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Shumen Province
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About Location

Shumen is the tenth-largest city in Bulgaria and capital of Shumen Province.In the period 1950–1965 it was called Kolarovgrad, after the name of the communist leader Vasil Kolarov.As of February 2011, the town has a population of 80,885 inhabitants.The city lies 80 km west of Varna and is built within a cluster of hills, northern outliers of the eastern Balkans, which curve round it on the west and north in the shape of a horse-shoe.A rugged ravine intersects the ground longitudinally within the horse-shoe ridge.From Shumen roads radiate northwards to the Danubian cities of Rousse and Silistra and to Dobruja, southwards to the passes of the Balkans and eastwards to Varna and Balchik.According to Census 2011, Shumen has a population of 82,557 inhabitants as of February 2011.The number of the residents of the city reached its peak in the period 1990-1991 when exceeded 110,000.The following table presents the change of the population after the liberation of the country in 1878.In 811 Shumen in the First Bulgarian Empire was burned by the emperor Nicephorus and he was brutally killed by Krum of Bulgaria then long time passed to 1087 when the city was besieged by Alexius I.During the golden age of Bulgarian culture under Simeon the Great (866-927), Shumen was a centre of cultural and religious activity and may have born the name Simeonis.Until the 15th century, the city was located around the Shumen Fortress, a sophisticated complex of defensive installations, religious and civil buildings.In 1388 the sultan Murad I forced it to surrender to the Ottoman Turks.After Wladyslaw Warnenczyk's unsuccessful crusade in 1444, the city was destroyed by the Ottomans and moved to its present location.It was known by the Ottomans as Sumnu.In the 18th century it was enlarged and fortified.Three times in 1774, 1810 and 1828, it was unsuccessfully attacked by Russian armies.The Turks consequently gave it the name of Gazi ("Victorious").In 1854 it was the headquarters of Omar Pasha and the point at which the Turkish army concentrated (See Crimean War).

During the 19th century Shumen was an important centre of the Bulgarian National Revival with the first celebration of Cyril and Methodius in the Bulgarian lands taking place on 11 May 1813 and the first theatre performance.A girls religious school was established in 1828, a class school for girls and a chitalishte (community centre) followed in 1856.The first Bulgarian symphony orchestra was founded in the city in 1850.In the same year, influential Hungarian politician and revolutionary leader Lajos Kossuth spent a part of his exile in the then-Ottoman town of Shumen.The house he lived in is still preserved as a museum.On the 22nd June 1878 Shumen finally capitulated to the Russians and became part of the newly-independent Principality of Bulgaria.In 1882 the Shumen Brewery, one of the first breweries in Bulgaria was founded.PFC Panayot Volov is the local football club and uses a stadium of the same name as its home ground.Basketball, volleyball and handball are also represented and most of the games are held at the Mladost sports centre.Other sporting activities include martial arts (mostly karate) and horse racing. Shumen has its own rallying tournament, the Stari Stolitsi.Shumen boasts the Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria, regarded as the only monument in the world to depict the history of a whole country from its creation to the present day.The Shumen Fortress, partially restored after being destroyed by the Ottomans in the past, is an important historical monument of the medieval Bulgarian Empire.It is located not far from the city on the Shumen Plateau.The Madara Horseman, a World Heritage Site and an only such example of medievel rock art in Europe, is an ancient (710 AD) monument usually attributed to the Bulgar culture and lies some 20 km from Shumen.The religious buildings in the city include the Eastern Orthodox Holy Three Saints Cathedral and Holy Ascension Basilica, as well as the Sherif Halil Pasha mosque (also known as the Tombul Mosque), the largest mosque in Bulgaria and one of the largest in the Balkans, serving Shumen and the region's Muslim minority.

How to Reach

By Air

Varna Airport (IATA: VAR, ICAO: LBWN) is the closest airport to Shumen.There are domestic and international flights to about 70 destinations in 25 countries, more than 100 Bulgarian and foreign airlines.The airport is close to the Port of Varna and the railway system.The airport has one concrete pavement runway 09/27 with ILS CAT I system on 09 edge and a parking apron for 24 aircraft.From 15 October 2011 until 28 February 2012, Varna airport will be closed for a reconstruction of the runaway.All flights will be operated on Bourgas Airport.

By Train

Shumen is an important railway station on Sofia-Varna railway line.It is a starting point for the railway line to Karnobat.Near Shumen 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 Shumen.

By Bus

There are regular bus lines from Shumen to Varna, Rousse, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra, Karnobat, Pliska, Preslav and other smaller towns and villages in the district.

Key places to visit
Tombul Mosque, Shumen fortress, Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument, Madara Horseman, Shumen Drama Theatre


Places to Visit

Tombul Mosque

is a mosque located in Shumen, is the largest mosque in Bulgaria and among the largest on the Balkans.Built between 1740 and 1744, it was initially located in the northeastern Bulgarian (then Ottoman) town's centre, but is now in Shumen's southwest parts as the town centre shifted.The mosque's name comes from the shape of its dome.The mosque's complex consists of a main edifice (a prayer hall), a yard and a twelve-room extension (a boarding house of the madrasa).The main edifice is in its fundamental part a square, then becomes an octagon passing to a circle in the middle part and is topped by a spheric dome that is 25 m above ground.The interior has mural paintings of vegetable life and geometric figures and features a lot of inscriptions in Arabic, phrases from the Quran.The yard is known for the arches in front of the twelve rooms that surround it and the minaret is 40 m high.

Shumen fortress

is located on the plateau, near the town of Shumen.The castle is located two kilometers west of the town of Shumen.The region is an important crossroads of routes linking the Danube bank (in Silistra) to Adrianople and Constantinople and the northern Black Sea coast with the western Bulgarian lands.The place was inhabited more than 3000 years - Archaeological studies show that the area was inhabited as early as the XII century BC.The first inhabitants here are the Thracians, probably from the tribe gaiters.Around 1200 BC they built the first settlement, which originally was not fortified. Thus Shumen fortress is a peer of Priamova Troy (or more precisely, of Troy VIIb layer). It is believed that around V century BC, built a wall that is not preserved one hundred tourist sites Open year round, has a seal. As it works and museum.The castle is among the best studied archaeological monuments in our country. Excavations were conducted during the 1,957th - 1,987th on (Most active during the 1974 - 1981 on). When they were discovered three walls - Roman, early Byzantine (later used by the Bulgarians and Ottomans) and the Second Bulgarian State, with a typical period for each tower. Found the remains of the early Byzantine bathroom drains, two water reservoirs, 12 churches (including the so-called "cult center" where the basis of four churches in one place), citadel.

Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument

is a large monument built on a plateau above the city of Shumen, Bulgaria. It was built in 1981 to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of the First Bulgarian Empire.The monument is built in concrete in a Cubist style, and designed by Bulgarian sculptors Krum Damyanov and Ivan Slavov. It is reached by a processional concrete stairway from Shumen, or by road[2]. It stands at a height of 450 m above sea level and can be seen from 30 km away.

Madara Horseman

a World Heritage Site and an only such example of medievel rock art in Europe, is an ancient (710 AD) monument usually attributed to the Bulgar culture and lies some 20 km from an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau east of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria, near the village of Madara.The Madara Rider is depicted on the obverse of smaller Bulgarian coins (1 to 50 stotinki) issued in 1999 and 2000.A June 29, 2008, official survey on the design of Bulgaria's future euro coins was won by the Madara Horseman with 25.44 percent of the votes.The relief depicts a majestic horseman 23 m (75 ft) above ground level in an almost vertical 100 m (328 ft)-high cliff. The horseman, facing right, is thrusting a spear into a lion lying at his horse's feet.An eagle is flying in front of the horseman and a dog is running after him. The scene symbolically depicts a military triumph.The dating means the monument was created during the rule of Bulgar Khan Tervel, and supports the thesis that it is a portrayal of the khan himself and a work of the Bulgars, a nomadic tribe of warriors which settled in northeastern Bulgaria at the end of the 7th century AD and after merging with the local Slavs gave origin to the modern Bulgarians.Other theories connect the relief with the ancient Thracians, claiming it portrays a Thracian god.

Shumen Drama Theatre

is located on the Boulevard "Slavic" and a cast consisting of 30 people.He is known for the first theatrical performance in Bulgaria.Each year 11 to May 16 in the theater are held Drumevi theater festivals New Bulgarian Drama aimed at promoting and realizing the dramatic works of Bulgarian authors.

Right Time to Visit

August - December
January - May


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