Collage of views of Veliko Tarnovo, Top:View of Tsarevets Fortress, Middle left:Saint Peter and Paul Church, Middle right:Saint Demetrius church, Bottom upper left:Boris Denev Art Gallery, Bottom lower left:Saint Forty Martyrs Church, Bottom right:The monument of the Assens
|• Mayor||Daniel Panov|
|• Total||30.379 km2 (11.729 sq mi)|
|Elevation||220 m (720 ft)|
|Population (Census February 2011).||200,292 Metro|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages, the city was among the main European centres of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature. Veliko Tarnovo is an important administrative, economic, educational, and cultural centre of Northern Bulgaria.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Climate
- 3 History
- 4 Population
- 5 Education
- 6 Tourism
- 7 Health
- 8 Monuments
- 9 Parks
- 10 Economy
- 11 International relations
- 12 Honour
- 13 Sport
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The most widespread theory for the name's origin claims, that the original names Tarnovgrad and Tarnovo come from the Old Bulgarian тръневъ (tranev) or тръновъ (tranov), meaning "thorny". The suffix "grad" means "city" in Bulgarian and in many Slavic languages. In 1965, in addition to the original name was added the word велико (veliko), meaning "great", in honour of the city as an old capital of Bulgaria. This also helps distinguish it from the town of Malko Tarnovo.
Veliko Tarnovo has a Temperate climate: cold snowy winters and hot summers. The average minimum temperature in the coldest month - January is about−3 °C (27 °F), while the average maximum in August, the hottest months is 31 °C (88 °F). The highest recorded temperature is 43.1 °C (110 °F), while the lowest - −28.1 °C (−19 °F), though according to unofficial data the temperature had dropped to −38 °C (−36 °F).
|Climate data for Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria (2000-)|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||48
Prehistory and antiquity
Veliko Tarnovo is one of the oldest settlements in Bulgaria, with a history of more than five millennia. The first traces of human presence, dating from the 3rd millennium BC, were discovered on Trapezitsa Hill.
Medieval Bulgarian rule
Veliko Tarnovo, originally Tarnovgrad (Търновград), grew quickly to become the strongest Bulgarian fortification of the Middle Ages between the 12th and 14th century and the most important political, economic, cultural and religious centre of the empire. The city was described by Bulgarian cleric Gregory Tsamblak in the 14th century as "a very large city, handsome and surrounded by walls with 12,000 to 15,000 inhabitants".
As the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Tarnovo was a quasi-cosmopolitan city, with many foreign merchants and envoys. It is known that Tarnovo had Armenian, Jewish and Roman Catholic ("Frankish") merchant quarters besides a dominant Bulgarian population. The discovery of three Gothic statuette heads indicates there may have also been a Catholic church.
Тhe political upsurge and spiritual development of Tarnovo were discontinued when the Ottoman Empire captured the city on 17 July 1393. The siege lasted for three months, with defences being led by Bulgarian Patriarch Evtimiy himself. Three years later, the Ottomans had conquered the entire Bulgarian Empire.
Bulgarian resistance against Ottoman rule remained centred in Tarnovo (then known as Tırnova) until the end of the 17th century. Two major uprisings anti-Ottoman - in 1598 and in 1686 - started in the city. Tarnovo was consecutively a district (sanjak) capital within the Rumelia Eyalet, within the Silistria Eyalet, and finally in the Danube Vilayet.
Tarnovgrad, along with the rest of present-day Bulgaria, remained under Ottoman rule until the 19th century, when national identity and culture reasserted themselves as a strengthening resistance movement. The idea of the establishment of an independent Bulgarian church and nation motivated the 1875 and 1876 uprisings in the town. On 23 April 1876, the April Uprising marked the beginning of the end of the Ottoman occupation. It was soon followed by the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).
Third Bulgarian State
On 7 July 1877, Russian general Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko liberated Veliko Tarnovo, ending the 480-year-rule of the Ottoman Empire. In 1878, the Treaty of Berlin created a Principality of Bulgaria between the Danube and the Stara Planina range, with its seat at the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo.
On 17 April 1879, the first National Assembly convened in Veliko Turnovo to ratify the state's first constitution, known as the Tarnovo Constitution, the key result of which resulted in the transfer of Parliament from Tarnovgrad to Sofia, which today remains the Bulgarian capital.
In 1965, the city, then officially known as Tarnovo, was renamed to Veliko Tarnovo (Great Tarnovo) to commemorate its rich history and importance.
People`s Republic of Bulgaria
During the communist rule, the town underwent considerable changes, with some 10 000 of its population thought to have become members of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) by the end of the 1940s. A number of its churches and private enterprises were closed, whereas the major industries were nationalized. Since the early 1950s, the town entered into an intensive urbanization process expanding to the west. From the same period dates also the idea for creation of a large urban area in Northern Bulgaria encompassing the neighboring towns of Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, and Lyaskovets (popularly known as "Targolyas"). In 1963, the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” opened as one of the largest institutions of higher education in the country. The urbanization continued during the 1970s, as the engineering, electronic, medical, computer, and furniture industries expanded in the region, adding the neighborhoods of Akacia and Kartala to the town’s landscape.
Veliko Tarnovo today
Today Veliko Tarnovo is the center of one of the largest urban areas in Bulgaria and one of the few cities with growing population in the country. It is a foremost educational and cultural center, home of two major universities and extensive artistic activity. The city is a leading tourist attraction boasting a steady increase of visitors for the last two decades. During the same period, it has also consistently attracted foreign settlers and today the city and its surroundings have become the home of the largest foreign expat community in Bulgaria.
According to the 2011 census, Veliko Tarnovo has a population of 68,783 inhabitants, as of February 2011, while the Veliko Tarnovo Municipality with the villages, has 88,670. The number of the residents of the city reached its peak in the period 1986–1991 when it exceeded 70,000. The following table presents the change of the population after 1887.
|Highest number 80,783 in 1990|
|Sources: National Statistical Institute, „citypopulation.de“, „pop-stat.mashke.org“, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences|
Ethnic, linguistic and religious composition
- Bulgarians: 59,649 (95.5%)
- Turks: 2,225 (3.6%)
- Gypsies: 123 (0.2%)
- Others: 258 (0.4%)
- Indefinable: 198 (0.3%)
- Romanians: 100
- Undeclared: 6,330 (9.2%)
- "Buzludzha" (Bulgarian: "Бузлуджа") - 19 500 people
- "Kolio Ficheto" or "Triagalnika" ("Кольо Фичето"/"Триъгълника") - 17 000 people
- "Shirok centar" ("Широк център") - 10 000 people
- "Tsentar" ("Център") - 8 000 people
- "Zona B" ("Зона Б") - 8 000 people
- "Kartala" ("Картала") - 4 800 people
- "Akatsia" ("Акация") - 3 200 people
- "Cholakovtsi" ("Чолаковци") - 4 200 people
- "Sveta gora" ("Света гора") - 3 140 people
- "Varusha North" ("Варуша Север") - 900 people
- "Varusha South" ("Варуша Юг") - 300 people
- "Asenov" ("Асенов") - 800 people
- "Zona A" ("Зона А") - 200 people (also ville zone)
- "Slanchev dom" ("Слънчев дом") - 80 people
- "Veliko Tarnovo hills" - (being constructed)
- ville zone "Derven" ("Дервен") - 80 people
The ethnic composition of Veliko Tarnovo Municipality is 100,570 Bulgarians, 3,681 Turks and 595 Gypsies among others.
Veliko Tarnovo has two universities. Veliko Tarnovo University (one of the biggest universities in Bulgaria) and Vasil Levski National Military University are the two universities in the town. The Veliko Tarnovo University currently has around 18,000 students. Vasil Levski National Military University is one of the oldest military universities in Bulgaria.
Veliko Tarnovo has four secondary schools: Secondary school: Emiliyan Stanev (main subjects: foreign languages), Secondary school: Vela Blagoeva (main subjects: informatics), Secondary school: Georgi Sava Rakovski (main subjects: sports) and Secondary school: Vladimir Komarov. There are ten high schools: Vasil Drumer School of Nature-Math (biology, chemistry, math), Professor Asen Zlatarov School (foreign languages), Honorary Old School of Economy, St. Cyril and Methodius School of Humanitarian (literature, history, Bulgarian language), A.S. Popov School of Electronics (computers, electronics), Kolyo Ficheto School of Building Construction(buildings), Angel Popov School of Architecture and Surveying (architecture, surveying), Professor Vasil Beron School of Tourism (cooking, restaurant, hotel), Vocational School of Fashion Design (sewing, design), and the American college, Arcus.
The town has five primary schools, named "St. Patriarch Euthymius" (since 1969), "Dimitar Blagoev", "Petko R. Slaveykov" and "Bacho Kiro". The schools educate students from ages 6 to 14. The subjects are Bulgarian language, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Music, Art, and others. The most popular sports include Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Handball among others. From their first class, children learn English, and after 4 years they can study languages like Russian, French, German, and Italian.
In 2013, the city was visited by some 450,000 people from the Bulgaria and abroad. The most popular landmark is the historic hill Tsarevets, where was the capital of the Second Bulgarian empire. A number of other sites also attract tourists' attention, including the historic hill Trapezitza, the Samovodskata charshiya, numerous medieval and Bulgarian Renaissance churches, as well as the Ancient Roman fortress Nicopolis ad Istrum.
Veliko Tarnovo is home to the Regional Hospital "Doctor Stefan Cherkezov," one of the largest medical facilities in North Bulgaria.
- Monument of Asenevci
- Monument of Mother Bulgaria
- Monument of Independence
- Monument of Stefan Stambolov
- Monument of Nikola Pickolo
- Park "Sveta gora"
- Park "Drudzba"
- Park "Nikola Gabrovski"
- Park "Akacia"
- Park "Kartala"
- Park "Buzludja"
- Park "Marno pole"
- Park "Ruski grobishta"
- Western Industrial Zone
- Sought Industrial Zone
- North Industrial Zone
- Central Industrial Zone
In 1967 was founded Elmot AD for producing electrical engines,electric wire rope hoists, rope stops, reducers and gear motors, cranes, crane components.The plant of the company is on the Western industrial zone.
In 1966 was founded the Company Bitova elektronika AD in the South industrial zone for producing radio and TV sets. In 1966 to 1969 radio from series Accord,from 1967 to 1970 radios from series Lira and 1971 to 1975 radio from series Harmony.In the middle of 70s in the factory starts production of a new type electronics - televisions.the first televisions were named Resprom.The first series of Resprom were T.Since 80s were start producing color televisions Veliko Tarnovo 84 and Veliko Tarnovo 85.Today the company is producing electric locks, antenna filters, Lockean, assemblies and parts for servicing.
In 1969 was founded in the South industrial zone the factory ZZU(Zavod za zapametyavashti ustroistva Завод за запаметяващи устройства on Bulgarian) or Plant for storage devices. In 1983 the company were with new name Системи за телеобработка и мрежи(on English Teleprocessing systems and networks).The plant were a manufacturer of different electrical schemes and ware.Since 2005 the name of the company is “Карат Електроникс” АД(Karat electronics AD) and produces meters and cash registers.
In 2002 in the North part of the New town was founded Tremol OOD and it is one of the most developing company for electronics in Bulgaria. Today the company produces Non-fiscal printers,POS printers,scales and cash registers.In 2007 the company were equipped with new production machines and appliances.Tremol OOD export the production to Bulgaria, Balkans, European union and it is looking for new relationships.
Veliko Tarnovo is the biggest producer of plasic bags in Bulgaria. In 1992 Megaport OOD was founded in the Western Industrial zone of the town. The company produces bags, folios and other plastic tools, and currently has about 400 employees in Bulgaria.Extrapack OOD is a company for plastic tools founded in 1995. In 2000, it opened its first plant in the Western industrial zone and in 2011 its second one outside the town.
The biggest factory in the town was "Mavrikov," and today has some small factories for clothes and other wares.
Prestige 96 is one of the largest sweets companies in Bulgariaand is based in Veliko Tarnovo. Another reputed factory in the industry is Karmela 2000. The Bakery, founded in 1885, is one of the largest plants of its kind in Bulgaria. Elit mes OOD, founded in 1995, is a meat products producer located in the North industrial zone.
The main brewery in the city was established in 1987. Today it is called Bolyarka AD and is located in the Central industrial zone. It was a leading national brand in the 1960s and 1970s and remains popular today. In 2012, the Britos brewery was founded in the Western industrial zone. The Pepsi soft drinks plant in the Central industrial zone produces drinks for Bulgaria and for export for the Balkans.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Ivailo Stadium is the biggest football stadium in the town. The stadium is the home of all sports teams in Veliko Tarnovo which are called Etar. The ground was broken for the stadium in 1957 and it was completed in 1958. In the 21st century it was reconstructed and now has seats for 18,000. Veliko Tarnovo has teams in football, basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics and other sports.
- FC Etar 1924 Veliko Tarnovo – football team
The Vasil Levski Palace of Culture and Sports is the biggest sports hall in Veliko Tarnovo. The hall was completed on 15 November 1985. The hall has 1600 seats and courts for basketball and volleyball.
- NSI, 2011 Population census in the Republic Of Bulgaria, p. 16 (Final data)
- Bojidar Dimitrov. "The Church "The Forty Holy Martyrs"". National Museum of History – Sofia, Bulgaria. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
- Jean W. Sedlar (31 March 1994). East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000–1500. University of Washington Press. pp. 113. ISBN 978-0-295-97290-9.
- "Търново се перчело с европейски квартали Арменци превземат католическата църква в старопрестолния град". Bulgarian Newspaper "Стандарт". 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
- McLean et al, George (2005). Religion in public life: Religion, morality and communication between peoples I. CRVP. p. 184.
- (Bulgarian)National Statistical Institute – Towns population 1956–1992
- (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – towns in 2009
- (English) „WorldCityPopulation“
- (Bulgarian) Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
- (Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
- Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)
- "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26.
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