis (Shimeonit) in 1153. Some consider that it comes from Tsar Simeon's name. In 14th century, people called it Shoumna or Shoumen. Most probably, it has the meaning of "shouma" (foliage) or "zashoumen" (covered up with branches) because it was situated in such an area. In 12th-14th centuries, Shoumen was a significant military, administrative and economic centre surpassing even the old capital of Preslav, and growing outside the fortifications. The town fell under Turkish rule after a long siege. It was turned into a well-fortified military town with a big garrison within the fortress. It housed a lot of Turks, Jews, Tartars, and Armenians. The town was mentioned with different names like Shoumena, Shoumna, Shoumoular, Soumounoum, and of course in the last centuries of the domination as Shoumen. In 18th and particularly in 19th century it developed as an important crafts centre, which was one of the preconditions for an active cultural life. On 22nd May 1813 here was held the first in Bulgaria civil celebration of the day of the Saint brothers Cyril and Methodius, and the first theatre performance. In 1828, the first monastery school for young girls was founded. In 1846, the first amateur theatrical group in the schools was established. After the defeat of the Hungarian Revolution (1848), many Hungarian revolutionaries emigrated to Shoumen with Layosh Koshout at the head: these actively participated in the cultural life of the town. Due to them in 1851, the first symphonic orchestra conducted by Shafran was set up. Shoumen is the town of the first class school for young girls and the first communal cultural centre (1856). The first work of drama was written in Shoumen: "Mihal" (1853) by Sava Dobroplodni. The town hosted one of the first theatre performances (1856). The first Bulgarian short story "Miserable Family" (1860) by Vassil Droumev from Shoumen, founder of Bulgarian theatre, was written here, as well as "School Theatre - the Wealthy Man" (1864) by Dobri Voinikov from Shoumen, too. Born in Shoumen, Panayot Volov was one of the main apostles of the Fourth Revolutionary District at the time of the April Uprising (1876). He died on 25th May 1876 near Byala (Rousse district). After the Liberation, the town fell in decay because of the loss of markets for the crafts, the migration of Turks and the comparatively cheap and of high quality industrial goods from the West competing with the local production. The town gradually recovered and in 1882 the first Bulgarian brewery was established with Czech capital; Shoumensko Pivo beer" is still among those much sought after. In the period 1950-1965, the town bore the name of Kolarovgrad but after that, it regained its old name of Shoumen. Because of its proximity to the first capitals of Danubian Bulgaria (Pliska and Preslav), and the Madara Horseman, as well as because of its rich historical past, in 1981 Shoumen was chosen as centre of the celebrations of the 1300th anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian state by Khan Asparuh. The great Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov was born in the town. The historical conditions and the natural environment make it a first-class tourist centre.

Landmarks: The Founders of Modern Bulgaria Complex (monument) (tel.: 054 52598, 52107)is located on llchov Bair south of the town. With the means of architecture and sculpture, the whole of the Bulgarian history from Khan Asparuh to Tsar Simeon is depicted. It was officially opened in 1981. There is an information centre and two restaurants. Working hours: 8.30 a.m.-5.00 p.m. all the week round. The Town Museum of History. (15, Slavyanski Blvd., tel.: 054 57410) - founded in 1904 by Rafail Popov. Working hours: 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Entrance fee: symbolic. The Pancho Vladigerov Museum Complex (136, Tsar Osvoboditel Street, tel.: 054 52123, working hours: 09.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-06.00 p.m.). The Layosh Koshout House-Museum (115, Tsar Osvoboditel, tel.: 054 57209, working hours: 9.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m.). The Panayot Volov House-Museum (42, Tsar Osvoboditel Street, tel.: 054 63429, working hours: 9.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m.). The Dobri Voinikov House-Museum (157, Tsar Osvoboditel Street, tel.: 054 56897, working hours: 9.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-6.00 p.m.). There are four interesting cultural monuments in Shoumen traced back to the epoch of late Middle Ages. The first one is called Bezistena; it was built to serve the traders from Doubrovnik in 16th century. At present, an original restaurant is housed there. The second one is The Clock Tower of 1741 being a stone prism with a built-in drinking fountain (with rich ornamentation and an inscription). The interesting Kourshoum Cheshma (Bullet Drinking Fountain) (built in 1744) is located in the liveliest in the past administrative and commercial part of the town. The drinking fountain is covered with lead tiles where its name comes from. The Sveto Vuznesenie Church (St. Ascension) of 1829 (48, Otets Paisii Street) is of great interest, too. Kazandgiiska Street has been restored, a reminder of the 50 crafts in the past. One can see beautiful houses from the Revival Period in the Cherkovna Quarter. There are a number of cultural institutes in Shoumen as well: Vassil Droumev Theatre of Drama (in the centre of the town, 72, Slavyanski Blvd., tel.: 054 52241). The Patilancho Puppet Theatre (in the central part of the town, 11, Todor Ikonomov Street, tel.: 054 55062, 57541). The Elena Karamihailova Art Gallery (81, Tsar Ivan Alexander, tel.: 054 42126, 40171, working hours: 9.00 a.m. -12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. Shoumen is a university centre. There is the Konstantin Preslavski University.

Accommodation: The Shoumen Hotel Complex (four stars, in the central part of the town, Oborishte Square). It offers 430 beds, restaurants, bars, cafes, discos, halls, and a swimming pool. The Madara Hotel (3-star, in the centre of the town, 1, Osvobozhdenie Square). It offers 200 beds, a restaurant, and café confectioneries. The Orbita Hotel (2-star, in the Kyoshkovete Park). It offers 30 beds, a restaurant and a cafe. The Lyubomir Targovski Tourist House (Oborishte quarter, 8, Antim I Street). It offers 14 beds in two-, and three-bed rooms.

Tourist Information - at the Committee on Tourism (in the central part of the town, zip code 9700, 17, Slavyanski Blvd., tel.: 054 59141, 55111). The Madara Horseman Tourist Association (15, Hristo Botev Street, tel.: 054 59456, 59528, 59167).

Transport. There are regular bus lines from Shoumen to Varna, Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra, Karnobat, Pliska, Preslav and other smaller towns and villages in the district. The central bus station (tel.: 054 61618, 60193) and the railway station (tel.: 054 60155, 62537) are next to each other situated in the eastern part of the town, behind the town park. Shoumen is an important railway station on Sofia-Varna railway line. It is a starting point for the railway line to Karnobat. Near Shoumen is the town of Kaspichan where the railway forks to Rousse and Silistra. The nearest operating airport is that in Varna. There is public bus transport in Shoumen.

Surrounding areas. The Kyoshkovete Park is located in the west proximity of the town, on the territory of the Shoumen Plateau National Park. There are wonderful venerable beech-trees, numerous alleys, rest homes, tourist routes and Boukatsite Mountain Hut (5 km away from Shoumen, 1.5 km from the village of Troitsa, and 3 km from the village of Osmar. A bus line connects the three villages. The hut offers 20 beds; there are medieval monasteries cut in the rocks). In the Kyoshkovete are the remains of the Shoumen Fortress (2 km west of the town) - a real treasure for archaeologists (see the historical information). There is public bus transport. 15 km east of Shoumen is the unique Madara Historical-Archaeological Reserve consisting of several sights of exceptional value. First, this is the rock bas-relief of the Madara Horseman representing an equestrian with a sceptre in the right hand and a shepherd's crook in the left; a lion, a dog and a snake are depicted under the horse. It was considered a symbol of the victorious march of Bulgarian rulers at the dawn of Bulgarian state. The latest approach to the inscription is based on the Persian (East Indo-European) heritage. The equestrian is the Earth correspondence of the Sun, the dog - of the Moon, the lion refers to the Lion constellation with the Regul main star. The computer analysis based on the latest software related to astronomy implies that the position of the Sun, the Moon and the Regul star as is on the bas-relief, has happened in 165AD (the year of the Snake). This year amazingly coincides with the year considered a beginning of Bulgarian statehood, as specified in the Name List of Bulgarian Khans, a written monument of the 8th century. These lead to the conclusion that Bulgarians have Indo-European roots and culture and are a highly civilized state-founding people. This unique monument of worldwide importance is under the protection of UNESCO. At the bottom of the steep cliffs near the relief are the remains of buildings of various epochs - palaces, an ancient Bulgarian pagan sanctuary of 9th century, churches and monasteries of 11th -14th centuries. A flight of 386 steps in the rock lead to the Madara Plateau and the Madara Fortress -the remains of the Bulgarian fortress called Matora existed until 1386. At the south-west, mouth of the Plateau is the Roman Villa - the remains of a Roman mansion (living and farmhouses). The whole of Madara region is known as "the Bulgarian Troy". A tourist village sprang up in the immediate vicinity of the rocks; there is a rich archaeological museum, a hotel, a camping site and Madara Horseman Chalet (80 beds in two-, three-, four-, five-bed rooms). One and a half kilometer away from Madara Rocks and the tourist village is the village of Madara with a railway station on the Sofia - Varna line and a regular bus line to Shoumen. Eight kilometers south-west of Shoumen is the village of Osmar, famous for its renowned red wine called Osmarski Pelin (Osmar's Wormwood), which has as an ingredient the bitter herb of wormwood. There is regular bus transport. The Kabiyuk studlarm is several kilometers north of the town. It is situated in a beautiful park with own racecourse and ride hall (70 m long, 24 m wide). One can find here the unique horse museum, the summer residence of Prince Alexander Batenberg (a museum at present), and a chapel with valuable icons. An excellent place for recreation, and horse riding practice. Regular bus transport available.

Veliki Preslav (top)
Intro:
The town of Veliki Preslav (population: 10 645; 120 m above sea level) is situated on either banks of the Ticha River shortly before it flows into the Golyama Kamchia River.

Full text:
It is 365 km northeast of Sofia, 19 km southwest of Shoumen, 25 km south-east of Turgovishte, 23 km north-west of Smyadovo, and 37 km north-east of Vurbitsa. Successor of the second capital of Asparuh's state bearing the same name.
The second capital of Danubian Bulgaria. Its imposing ruins are to be found 2 km south of the present day town. Veliki Preslav was the capital of the Bulgarian kingdom from 893 until 969 in the epoch of its supreme might and in the boom of Old Bulgarian culture (the so-called Golden Age). It sprang up in the first half of 9th century during the reign of Khan Omourtag (814-831) as a military camp with a fortified palace and garrison. Tsar Simeon (893-927) proclaimed it capital (thus moving it from Pliska). It was established as an administrative, cult-religious, and cultural centre of medieval Bulgarian state, renowned for its remarkable monumental construction work, the achievements of applied arts, the stone plastic arts, the painted ceramics, and the famous literary school. Veliki Preslav grew systematically as a town. It has the same construction of gates, towers and walls as Pliska does. It had the same two fortification rings separating the Interior from the Exterior City; however, the exterior zone is not the ditch typical for the ancient Bulgarians but a solid and high fortress wall. Following and improving their own tradition of construction work the Bulgarian masters first in Europe built a town with two concentric fortress walls - the exterior being 3.25 m thick, and the interior (the citadel) - 2.80 to 3 m thick. Preslav is a pure Bulgarian name coming from "preslavun" (famous, most glorious), and the name Veliki (Great) was added when the capital turned into a really big and representative town for its time. The Old Bulgarian capital occupied a territory of 3.5 sq. km. In the course of 28 years, it was built on and improved by Tsar Simeon the Great, one of the most educated European rulers, an exceptional political leader, soldier and man of letters (a disciple of the Magnaur School in Constantinople). He made Preslav the most majestic town in the whole of southeastern Europe second only to the capital of Byzantium. For comparison, the population of London in 10th century was hardly fifteen thousand people, Paris had still not developed as a city, Madrid was a village, and Berlin and Moscow did not exist yet. The most talented Bulgarian men of letters of the time worked there - Yoan Ekzarh, Chernorizets Hrabur, Konstantin Preslavski, Prezviter Kozma, and Tudor Doksov. Being followers of the mission of Cyril and Methodius, for several decades, they turned the Old Bulgarian language from ecclesiastical into one of the richest literary languages of Europe at that time. In 969, Veliki Preslav was conquered by Prince Svetoslav of Kiev, and between 971 and 1186 it suffered the Byzantine rule and bore the name Johnanopolis. In 13th-114th centuries, it was a significant administrative centre, main bishop's residence. In 1388, the town was conquered and destroyed by the Turks. Some Turkish documents of 1573, 1585 and 1620 registered a village on the spot of the present day town with the name Eski Stambolchouk (Old Istanbul) bearing the memory of the old capital. The village had this name until 1878, and then it was called Preslav. In 1993, the town returned to the name signifying its biggest grandeur - Veliki Preslav. There have been preserved remains of fortress walls, palaces, civil ensembles, workshops, public baths, and water pipe systems. The most precious building in Veliki Preslav in the past (as well as a sight today) was the Round (Golden) Church built in 908. Its dome (gold-plated outside and inlaid on gold inside) covers the central building with 12 niches (cut in the wall) and 12 white marble columns erected in between them. In respect of plan and rich mosaic and sculptural decoration, the Golden Church is a unique example of the Old Bulgarian architecture. It was a predecessor of the European Baroque with several centuries ahead of its time. It had good reputation during Middle Ages. The whole region of the ruins was declared a National Historical and Archaeological Reserve (tel.: 0538 2630, 3243). A rich archaeological museum is functioning on its territory; it was founded 90 years ago. Of particular interest is the section about the painted ceramics of Preslav and especially the world-famous ceramic icon of St. Teodor Stratilat. The museum takes pride in Preslav's golden treasure and the unique collection of lead seals of Bulgarian and Byzantine rulers and dignitaries; these are exposed in the special hall. There is a bus line to the ruins and the museum.

Landmarks of the new town: The Ethnographic House is a good example of Bulgarian customs in the past. Visitors are offered to hear authentic folklore, and taste the traditional "durpana banitsa" (specially made sheeted pasty) and the wonderful wines of Preslav. The St. St. Peter and Pavel Church was declared a monument of culture. Tsar Simeon and the Bookmen Sculpture Composition. A monument in memory of the people of Preslav killed in 1912-1918 wars. Veliki Preslav is a famous producer of wines and cognacs of high quality, which are sold in England, Belgium, the Netherlands, USA, Canada and Russia.

Accommodation: the Preslav Hotel (Simeon Veliki Street).

Tourist Information - in the hotel and the Patleina Tourist Association (41, Boris Spirov Street, tel.: 0538 2628).

Transport. The town has bus and railway transport. There are regular bus lines to Shoumen, Turgovishte, Vurbitsa, Smyadovo, and other smaller villages in the region. The bus station is in the central part of the town (Boris Spirov Str.). The town is the final railway station on the Khan Kroum-Veliki Preslav railway line that connects it with the main line Sofia - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Varna and in this way with the national railway system. The railway station is located in the eastern industrial zone of the town of Veliki Preslav.

Surrounding areas. In the Patleina area, one and a half kilometers southeast of the town (there is a bus line) there is a Bulgarian monastery dating back to 10th century (St. Pantheleimon). Except for being a centre of cultural life, Patleina is renowned for its unique medieval ceramics. This is the place where the ceramic icon of St. Teodor Stratilat made of 20 ceramic plates was found. It is one of the most eminent examples of our cultural heritage (it is kept in the museum at the ruins of Veliki Preslav). After withdrawing from the throne Prince (Tsar) Boris I spent the last years of his life in the monastery of Patleina. There is the Patleina Chalet in the region (tel.: 0538 2565) offering 36 beds in two-, three-, four-, five-, six-bed rooms. The Ticha Dam - 14 km south of the town. A wonderful place for having a rest, taking sunbathes, fishing, practising water sports, and water tourism. There are rest houses, private villas, as well as the Ticha Chalet (on the road between Veliki Preslav and Vurbitsa, regular bus line, tel. for reservations: 054 59456, 59528, 59167 - in the Tourist Association in Shoumen), offering 16 beds in two-, three-, and four-bed rooms. The town of Vurbitsa - 37 km south-west of Veliki Preslav and south of Vurbitsa Pass in the Balkan Mountain Range. It is another old Bulgarian town where in 17th century the Turks colonised Tartars from Krim because of the rebellious Bulgarian spirit. It was the Tartar wealthy man called Meadali Gerai who built the famous seraglio in the town (1830-1835, master Kolyo Dimov). There have been preserved the St. Dimitur Solounski Church of 1842, two-storey houses of interesting Revival architecture, like that of Hadzhi Vulchan (1868), old workshops, the school of 1873, the house of the Grouev brothers, etc. Four or five kilometers southwest of Vurbitsa is the Vurbitsa resort, at the north bottom of the Vurbitsa section of the Balkan Mountain Range. There is a mineral spring (for drinking only), rest homes, private villas, a forestry enterprise and the Vurbishki Prohod Chalet (76 beds in two suites and three-, four-, and five-bed rooms; reservations in the Tourist Association in Shoumen). There is regular bus transport to Vurbitsa, and from Vurbitsa to Veliki Preslav, Shoumen, Omourtag, etc.

Turgovishte (top)
Intro:
The town of Turgovishte (population: 40 775; 170 m above sea level) is situated at the southern foot of the low mountain of Preslav along either bank of the Vrana River.

Full text:
It is 339 km north-east of Sofia, 41 km west of Shoumen, 25 km north-west of Veliki Preslav, 24 km north-east of Omourtag, 100 km northeast of Veliko Turnovo, 36 km south of Razgrad, and 35 km south-east of Popovo. It was an ancient market settlement- a regional administrative centre.

History. The earliest vestiges of human life in the area dated back to the Copper-Stone Era (Halcolite) of the 5th millennium before Christ (near the village of Ovcharovo). Near the town, remains of settlements and necropolises from the ancient times (the gold treasure from Kralevo) were found. The name of the present town was first mentioned in 16th century as Eski Dzhoumaya (eski - old, dzhoumaya - Friday; on that same day markets were organised in the Turkish settlements, so in this particular case it is rather a market place or if translated - "Old market"). It was first registered as such in a Turkish register of 1573, and in the following 17th century the traveller, Hadzhi Kalfa gave it a short description. At first, it was entirely an Oriental town. In the course of years, many Bulgarians settled to live there. The crafts underwent a brisk development together with the trade therewith. The well-known Eski Dzhoumaya Fair started at the end of 18th century and became the largest in the Danube district and one of the biggest and most representing in the Ottoman Empire. It used to commence on 14th May and lasted for 8 days. Traders came from the whole of the Ottoman Empire, from Russia and from the west European countries - Germany, Austria, and England - they offered industrial goods. Lots of cattle were sold at the fair, but most of all horses, so it was called "Haivan" or "Kamshik Panair" (Whip Fair). It always started with big horse races (koushii). At the beginning, it was held in the central parts of the town but in 1865 - 1868, it moved to a special place outside the town with conveniences like inn, stables, cattle-sheds, eating-houses, bakery, wells, court place where problems and thefts were settled, etc. - prototype of nowadays market places. It was held until the end of 19th century. The material prosperity leads to cultural progress of the settlement. The small school was now transformed into a secondary school in 1846 and in 1863 the construction of its new building of European style was completed (it was the most prominent building in Eski Dzhoumaya). This was where Pencho Slaveikov worked as a teacher for some time. In the winter of 1872, Angel Kunchev set up a revolutionary committee. The leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival, Sava Gerenov and Sava Katrafilov, spread the seeds of progress and national consciousness. The latter together with Nikola Simov-Kourouto (the colour-bearer) were members of Botev's detachment of armed volunteers. Both of them died a heroic death in the battles against the Ottomans. During the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation (1877-1878), the inhabitants of the town showed great courage in defending the Bulgarian quarters from the Circassians and Bashibozouks. The town was liberated in January 1878. In 1934 the town was renamed Turgovishte. It is getting more and more a tourist centre. The traditional fair in Turgovishte known as the Spring Fair and Industrial Goods Expo was resumed.

Landmarks. There are more than 30 buildings of interesting architecture in the old Revival quarter called Varosh. Among them are the St. St. Cyril and Methodius, and Their Five Disciples School (1, G.S.Rakovski Street) where Spiridon Gramadov and Petko R. Slaveikov (who gave the plan for the construction) were teachers and where the latter started editing the "Gaida" (Bagpipe) newspaper. At present the building houses the Museum of History (tel.: 0601 25188, working hours: 9.00 a.m. -12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. except Mondays). The Assumption Church (1851; Ekzarh Yosiff Street, tel.: 0601 41236) is one of the most beautiful churches built in Bulgaria before the Liberation. The house of Angel Hadzhi Droumev (1863; 14, G.S.Rakovski Street) is one of the most precious sights from the Revival Period in the town; it was built by the masters of Tryavna (the Ethnographic Museum at present). The Nikola Simov-Kourouto Museum Exposition (20, Karavelov Street). Sveshtarov's House (1860). The houses of priest Zahariev, of Ilia Katsarov and others. The Nikola Marinov Art Gallery (Mourgash Street, tel.: 0601 27760) bears the name of the renowned Bulgarian artist born in the town and possesses a rich collection of his works. Monuments of Nikola Simov-Kourouto, of the Russian soldiers killed in the War of Liberation, of all those killed in the wars and others. In Turgovishte there is a Theatre of Drama (Svoboda Square, tel.: 0601 23377) and a Puppet Theatre (Hristo Botev Street, tel.: 0601 25085). There is a branch of the Blagoevgrad University here.

Accommodation: the Mizia Hotel (in the centre of the town - 1, Svoboda Square, tel.: 0601 23753, fax 0601 24693). Belia Lav Hotel (2, Skopie Street). Chervenata Kushta Hotel (in the eastern part of the town, 40, Antim I Street). Belia Kon Motel (on the way Sofia-Varna). Rai Hotel Complex (on the way Sofia-Varna). The Polyanitsa Motel (in the region of Polyanitsa). The Borovets House of Tourism (situated in the park of the same name at the southeastern end of the town, 20 min. walk away from the centre). It offers 78 places, 1 suite and two-, four-, five-, and six-bed rooms. All above establishments have restaurants. There are many other places in the town offering original Bulgarian food. Here are two of them: Maikop (11, St. Karadzha Street) and the Roden Kut Tavern (Tsar Osvoboditel Street).

Tourist Information - available at the hotels, houses of tourism and the N. Simov Tourist Association (3, Benkovska Street, tel.: 0601 27651, 27744).

Transport. Bus and railway transport connects the town with the rest of the world. There are regular bus lines to Omourtag, Shoumen, Veliki Preslav, Razgrad, Popovo and other smaller villages in the district. The bus station is situated near the centre (N. Marinov Street, tel.: 0601 24316, 23101). The town is a railway station on Sofia - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Varna main railway line. The railway station is located in the northern part of the town (tel.: 0601 25236, 22959). There is an airport adjacent to the town but at present, there are no regular passengers’ flights. There is public bus transport functioning in the town of Turgovishte.

Surrounding areas. The Turgovishte spring is located 8 km south-west of the town. The temperature of the mineral water is 27°C, and the water debit is about 6 liters per second. It cures kidney and gastric-enteric diseases. A real resort has been set up in its vicinity - an open-air swimming pool, a prophylactic house, a hotel, and private villas. Part of the mineral water is bottled. There is a regular bus line to the town. In the immediate vicinity of the town is the interesting Hunting Park, the Yukya Forest-Park, the Borovo Oko Lake, and 7 km away is the Park in the Turgovishte gorge. Twenty-four kilometers south-west of Turgovishte is the town of Omourtag where there are preserved the Menzilishkata drinking fountain from 1779, the St. Dimitur Church from 1851 and six Revival houses among which is the one belonging to granny Ivanka Hadzhiiska (built in 1876) where she hid 200 women and children from the Turkish army during the War of Liberation. At present, it houses the town museum. There is a regular bus line between Turgovishte and Omourtag. The Roman Bridge is situated some 60 km south-west of Turgovishte between the villages of Vidanovo and Malko Dolyane, above the Stara River. In spite of its name, it does not date back to Roman times; it was built in 16th-17th century. It is 60 m long, 4 m wide and the top-point height is 10 meters. It has the shape of a crescent with one central arc and five supplementary ones. It was built directly on the natural rock. This unique installation has been completely preserved; it fascinates with the exquisiteness of its architecture. In ancient times, it was an important strategic road. The village of Stevrek is the point of departure (on the Omourtag-Elena way); there is bus transport from the village to Omourtag and Antonovo. The distance from the village to the bridge is 8 km (1.30-2 hours long walk) along the country road fit for vehicles. The road goes through the former village of Malko Dolyane. The Gurbatata drinking fountain is located 50 meters away from above-mentioned Stara River, some 75 km south-west of Turgovishte and some 25 km west of Antonovo. It is a natural limestone rock, about 4 meters high and having the shape of an arc. On top there is an outfall where runs the water falling from the vertical cliff above the limestone ridge. On that way falling from the outfall, the water forms a small cascade called the Gurbatata drinking fountain (meaning a drinking fountain crooked like a hunchback). The small village of Stara Rechka is the point of departure; a regular bus runs between the latter and Antonovo. One can get to the drinking fountain from the village following a marked track for about an hour walk.

Razgrad (top)
Intro:
The town of Razgrad (population: 39 036 inhabitants; about 200 m above sea level) is situated on the Loudogorie Plateau (and is considered the capital of the Loudogorie), on either bank of the Beli Lom River.

Full text:
It is 375 km north-east of Sofia, 66 km south-east of Rousse, 49 km north-west of Shoumen, 36 km north of Turgovishte, 36 km north-east of Popovo and 108 km south-west of Silistra. A district centre, too.

History. Razgrad is the successor of the Roman settlement called Abritus (its ruins are situated near the town), the latter being established at the place of a Thracian settlement with an unknown name. The medieval Bulgarian settlement called Hrazgrad (Hrisgrad) sprang up upon the remains of the ruins of the Byzantine town already destroyed in the invasions. In 1388, it fell under Turkish reign. Since 1573 on the town gradually grew into a craft centre. People reared silkworms. There was a trading colony from Dubrovnic dating back to 16th century. It developed as a typical Oriental town. Bulgarians from the nearby villages gradually settled there and thus changed the ethnical pattern. In 1860, the first school opened its doors. The first Bulgarian poetess Stanka Nikolitsa Spaso-Elenina worked as a teacher in the Revival town of Razgrad. On 1st March 1879, when the foundations were laid for the Mausoleum of the Russian liberators Prince Dondoukov-Korsakov was among the guests present. At that time, Frank Grunanger was the town's architect. For the last decades, Razgrad has developed as a centre of pharmaceutical industry in Bulgaria.

Landmarks. The St. Nikola Church dates back to the end of 19th century. The Clock Tower is a slender stone body in the shape of parallelepiped with a wooden superstructure with clockwork in it. It is 26.15 m high; Master Todor Tonchev from Tryavna built it in 1864 replacing an old tower from 18th century. The Museum of History is situated both in the town and in the Abritus Archaeological Reserve (tel.: 084 24273, 27378, 42207). The Ethnographic Complex (Varosha Quarter, 20, Antim I Street, tel.: 084 36071, 36971). The house-museum of Professor Dimitur Nenov has the same address (tel.: 084 29777). The Stanka and Nikola Ikonomovs Revival Museum Collection (Va¬rosha quarter, 7, St. Kliment Blvd, tel.: 084 29322). The D. Danailov Art Gallery (G.S.Rakovski Street). The Ilia Petrov Art Gallery (Cyril and Methodius Street). The bronze sculpture at the Momina Cheshma. Mausoleum of the Russian soldiers who died in the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation. In Razgrad there is Anton Strashimirov Theatre of Drama (in the central part of the town) and a College for Chemical Technologies and Biotechnologies.

Accommodation: the Razgrad Hotel (in the southern part of the town, 15, Zheravna Str). The Central Hotel (40, Beli Lom Street). The Abritus Hotel (downtown). There are very interesting restaurants in Razgrad offering original Bulgarian specialties. Here are two of them: Bai Kiro and Sons Tavern (4 Maritsa Street, working hours: 9.00 a.m. -12.00 p.m. all the week round) and The Academy Restaurant (11, Rakovski Street, working hours: 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 a.m.).

Tourist Information: Diana Tours - an agency for complex tourists services (Bulgaria blvd., block Chaika, tel.: 084 22637). All hotels and the Buina Gora Tourist Agency (76, Knyaz Boris Street, tel.: 084 26761).

Transport. Bus and railway available. There are regular bus lines to Rousse, Popovo, Turgovishte, Shoumen, Koubrat, Isperih and other smaller settlements in the district. The bus station is located in the eastern part of the town near the river (2, Bulgaria Blvd., tel.: 084 22356, 26979). The railway station in Razgrad (tel.: 084 22436, 6 km away from the town with a bus line) is situated on the oldest railway line in the country, i.e. Rousse - Varna. It makes it part of the national railway system. There is public bus transport in the town.

Surrounding areas. The Abritus Archaeological Reserve (2 km east of Razgrad). The Romans founded the ancient settlement in the middle of 1st century and during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian (527-565); the fortress walls were fundamentally fortified. The walls surround an enclosure of 140 decares and parts of them are preserved; three towers as well as the southern and northern town gates have been partially restored. A large residential building occupying an area of 3300 sq. m. was restored. In 251, the Roman emperor Decius found his death in a battle between the Romans and the Goths near Abritus. In 1971, here was discovered a big ancient golden treasure consisting of 835 coins. A rich archaeological museum is open for guests (operating as a department of the Museum of History). There is a bus line round the town. Some 10 km south of the town is the Pchelina Forest-Park (Kovanluka) offering excellent opportunities for recreation, and sport. Numerous holiday homes, restaurants, private villas as well as the Pchelina Chalet with 40 beds in two-, three-, and four-bed rooms. For reservations, refer to the tourist agency in Razgrad. There is regular bus line. One of the most charming places of the Loudogorie, i.e. the Voden Nature Reserve is situated 36 km northeast of Razgrad, along the Chairdere valley. The reserve is known for its venerable deciduous woods, the stockbreeding farm for aurochs, stags of fallow deer and others, and a lot of natural and historical sights. There are good accommodation facilities and a regular bus line to Razgrad. The Thracian Tomb near the village of Sveshtari (40 km northeast of Razgrad and 6 km north-west of Isperih) has an exclusive decoration. It was declared a cultural monument of world significance and is under the protection of UNESCO. There is a regular bus line to the village from the town of Isperih.


Toutrakan (top)
Intro:
The town of Toutrakan (population: 11 977; 100 m above sea level) is situated on the high Bulgarian bank of the Danube River, 433 km away from the river mouth.

Full text:
It is 380 km northeast of Sofia, 60 km northeast of Rousse, 62 km west of Silistra and 70 km north of Razgrad.

History. It was built in Roman times as a fortress under the name of Transmariska by Emperor Diocletian after a victory over the enemy's tribes. There was housed part of the 11th Legion of Claudius'. This information was drawn from a stone inscription dating back to 18 October 294. The name means "a settlement beyond the moors" signifying the opposite flat plane around today’s Romanian town of Oltenitsa. During the reign of emperor Valent a raft-bridge was constructed over the Danube River at the time of the war with the Goths (366). At the end of 10th century, south Russian colonists settled here and called the town Toutarakan. Medieval Arabic geographers registered the town by the following names Rekran, Zakatra, Trakan, Taraka. Other mentioned it as Tukvant, Torkan, Dourakam, and Tatkrakam. In 115th-16th centuries the town had a lot of water mills (at the Danube River) and windmills (on the hills by the bank), which existed until late and the last water mill lasted until 1942. The history of Toutrakan registers the names of two renowned Russian army leaders. On 10th May 1773, General Souvorov conquered the town. After the Russian armies retracted, the Turks extended and fortified the fortress but this was no obstacle for General Koutouzov to conquer it on 11th October 1810. In 19th century, Toutrakan was a poor anglers’, artisans’ and vine-growing town; yet in its dockyards a lot of boats, small sailing vessels and water mills were built. In 1862, a big church and a secular school were built, and in 1873, the communal cultural centre called Vuzrazhdane was founded. In 1867 near Toutrakan, Panayot Hitov's detachment with Vassil Levski as a colour-bearer crossed the Danube from Romania into enslaved Bulgaria; in 1876, Tanyo Voivoda's detachment did the same. At the beginning of 20th century, Toutrakan's population was about 10 000 inhabitants and the town rivaled other towns like Vidin, Lom, Turnovo, Svishtov, Lovech and as far as trade was concerned it excelled them. At that time and in later days, Toutrakan was the biggest fishing centre in the country on the Danube River. In 1913, the town was included in the territories of Romania under the name of Tourtoukai. However, the town fell into decay and its population reduced. In 1940, according the Krayova Agreement South Dobroudzha (including Toutrakan) was given back to Bulgaria. Because of its picturesque location on the hills by the Danube River, Toutrakan is known as the Danubian Turnovo.

Landmarks. The construction of the old buildings in the town was influenced by the Romanian architecture (one can at once notice the corrugated iron roofs). On top of the town hills, Sheremetitsa, and Teketo one can have a panoramic view of the Danube River and the plain around the Romanian town of Oltenitsa on the opposite side. The Danubian Fishing and Boat Construction Museum, one in the county, is situated in Toutrakan (tel.: 0857 2152). It is housed in the solid building of the old town bath. Among the 500 exhibits depicting the history of fishing from ancient times until present day one can see nets, harpoons, anchors defangs (fishing nets 150 m long), fishing boats typical of Toutrakan and the like. The Town Museum of History is arranged in an old house. Remains of an ancient fortress and a medieval settlement.

Accommodation: The Melin Hotel (11, Vassil Levski Street).

Tourist information: in the hotel and in Aleko Tourist Agency (3, Docho Mihailov Street, tel.: 0857 3895).

Transport. Predominantly buses. There are regular bus lines to Rousse, Silistra, Razgrad, Koubrat and other towns and villages in the district. Toutrakan has a river station as well (tel.: 0857 2565), but since 1992 there have not been any passengers' trips along the Danube on behalf of Bulgaria.

Surrounding areas. The Danube River gives great opportunities for rest, sunbathing, fishing, water sports, and water tourism. Kandidiana-Negrianis - remains of a Roman castle near the village of Malak Preslavets, some 30 km east of the town. It is supposed that this was the location of the Danubian palace of Khan Omourtag. There are regular bus lines to Toutrakan.

Silistra (top)
Intro:
The town of Silistra (population: 42 153; 20 m above sea level) is situated on the right (Bulgarian) bank of the river Danube, 375 kilometers from the river mouth, at the point where the river enters the territory of Romania and the terrestrial boundary between Bulgaria and Romania begins.

Full text:
It is 442 km and 122 km north-east of Sofia and Rousse respectively, 108 km north-east of Razgrad, 113 km north of Shoumen, and 92 km and 143 km north-west of Dobrich and Varna respectively. A regional administrative centre, too.

History. Very few Bulgarian towns can compete with Silistra in richness of historical past. The town is the successor of the Roman Dumstorum (translated as "solid fortress", built by Emperor Trayan). It was first mentioned in 105. In 169 during the reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius Durostorum became a municipal - an independent town (in 1969 people celebrated 1800th anniversary of the town) that domineered as a centre of the Roman province of Dolna Mizia. The town was one of the early centers, which promoted Christianity. In 303 the soldier Dazius was beheaded, and the local inhabitant Emilian perished on the stake; both of them were partisans of the new Christian faith. They were declared saints and included in the catholic calendar. The great commander Flavius Aecius was born here; he was the one who defeated Atila, the Huns' leader whom the inhabitants of Rome had considered a real horror. The successor of Rome, i.e. Byzantium, restored the ruins of the town during the reign of emperor Justinian in 6th century and gave it the name of Dorostol. Until 600, it had been an Episcopal centre. The Bulgarians called it Drustur and after the adoption of Christianity, it became the main religious centre in the country. Under the Byzantine rule, it was a main town in the region of Podounavie. In 1074, a rebellion against the Byzantine under the leadership of Nestor broke off. The town was an important fortress of the Bulgarian kingdom in 13th-14th centuries. In 1388, the Romanian leader Mircha Stari conquered the town, and after 1413, it was within the territory of the Ottoman Empire. The town received its present day name during the Turkish rule because of the preceding Diristur and Dristra. The poet Partenius Pavlovich was born in Silistra in 1695. During the Russian-Turkish war at the end of 18th century and the first half of 19th century, the great Russian generals Roumyantsev, Souvorov, Bagration, Koutouzov, Dibich Zabalkanski took part in battles near the fortress of Silistra (in fact there were two fortresses - Medgeditabia and Arabtabia on both hills above the town) which later became part of the defensive rectangular of the Turkish empire (Rouschouk - Silistra - Varna - Shoumen). In 1958, the inhabitants of Silistra received as a present the key to the fortress of Silistra, which had been seized as a trophy on 12 June 1810 by generals Kamenski and Koutouzov, and kept in Sanct Petersburg. Between 1828 and 1835, Silistra was a free town because of its conquest by the Russian army with Captain Georgi Mamarchev at the lead (a Bulgarian in Russian service). The great writer Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy took part in the Russian siege in 1854. In 1812 a monastery school was established, and in 1891 -a pedagogical school. The Swiss Louie Aier spent some time teaching physical education (his name was associated with popularising a number of sports in Bulgaria) in the town (as well as in Rousse and Lom) and died as an officer in World War I near Doyran. From 1913 until 1940, the town was within the boundaries of Romania.

Landmarks. The Town Museum of History (in the central part of the town, Simeon Veliki Blvd., tel.: 086 27040, 23894). The Ethnographic Museum. In 1942, a Roman tomb was recovered (4th century, from the time of emperor Theodosius I). It is a tomb with arches, 3.20 m wide and 3.60 m long. The most interesting thing in it is the frescoes. It is situated in the southeastern part of the town, at 7th September Street. The Roman Necropolis of an eminent magistrate from the time of emperor Prob (276-282). He had been buried together with his horses and chariot; very precious fragments of the chariot made of electron (gold and platinum) have been preserved. Parts of the antique Roman fortress and the border fortification were discovered at different places in the town and along the bank of the Danube River (in the town park). The Art Gallery is located in the centre, at 120, Simeon Veliki Blvd. (tel.: 086 26838). There is a Drama Theatre named after Sava Dobroplodni (in the central part of the town, Simeon Veliki Blvd. tel.: 086 26937, 23201). Silistra is a university centre. There is a Higher Pedagogical School, branch of Rousse University.

Accommodation: The Zlatna Dobroudzha Hotel (in the central part of the town, 2, Dobroudzha Street). The Silistra Hotel (in the central part of the town, 1, Ilia Bluskov Street).The Orbita Hotel (in the southwestern part of the town, near the stadium, in the area of Krepostta (the Fortress). 2-star, offers 20 double rooms and 6 three-bed rooms. Of great interest is the attractive restaurant at the TV tower with a wonderful panoramic view. Danube Tourist Hostel (on the bank of the Danube River, offers 33 beds in four-bed rooms). Among the numerous catering establishments there are several worth visiting: Beliyat Kalpak Restaurant (southeast of the centre, 51, Dobrich Street, 24-hour service, offers national specialties at reasonable prices), Beli Brezi Restaurant (in the southern part of the town, 92, 31st Regiment Street, working hours: 7.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m., offers delicacies and national food in a cosy atmosphere), etc.

Tourist Information - at the hotels, at the tourist hostel and D. Mihailov Tourist Association (9, Dobroudzha Street, tel.: 086 27217).

Transport. Bus and railway transport connect the town with the rest of the world. There are regular bus lines to Rousse, Razgrad, Shoumen, Dobrich, Varna and other smaller towns and villages in the district. The bus station (tel.: 086 23418, 23997) and the railway station (tel.: 086 26813) are located next to each other in the Industrial zone (the west end of the town). The town is the final railway station on the local railway line Samouil-Silistra (an extension of the Rousse-Varna line) and thus is connected with the national railway system. Silistra has a river station, too, but for the time being the transportation of passengers along the Bulgarian coast of the Danube has been suspended. Cruises along the river are only carried out. There is regular public bus transport.

Surrounding areas. In the immediate proximity above, the town is The Krepostta Park (The Fortress). There is a rich archaeological museum in it. The Sreburna Biosphere Reserve is 16 km west of Silistra near a village having the same name. It comprises the Lake of Sreburna and the surrounding slopes of the Danubian bank occupying a territory of 600 hectares. In the periphery, the lake is overgrown with cane and bulrush verdure, water lilies, marsh marigold, marsh fern, duckweed, etc. Various kinds of birds nest here - some 150 protected species of marsh birds like pelicans (the only colony in Bulgaria), black coots, water swallow, egrets, ibis, wild geese, 11 species of wild ducks, etc. Six species of fish, tortoises, snakes, etc. inhabit the area. There is a museum arranged. Felix Kanits who visited it in the second half of 19th century called the lake "the Eldorado of marsh birds". Being natural heritage of world significance the Sreburna Reserve is under the protection of UNESCO. There is regular bus transport from the town. Eight kilometers west of Silistra is the biggest village in Bulgaria called Aidemir (9125 inhabitants). There is a regular public bus line to and from it. The Alen Mak Chalet (5 km away from the town, in the rest area near the town, tel.: 086 20089) offers 30 beds in two-, three-, and seven-bed rooms. Nearby is a bus station of the town bus. It takes an hour or so to get there on foot. The Danube River in the region of Silistra offers numerous opportunities for excursion tours, sunbathes, rest, water sports, and water tourism. There are private villas, two camping sites (Popina - on the bank of the river, in the immediate vicinity of the port at the village of Popina, 35 km west of the town, 18 beds in two- and four-bed rooms. Telephone for reservations: 318 through the operator of Popina village or at the Tourist Association in Silistra. There is regular bus transport; Vetren - on the bank of the river in the vicinity of Vetren village, 21 km west of the town and 2 km away from the Sreburna Reserve, 9 bungalows with 40 beds in two- and four-bed rooms, reservations at the Tourist Association in Silistra, regular bus transport to the town). Half of all apricot orchards of Bulgaria grow in the region of Silistra.

Dobrich (top)
Intro:
The town of Dobrich (population: 100 379; 220 m above sea level) is situated on the Dobroudzha Plateau by the small Dobrich River. It is 512 km north-east of Sofia, 92 km south-east of Silistra, 51 km north-west of Varna, 34 km north-west of Balchik, and 37 km south-east of Yovkovo, the frontier post at the border with Romania.

Full text:
Known as the capital of Golden Dobroudzha; a regional administrative centre, too.

History. The first traces of life in the town date back to Antiquity. Remains of a Roman settlement (3rd-4th centuries) were discovered to the north of the centre and in the eastern part. An ancient Bulgarian settlement existed here in 8th century. The modern town sprang up in 15th century as a big market village. Unofficially the settlement was known as Kourkouskelya (dry port). According to the Turkish traveller Evlia Chelebi who visited the town in 1651 the latter numbered 2000 houses distributed in 7 quarters. It used to be a brisk trade and craft centre with 3 inns, 200 workshops, and a bazaar (market place) with 100 workshops. At the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century, many Bulgarians from the regions of Odrin, Kotel and Turgovishte settled here. In the course of 18th century and part of 19th century, the town happened to be in the centre of the battlefield of the Russian-Turkish Wars. The town was liberated three times in different periods before the War of Liberation of 1878. The first Bulgarian church in the town called St. Georgi was built in 1843. In the following year, a monastery school in the church was opened. The town hospital was opened in 1866, and 3 years later started its urbanisation. In 1872, the first class school opened its doors. During the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation, the town gave a lot of translators, guides, and victuallers in help of the Russians. The army of General Zimmerman liberated the town on 27 January 1878 without leaving any damage. In 1882 at the insistence of the local inhabitants, the town was called Dobrich (after the name of Dobrotitsa, Bulgarian leader in medieval times, ruler of the area). The town had four delegates at the Constituent National Assembly held in Veliko Turnovo. The opening of the railway line Razdelna - Dobrich - Kardam in 1911 and its extension to the Romanian town Medgidia in 1916 gave an impetus to its development. This Bulgarian town continued to suffer from the vicissitudes of fate. The first Romanian occupation lasted till 1916, and after the Neuilly Treaty of 1919 was included again in the territory of Romania until 1940. Then the Krayova Treaty was signed; and by means of peaceful mechanisms, South Dobroudzha was once and forever given back to Bulgaria. On 25 September 1940, the Bulgarian army entered Dobrich; since then this date has been the official holiday of the town. From 1949 until 1991, the town bore the name of Tolbouhin but after that, it regained its old name. At present, it is the centre of the largest grain-belt in the country called the Bulgarian granary. The town was closely associated with the life and works of Yordan Yovkov, a great Bulgarian writer. The actress Adriana Boudevska was born here.

Landmarks: Yordan Yovkov Historical Museum (in the town centre). The Ethnographic House Museum (in the centre of the town) is in one of the most interesting Revival houses (1861) and illustrates the living conditions, traditions, customs, crafts and culture of particular Bulgarian ethnographic groups emigrating from different parts of the country (the regions of Odrin, Kotel, Turgovishte, etc.). The Ethnographic Complex Stariyat Dobrich (Old Dobrich) (in the town centre - 37, 25th September Street, tel.: 058 29307) has preserved the authenticity of the arts and crafts of the region. Sixteen workshops operate in the area of the museum. The Archaeological Museum (in the town centre, 2 General Gourko Street, tel.: 058 25491). The House-Museum of Yordan Yovkov (in the town centre, 4, General Gourko Street, tel.: 058 28159). The House-Museum of Adriana Boudevska. The Art Gallery (in the town centre, 14, Bulgaria Street, tel.: 058 28215, 29091) exhibiting more than 3000 masterpieces of art - icons, paintings, sculptures, black and white drawings, works of applied arts. Military Graveyard Memorial Complex-Museum. The remains of an ancient Roman settlement (3rd-4th centuries) in the central and eastern parts of the town. The historical St. Georgi Church (in the centre of the town, 25th September Blvd.). The imposing monument to Khan Asparuh - founder of the modern Bulgarian state, and many other monuments. All sights that are open to visitors and have the following working hours: 8.00 a.m. - 12.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays are days off). There is the Yordan Yovkov Theatre of Drama in Dobrich (in the town centre, 5 Bulgaria Street, tel.: 058 operator 863 extensions 25209, 25313) with big and chamber halls.

Accommodation: The Bulgaria Hotel Complex (four-star, in the town centre, 8, Svoboda Square). It offers 290 beds, two restaurants, bars, and a swimming pool. The Sport Palace Hotel (three-star, in the town centre, 1a, 25th September Blvd.). It offers 100 beds, a restaurant, 2 bars, a fitness hall, etc. The Stariya Dobrich Inn (Old Dobrich) (two-star, situated in the ethnographic complex of the same name in the town centre). The Dobroudzha Hotel (three-star, 2, Nezavisimost Street). The Rezidentsiyata Hotel and Restaurant (in Dobrotitsa quarter). The Dobrotitsa Tourist Hostel (a kilometre south of the centre, in the territory of the town park, near the stadium and the monument of Khan Asparuh). It offers 44 beds in two-, eight-, and more-bed rooms. Catering establishments worth visiting: the Lebed Restaurant (three-star), the Bulgarsko Pivo Restaurant (four-star, 38, 25th September Blvd.) as well as many others offering Bulgarian national food and pleasant entertainment.

Tourist Information - at the hotels and in Dobrotitsa Tourist Association (3, General Kisselov Street, tel.: 058 25382, 22219, 28551).

Transport. Dobrich has bus and railway transport. There are regular bus lines to Varna, Balchik, Silistra, Rousse, Kavarna, General Toshevo and other smaller town and villages in the district. The bus station is located in the eastern part of the town on the riverbank (Russia Blvd., tel.: 058 22240). The railway station is on the line Razdelna-Kardam-Medgidia (Romania), which connects the town with the national and European railway systems. The former is situated in the opposite west end of Dobrich (Dobrichka Epopea Blvd. tel.: 058 39078, 23823). There is a transport agency in the town, too (tel.: 058 24432). The town is 51 km away from the airport of Varna, 35 km away from the port of Balchik and 92 km away from the Danubian port of Silistra. There are public bus and trolley transport in Dobrich.

Surrounding areas. Six kilometers away from the town is Kobaklaka area situated in a thick oak forest. Here, it can be found the three-star Dubovete Resort (the Oaks) with a restaurant offering 100 seats with exotic terrace (tel.: 058 42332, mobile phone: 048 953129). There is regular bus transport. The region called Botevska Gora (Botev's Woods) is 16 km south-west of the town in the immediate proximity of the village of Botevo. Nearby is the Vedrinski Dam offering good conditions for rest, sunbathes, water sports, water tourism, and fishing. Here is a chalet named Botevo (reservations in the Dobrotitsa Tourist Association in Dobrich). It offers 24 beds in four-, and eight-bed rooms. The railway station Botevo (on the line Razdelna-Dobrich-Kardam) is a point of departure for the region; all passenger trains halt here. It takes 30 min. to get to the chalet on foot. If the railway station of Donchevo on the same line is a starting point then it will take 1 or 1.30 h on foot. The Batovo valley is 26 km southeast of the town and it offers excellent opportunities for camping, outings, tourism and rest in the realm of the marvellous nature. The Prilep Tourist Hostel offers 25 beds in two rooms (telephone for reservations: 058 25440, 27602 in Dobrich). The villages of Batovo (45 min), Stozher (1.30 hours) and Debrene (1.30 hours) are the points of departure. There is regular bus transport from Dobrich to the three of them.

Provadia (top)
Intro:
The town of Provadia (population: 15 000; 30 m above sea level) is situated on the banks of Provadia River in the south end of the gorge of the same name.

Full text:
It is 435 km northeast of Sofia, 55 km southeast of Shoumen, 47 km west of Varna, and 17 km south-west of Devnya. The Bulgarian saltern.

History. The town is a successor of the Byzantine fortress Provatan (Provat) of 5th century, which in Greek means "sheep". The Bulgarian medieval fortification town on the same place was called Ovech. The remains of these fortresses can be found right above the town in the region of Tashhisar. In different documents, the town appeared with the names of Bourfanto and Ovechgrad. In 13th-14th centuries, the town was a prospering crafts and trading centre. Traders from Doubrovnik and Armenia came here to do business. Ovech was among the most important metropolitan centers in Bulgaria together with Turnovo, Preslav, Cherven, Drustur, and Sredets. It was also called Purvada, Pravada but after all the present day name of Provadia was kept which sounds similar to the first Greek name of the settlement. For decades on end, this had been the place where the famous "singing carts" (over 3000 per year) were made; Yordan Yovkov glorified those in such a poetical manner. In 1844, the St. Nikola Church was erected, and in 1849, a secular school was opened with R. Bluskov as a first teacher there. After the Liberation Provadia underwent a brisk development and now it is the west branch of the industrial axis Varna-Devnya-Provadia. Six kilometers southeast near the railway station of Mirovo is one of the biggest rock salt deposits in the country (about 3900 m deep), which serves for the production of cooking salt. All travellers that had once visited the town had been fascinated by its beauty - "In my opinion there isn't a more wonderful place than this", "A remarkable place", "A town having too nice a view", "An incomparable town"!

Landmarks. The Revival Architecture Museum Complex in the ancient Varosha Quarter with the well known Lambov's House; the Town Museum of History; the Svetoslav Obretenov's House-Museum; the St. Nikola Church (1844); the Clock Tower (16th-17th century); the Old Bazaar.

Accommodation: Balneohotel. The Arkovna Chalet (in the Prolet Park in the rest zone near the town, 1.5 km away from the bus station and 2 km from the railway station). It offers 15 beds in two-, three-, four-, and six-bed rooms. Reservations in the Tourist Association in the town (see below).

Tourist Information - in the hotel and at the Ovech Tourist Association (13, Tsar Osvoboditel Str, tel.: 0518 2040).

Transport. Passengers travel to and from Provadia by bus and train. The railway station is on the main line Sofia-Gorna Oryahovitsa-Varna. There are regular bus lines to Varna, Shoumen, Devnya and other smaller towns and villages in the district. There is a bus station. Due to the short distance to Varna, the town favours the use of air and sea transport.

Surrounding areas. The remains of the Medieval fortress (Byzantine, Bulgarian, Turkish) are situated immediately east above the town in the Tashhisar area (or Kaleto). The rampart from Asparuh's state is also in the immediate proximity to the town. The baths in Provadia are 7 km southeast, near the railway station of Mirovo (on the railway line Sofia - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Varna). The debit of the salty (14°C) and sulphurous (21 °C) water altogether is about 5 liters per second. It is used in balneotherapy. There is regular bus and railway transport to Provadia. The Petricha Chalet is 30 km southeast of Provadia and 4 km away from the village of Avren. It offers 50 beds in two suites and two-, three-, and four-bed rooms. Reservations in the Tourist Association in the town of Beloslav. The village has a regular bus connection with Varna and Beloslav. It takes an hour to get to the chalet from Avren if you go on foot, and if you start at Razdelna railway station, it will take 45 min. You can use your own car. The historical fortress Petrich Kale is 30 min walk away from the chalet. The Byzantine built it in 5th-7th centuries. In 1444, Vladislav Varnenchek destroyed it. There is a museum about the history of the fortress. The rocks around are excellent for climbing. The Lovkata Chalet - a wonderful place for rest, sports and tourism; situated some 10 km east of Provadia and 3 km away from the village of Manastir. The buses of the line Provadia-Devnya stop here. It takes an hour to get from the village to the chalet, and about 2.30 h if you start in the town. The chalet offers 30 beds - one suite and two-, three-, and six-bed rooms. One can walk to the Vul-sheben Izvor (Magic Spring) (4 km away) and to the Petricha chalet (1.30 - 2 hour walk). Reservations in the Tourist Association in Devnya (tel.: 0519 3411). Seventeen kilometers northeast of Provadia is the town of Devnya - the biggest centre of industrial chemistry in Bulgaria; it sprang up as a settlement near the biggest karst springs. The springs of Devnya are 30 in number and have a debit of 3670 liters per second with temperature 17°-20°C. It is where the Roman settlement called Marcianopolis (after the name of emperor Trayan's sister - Marciana) sprang up and was succeeded by the present day town. There is an interesting Museum of Mosaics in Devnya. There is a regular bus line from Devnya to Provadia. Devnya is a railway station on the line Razdelna - Dobrich - Kardam.

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