Stara Zagora

Stara Zagora (Стара Загора) is a city in Northern Thrace, Bulgaria.


Stara Zagora is the center of the Stara Zagora province. With over 8000 years of history, it is one of the oldest continuously populated places in Europe. Being the center of booming industry, having a remarkable culture, and numerous tourist attractions, the beauty of the city of linden continues to be an appealing destination for travelers. Don't miss the Roman Villa Mosaics, the Neolithic Dwellings, the Regional Art Gallery, and the countless coffee-shops and art-galleries, which give the city the feeling of a small Paris.

Geography and climate

Situated almost in the geographical center of Bulgaria, Stara Zagora is linked with major roads and railroads to the rest of the country and the neighboring Turkey, Greece and Romania. In less than 4 hours drive, you can be in all these three countries by very decent roads.

Sheltered from the north winds by the mountains of Sredna Gora and the Balkans, Stara Zagora enjoys very mild winters, long springs and falls. Thanks to the big amount of trees, the summers in the city are sufferable and not very hot, with specific micro-climate. The rich soils and its geographical situation were the main reason behind the 8000 years

History of Stara Zagora

The Roman Amphitheatre

In the city limits of today Stara Zagora, the place was continuously inhabited since the Neolithic (8000 + years ago) through the times of the Thracians, to achieve its glory in the past during the Roman times. Then the city was called Augusta Traiana and it was one of the most prominent cities in the Roman Province of Thrace. Huge avenues, covered with marble slabs, lined with statues, and a large amount of archaeological artifacts remain from this period, including the Roman Walls and Gate of the city, mosaics and the Roman Forum.

During the centuries to follow, the city was called Beroe, Irinopolis, Eski Zagra and finally – Stara Zagora (old city behind the mountain). Just before the liberation from the Ottoman Empire, the city was burned 3 times in the late 1800s and there is not too much left to see from the medieval or Bulgarian National Revival buildings. The exceptions are the few churches and monasteries within the city limits, as well as a 15th century Ottoman mosque with amazing frescoes, declared now a National Monument of Culture.

Modern life

After its rebuilding in the end of the 19 and beginning of the 20th century, Stara Zagora became one of the few Bulgarian cities build on grid. This was also the time that the large boulevards and small streets were lined up with linden trees, giving the city the aroma of late spring perfume so enchanting in the beginning of June.

Stara Zagora was also called the city of “poets” since many Bulgarian poets were born, spend their lives and created amazing poetry here, in the inspiring surroundings of one of the most prominent cultural centers in Bulgaria. Stara Zagora also has the first Opera House built outside of Sofia, one of the oldest telephone communication systems and the first robotics plant in Bulgaria.

Now it continues to be the center for prosperous cultural life, and important industrial and agricultural center.

Get in

Situated almost in the geographical center of Bulgaria, Stara Zagora is linked with major roads and railroads to the rest of the country and the neighboring Turkey, Greece, and Romania. In less than 4 hours drive, you can be in all these three countries by very decent roads.

By plane

Local airport accessible for small private planes.

By train

Stara Zagora is a major railroad hub, linking all Danube countries and North Europe (Romania, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine) to the Mediterranean with the line Rousse - Svilengrad - Istanbul.

Additionally, the city is on the crossroads between east - west railroad line Burgas - Sofia.

By car

By bus

Busline lik Stara Zagora with all cities in Bulgaria and almost all towns and some of the villages. Regular lines every hour or half an hour from/to Sofia, Plovdiv, Haskovo, Bourgas, Sliven, Veliko Turnovo /Rousse, Varna, etc.


Samarsko Zname Monument

With a history of more than eight millennia, the region of Stara Zagora continues to give to scientists and lovers of history the pleasure of new archaeological and historical finds. Unearthed almost on a daily basis, these artifacts are making the headlines around the world. Stara Zagora Regional Museum of History continues to be a scientific center for research and preservation of 130,000 precious objects from all periods of the human history in South Eastern Europe. The museum is also a center for enlightenment, entertainment , and enjoyment of the region’s rich cultural heritage for more than 100 years.

During the excavation of the Neolithic houses, 1826 artifacts were found. The houses are the best-preserved in Europe from this period. Kitchens, fireplaces, hand grain mills, and ceramic vessels comprise the richest inventory of VI Millennia prehistoric house life in Europe.

The Prehistoric Art Exhibition hosts 333 of the most important finds from the Neolithic, Eneolithic, and Chalcolitic periods (VI Millennia B.C. – III Millennia B.C.).



Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, September 17, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.