Kazanlak

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Kazanlak, Bulgaria
Казанлък
The Center of Kazanlak
The Center of Kazanlak
Nickname(s): The Town of the Roses and the Thracian Kings
Kazanlak, Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
Kazanlak, Bulgaria
Kazanlak, Bulgaria
Location of Kazanlak on a map of Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°37′N 25°24′E / 42.617°N 25.400°E / 42.617; 25.400
Country Bulgaria
Province Stara Zagora
Government
 • Mayor Galina Stoyanova
Area
 • City 36.067 km2 (13.926 sq mi)
Elevation 407 m (1,335 ft)
Population (Feb 2011 [1][2][3])
 • City 47,325
 • Density 1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
 • Metro 76,849
Time zone UTC/GMT +02:00 hours
Postal code 6100
Area code(s) 0431
Website Official website

Kazanlak (alternative transliterations include Kazanlǎk, Kazanlâk, Kazanluk, Bulgarian: Казанлъ̀к, Thracian and Greek Σευθόπολις (Seuthopolis) is a Bulgarian town in Stara Zagora Province, located in the middle of the plain of the same name, at the foot of the Balkan mountain range, at the eastern end of the Rose Valley. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Kazanlak Municipality.

The town is among the 15 biggest industrial centres in Bulgaria, with a population of 47,325 people as of Feb 2011.[1][2][3]

It is the center of rose oil extraction in Bulgaria and the oil-producing rose of Kazanlak is one of the most widely recognizable national symbols.

History[edit]

Fresco in the 4th century BCE Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The oldest settlement in the area of the modern-day city dates back to the Neolithic era (6th-5th millennium BCE). During the 4th-3rd centuries BCE the lands on the upper Tundzha river were within the dominion of the Thracian ruler Seuthes III and took an important place in the historical development of Thrace during the Hellenistic era. The Thracian city of Seuthopolis (Σευθόπολις) was uncovered near Kazanlak and thoroughly studied at the time of the construction of the Koprinka Reservoir. In the 4th century BCE, near the ancient Thracian capital of Seuthopolis and close to the city, a magnificent Thracian tomb was built. Consisting of a vaulted brickwork "beehive" (tholos) tomb, it contains, among other things, painted murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

In the Middle Ages the valley became an administrative center of the Krun region where the Bulgarian boyar Aldimir (Eltimir) ruled. After 1370 Kazanlak was under Ottoman dominion.

The pedestrianized centre of modern Kazanlak off Seuthopolis Square.

The modern city dates back to the beginning of the 15th century. It was founded as a military fortress to protect the Shipka Pass and later developed as a city of craftsmen. More than 50 handcrafts developed such as tanning, coppersmithing, goldsmithing, frieze weaving, shoemaking, cooperage and, of course, rose cultivation. The oil-producing rose, imported from India via Persia, Syria and Turkey, found all the necessary conditions to thrive — proper temperature, high moisture and light, sandy, cinnamon-forest soils. Kazanlak rose oil has won gold medals at expositions in Paris, London, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Laet, and Milan. After Bulgarian independence the handcrafts declined due to the loss of the markets in the huge Ottoman Empire. The textile, aerospace and military industries were developed.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

The Bulgarian climate is temperate, with average temperatures from 0 °C (32 °F) to 1.5 °C (34.7 °F) in January, and 21 °C (70 °F) in July. The average altitude is 350 m (1,150 ft).

Spring temperatures rise comparatively early and are usually above 5 °C (41 °F) (in the first half of March) and above 10 °C (50 °F) (in the first half of April) but sometimes there are also some cold spring periods.

The summer temperatures are moderate and the average summer rainfall is rather high, especially at the beginning of summer. During the second half of the summer and the beginning of the autumn, there are continuous drops in rainfall. Until the middle of November, the average autumn temperature is above 5 °C (41 °F), and above 10 °C (50 °F) until the end of October.

The winter is mild, with comparatively low snowfall, short-lasting snow-cover and low minimum temperatures. The highest rainfall is in June, and the lowest in February and March. The general wind direction is from northeast.

Relief[edit]

Rose pickers in the Valley of the Roses, with the Balkan Mountains in the background.

The town of Kazanlak and the surrounding region is situated in the western part of the Kazanlak Valley. There are various soil types, mostly maroon soils (about 50%) which are very suitable for growing oleaginous cultures and herbs.

The Kazanlak Valley was formed during the Quaternary Period with the rise of the Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountains and the submergence of the Fore-Balkan fields. The fault character of the Valley is evidenced by the hot mineral springs near the village of Ovoshtnik, Yagoda and the town of Pavel Banya.

Morphologically, the Kazanlak Valley is divided into three areas. The western area is the broadest one and has a lot of hills due to the numerous alluvials, formed by the rivers flowing through the Balkan Mountains. Although the average altitude is 350 m (1,150 ft), here it reaches up to 500 m (1,600 ft). The central area is narrower and lower, and the relief of the eastern area is much more complex.

Soils and mineral resources[edit]

Soil cover is closely related to the relief, climate, flora of the region and the economical activity of the man. The varied Bulgarian natural environment has produced about 20 soil types and subtypes.

This region is characterised mainly by cinnamon-forest soil. The spreading of the accumulative river materials along the Tundzha river and the Eninska river has formed alluvial soil types and subtypes. The draining and the deeply intended geological base together with the drought-resistant and thermophilic forest vegetation (oak, field elm, hornbeam) are the reason for the spreading of the forest soils.

The arable lands related to this soil type are inclined and that leads to the degradable effect of the plane, linear and ravine erosion. The alluvial soils are high-productive — they are represented by arable lands of I, II and III category. They cover two thirds of the searched territory and this is an obstruction to the town growth.

The lands are planted mainly with roses and perennial plants. Low-productive and degraded lands are located only north-east of Kazanlak. Part of them are covered with meadows and pastures.This region is not rich in mineral resources of industrial importance but there are several non-metalliferous minerals of local importance. There is a clay deposit for brick manufacturing in Manastirska Niva locality two km west of Kazanlak. A greisen-pit for broken stone, paving stones, and kerbs is located 7 km (4.3 mi) east of the town in Kara Dere locality.

Sand, gravel, and felt are extracted from the pits near the villages of Ovoshtnik and Cherganovo. There are granite pits near the villages of Kanchevo and Bouzovgrad. The granite is used for kerbs, paving stones, and others.

Water resources[edit]

Luvova Cheshma, or Lion's Fountain, founded in 1903, in Seuthopolis Square.

The Kazanlak valley is drained by the Tundzha river and its tributaries. The Tundzha river rises in the highest part of the Balkan east of Mount Botev, flows across several fields — Kalofersko Pole, Kazanlashko Pole, Slivensko Pole, Yambolsko Pole and Elhovsko Pole and empties into the Maritsa river. The total length of its Bulgarian section is 349.5 km (217.2 mi), and its drainage basin area is 7,834 km2 (3,025 sq mi). The river flows slowly in Kazanlak valley near the north slopes of Sredna Gora mountain. The average annual water quantity increases southwards.

At Koprinka dam it is 9.5 cubic metres (2,100 imp gal) per second on average or about 300,000,000 cubic metres (6.6×1010 imp gal) per year; at the village of Knezha it is 31.14 cubic metres (6,850 imp gal) per second or 1,200,000,000 cubic metres (2.6×1011 imp gal) per year. But this water quantity is not equally distributed during the whole year. The maximum is in spring (April and May) due to the intensive snow melting and high rainfalls in spring. The underground waters of the considerable in range and flow rate alluvial cones play an important role in the drain regulation during summer season when the rainfall is minimum. Southwest of the village of Koprinka the river valley is deeply cut in the slope of Sredna Gora mountain and this narrowness was used for the Koprinka dam construction which permits the irrigation of the land round Kazanlak and Stara Zagora. Many tributaries feed the Tundzha river; those rising in the Balkan mountains are numerous and deeper.

The rivers Tazha, Leshnitsa, Eninska and Maglizhka and their deeply cut in the Balkan slopes valleys are of remarkable beauty. The Kran river rises in the village of Kran and collecting several spring flows through the western part of the town and gradually disappears in the terrace materials of the Tundzha river.

The Eninska river rises in the Balkan, collects the waters of many springs, flows through the eastern part of Kazanlak and empties into the Tundzha river south of the town. Both tributaries have deeply cut valleys in their upper courses. In the lower courses the terrain is not so inclined and the river beds are wider. The average annual water quantity of the Eninska river at the village of Enina is 0.75 cubic metres (160 imp gal) per second. The maximum water flow is in April and May, at 1.70 cubic metres (370 imp gal) and 1.49 cubic metres (330 imp gal) per second, respectively. The minimum is in September at 0.20 cubic metres (7.1 cu ft) per second. These tributaries (especially the Eninska river) are characterised by plenty of alluvial formations.

Many gullies run down the slopes of Tulbeto hill (located in the north-eastern part of the town) when heavy rain falls or snow melts and carry to the Eninska river heavy alluvial formations. Two or three km north of Kazanlak the rivers Eninska and Kranska are connected by a drain carrying off the water directed towards the town. South of the town there is another drain system carrying the disappearing in the alluvial cone waters from the rivers Eninska and Kranska towards the Tundzha river.

Population[edit]

During the first decade after the liberation of Bulgaria, in the 1880s the population of Kazanlak numbered about 9,000.[4] Since then it started growing decade by decade, mostly because of the migrants from the rural areas and the surrounding smaller towns, reaching its peak in 1985 exceeding 60,000.[2] After this time, the population has started decreasing rapidly in consequence of the poor economic situation in the Bulgarian provinces during the 1990s that led to a new migration in the direction of the country capital Sofia and abroad.

Kazanlak
Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2011
Population 9,180 10,568 14,843 20,096 30,934 44,384 53,593 61,052 60,095 54,021 47.235
Highest number ?? in ??
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[1] „citypopulation.de“,[2] „pop-stat.mashke.org“,[3] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[4]

Culture[edit]

Rosarium Park.

Kazanlak has a long, solid tradition in the area of culture and enlightenment. At the every beginning of the Revival, the populace of Kazanlak was already opening school and cultural reading centers — including the Pedagogical school of Kazanlak, which prepared teachers for the entire country. For many well-known Bulgarian artists and performers, this was the place where their physical and creative lives began. The cultural centre of Kazanlak is the Iskra chitalishte, founded in 1860. It contains a library, theatre, cinema, and museum. It was host to the first Bulgarian opera, Siromahkinya.[5]

  • Iskra Library — one of the oldest libraries in Bulgaria, founded in 1860, now holds over 500 volumes.
  • Rosarium Park with many spots for recreation.
  • The House — museums of famous Bulgarian artists Dechko Uzunov and Nenko Balkanski.
  • The Thracian tombs. The remains discovered from the ancient Thracian culture — objects, jewelry, and vessels of gold, silver, bronze and clay — have long since become part of the world historical legacy.

Iskra Town History Museum[edit]

The Iskra Town History Museum is one of the first provincial town museums in Bulgaria. It was founded on June 29, 1901, by Peter Topuzov — a bright man of enterprise from Kazanlak and by decision of the leaders of Iskra Studious Club. More than 50 000 exhibits revealing the history of Kazanlak area from ancient times until nowadays have been kept at Iskra museum. The finds from Thracian town of Seuthopolis are displayed in three separate halls. Temporary exhibitions with valuable articles from this museum and loan-collections are arranged during the active tourist season.

Rose Museum [6][edit]

The museum is a part of the Historical Museum “Iskra” in Kazanlak. In 1967 a small exposition was created, which was dedicated to rose-picking in Kazanlak and the region. In 1969 the exposition grew into an independent museum. Nowadays the Rose Museum stores more than 15 000 exponents related to rose-picking and rose-production in Bulgaria. The museum exposition includes original pictures and documents of the development of rose production, instruments for processing of the rose gardens, vessels for storing and exporting rose oil and rose water. Restorations of a rose warehouse and the first laboratory for examination of rose oil created in 1912 are made in the museum. One of the biggest attractions in the museum is a rose oil vessel which had been used for the last time in 1947 to this day a strong rose scent can still be smelled around it.

Koulata Ethnographic Complex[edit]

The charming cobbled Mirska Street is located in the oldest part of the city – Koulata District, which is near the world-famous Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak. This is where traditional architecture from the period of the Bulgarian National Revival (18th–19th centuries) can be found. The traditional buildings there constitute Koulata Ethnographic Complex, restored and open to visitors since 1976. They “take us back” to the unique, diverse material culture of Bulgarians from the Kazanlak region of the past. Before stepping through the big gate, one can hear the clanking of the coppersmiths’ hammers in the distance. Their “song” tells the storey of the typical local coppersmiths’ craft. Just opposite are the violin-makers, and right next door is the goldsmith’s. The country house nestles among bushes and trees. It is one-storied, asymmetrical, and in architectural terms has the characteristic of the Balkan velley houses from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. The life-style of the late 19th and early 20th century inhabitants of the region is shown in the restored houses from the time of the Bulgarian Renaissance. The artefacts displayed here are kept at Ethnography department. Kazanlak was a famous craftsmen town in the near past. Today you are given the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of the past, to feast your eyes on the Bulgarian Renaissance architecture, to watch activities done by hand as it was long, long ago and to try some of the rose industry products — rose jam, liqueur, and of course gyulovitsa (rose brandy).

Buzludzha National Park[edit]

Buzludzha National Park rises east of the Shipka pass. It is a very important part of Bulgarian history — here, on July 30, 1868, Hadzhi Dimitar fell in battle. He was at the head of a small group of rebels fighting the numerous Turkish enemy. In 1961 a monument was built here to commemorate this act of heroism. The impressive marble figure of Hadji Dimiter is outlined against the green background of the pine-trees. Near it, under the venerable beeches, a stone bas relief commemorates another event in Bulgarian history — founding of the Bulgarian Socialist Party on August 2, 1891, after a clandestine congress. Buzludzha with its numerous chalets, rest homes and hotels offers excellent opportunities for the lovers of winter sports and tourism.

The Buzovgrad megalith[edit]

The Buzovgrad megalith

The Buzovdrad megalithic formation is located in the foot of the Sredna Gora mountains near the village of Buzovgrad, 5 km south of Kazanlak. The site was described as a thracian sanctuary by the renowned thracologist Alexander Fol. According to his estimations the Buzovgrad megalith was used as a rock sanctuary around 1800 - 1600 BCE. According to thracian religious beliefs, sunrise is a symbol of birth and creation, and sunset reflects death and the world of the dead. In that context, people believed that the sanctuary represented “a door leading to another world”. It is thought to have been used for religious rituals and for the funerals of Thracian aristocrats and priests. Alexander Fol himself described the sight as the Solar gate or the Gate of the Mother Goddess.

Shipka National Park[edit]

Shipka National Park is founded on the same area where the bloody battles of the Russian-Turkish Liberation War occurred during the 1870s. It represents a complex of memorial tablets, monuments, trenches, and bunkers reminiscent of the battle.

On the top of the mount at Shipka rises the "Freedom Monument". It was paid for by voluntary donations of the Bulgarian people and built after the design of Atanas Donkov, an architect and Alexander Andreev, a sculptor. The monument was opened officially in 1934. The located on the monument's levels expositions relate the story of Russian soldiers' and Bulgarian volunteers' heroism during the five-month defence of the pass. From the last ground there is a panorama of the restored details of the battle field, monuments and common graves reminiscent of the self-sacrifice of the Russian and Bulgarian heroes.

The locality offers excellent conditions for relaxation and tourism. Several shops, cafes with well stocked wet-bar, camping, a comfortable hotel-restaurant and a petrol station are available for the visitors.

The national Shipka-Buzludza park-museum includes Shipka Memorial Church (or Church of the Nativity) near the town of Shipka, Shipka National Park, Freedom Monument near the village of Sheinovo and Buzludza National Park.

The Shipka Memorial Church[edit]

The Russian-style Shipka Memorial Church.

The Shipka Memorial Church is located only 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Kazanlak, at the south foot of the Stara Planina mountains near the town of Shipka. It was erected after Bulgarian independence as a monument to both Russian and Bulgarian dead. The golden domes and the green and pink coloured facade loom against the mountains and attract the attention of the travellers in the Shipka pass. The project design following the 17th-century Russian church architecture with arks, friezes, pediments, and gold-plated ornaments, was the work of the Czech architect A.I. Tomisko. The main entrance has three arks, topped off with the distinctive 50-metre (160 ft) high spire of the bell tower. There are 17 bells, the heaviest of them weighs about 12 metric tons (12 long tons; 13 short tons). The lime-tree iconostasis is richly decorated with gilded wood-carvings and is of great artistic value. The icons in the church were presented by Russian monks from the monastery of St. Pantaleimon on Mount Athos — Greece.The names of the Russian regiments and of both Russian and Bulgarian dead are inscribed on 34 marble plates built in the walls of the church. The honoured dust of the Russian soldiers killed at Shipka Pass (1877–78) have been kept in 17 stone sarcophagi in the crypt. The Shipka Memorial church was ceremoniously consecrated on 27 September 1902.

Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak[edit]

The tomb is part of a large Thracian necropolis. It comprises a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast. The monument dates back to the 4th century BCE and has been on the UNESCO protected World Heritage Site list since 1979. The murals are memorable for the splendid horses and for a gesture of farewell, in which the seated couple grasp each other's wrists in a moment of tenderness and equality (according to Lyudmila Zhivkova—a view that is not shared by all specialists). The paintings are Bulgaria's best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period.

The tomb is situated near the ancient Thracian capital of Seuthopolis in a region where more than a thousand tombs of kings and members of the Thracian aristocracy can be found.

The seated woman of the murals is depicted on the reverse of the Bulgarian 50 stotinki coin issued in 2005.[7]

The Kosmatka Tomb[edit]

Reproduction of a portrait bust of Seuthes III from the Kosmatka tomb.

One of the most impressive monuments of the Thracian civilization in the Valley of the Thracian Kings, is the heroon (a temple-tomb of a hero of royal status) of Seuthes III. In the summer of 2004 a team of Bulgarian archaeologists unearthed a large, intact Thracian mausoleum dating back from the 5th century BCE near the Bulgarian town of Shipka, Kazanlak municipality. The temple was buried under the 20-metre (66 ft) high “Golyamata Kosmatka” mound. "This is probably the richest tomb of a Thracian king ever discovered in Bulgaria. Its style and its making are entirely new to us as experts," said Georgi Kitov, the head of the team.

The Kosmatka Tomb represents a remarkable Thracian heroon built accordingly to the Orphic traditions of the end of the 5th or beginning of the 4th century BCE. Serving also as a symbolic tomb of Seuthes III, it contained an enormous treasure, exhibited now in the Iskra Museum and Art Gallery. More than 70 silver, gold and bronze objects, which were used as ritual offering to the gods, were discovered during the excavations.

The temple was used between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 3rd century BCE, when a symbolic burial ceremony of Seuthes III took place, the famous founder of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis, located only 10 km (6.2 mi) away. After the symbolic burial ceremony, the temple was closed and the entrance sealed and buried.

Literary and Art Museum of "Chudomir"[edit]

Among the town’s more interesting attractions is the house of the acclaimed Bulgarian writer, artist, and activist Dimitar Chorbadzhiiski, whose pen name was Chudomir (1890-1967). The house was declared a museum the year after his death, in 1968, and now has the status of a national historical cultural landmark, as confirmed by Protocol 15 of the State Records for December 3, 1968. The museum complex, remodeled and reopened in 1979, now includes the artist’s house and an art exhibition and related documents housed in three halls, covering an area of 300 square meters. Here there are more than 15,000 original manuscripts, paintings, sketches, letters, books, and personal effects that belonged to Chudomir and his wife, the artist Mara Chorbadzhiiska. This is the only museum in Bulgaria dedicated to both literature and art, and it is also the headquarters of the respected Chudomir Cultural Foundation. The museum is also one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.

Economy[edit]

Rose industry[edit]

Courtyard of the Rose Museum.
A rose in the Rose Museum.

The city lies at the eastern end of the famous Rose Valley. It is flanked with mid-height mountain ranges on opposite sides, and is especially marvellous in May when rose fields blossom and the fragrance is unparalleled. The harvesting of roses, and the production of rose oil for export to international parfumiers, is of major importance to the local economy. There is one rose oil factory in Kazanlak.

According to The Ultimate Visual Encyclopedia, Bulgaria is the major supplier of a certain type of rose oil in the world and Kazanlak's rose gardens are the largest rose gardens in the whole world. It is the only place in the entire world that can grow this particular rose.

Rose Festival[edit]

The Rose Festival is one of the most remarkable events in Bulgaria, dedicated to beauty and flowers, to spring and the fragrance of the priceless Kazanlak rose. The beautiful celebrations for the blossom of the roses there takes place in the first week of June. The whole week is filled with different attractions every day. That week is also interesting, because there is a beauty pageant and on the last day of the celebrations, for the most beautiful girl in the city is chosen. They call her "The Queen Of Roses". The Rose Festival was celebrated for the first time in 1903 and since then it has traditionally been held during the first weekend of June. This is the season when the gentle oleaginous Kazanlak rose comes to bloom, filling the air with its scent. Nowadays the Rose Festival has evolved into an international event where thousands of tourists and guests of the town are entertained.

Other industries[edit]

Prominent among Kazanlak's manufacturers is Arsenal Corp. Founded in 1924, it manufactures and develops a wide range of military equipment, including small arms (especially AK-47 models), anti-aircraft missiles, and heavy machine guns.

Also located in the city are M+S Hydraulic and Caproni JSC, manufacturers of hydraulic components.

Kazanlak has three textile factories, one for woolen cloth, the second producing thread of different types and the last producing cloth from synthetic materials.

Education[edit]

Sts. Cyril and Methodius High School

Kazanlak is home to the following schools:

  • SOU Ekzarh Antim I
  • OU Paisiy Hilendarski
  • PMG Nikola Obreshkov
  • HG Sts. Cyril and Metodius
  • Bulgarska Roza Secondary School
  • TMET Ivan Hadjienov
  • Mati Bolgaria
  • Transport Technical School
  • Hydravlika Vocational School
  • Academician Dechko Uzunov
  • National High School of Plastic Arts and Design [3]

Famous people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Kazanlak is twinned with:

Country City Date
Egypt Egypt Alexandria 2006
Egypt Egypt Luxor 2006
France France Grasse 2004
Iran Iran kashan 2009
France France Saint-Herblain 2008
Greece Greece Veria 2001
Russia Russia Tolyatti 1994
Japan Japan Fukuyama 1995
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Kočani 2007
Hungary Hungary Nagykanizsa 1970
Romania Romania Târgovişte 2004

Honour[edit]

Kazanlak Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Kazanlak.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°37′N 25°24′E / 42.617°N 25.400°E / 42.617; 25.400