Razgrad clock tower
|• Mayor||Valentin Vassilev|
|• City||92.845 km2 (35.848 sq mi)|
|Elevation||270 m (890 ft)|
|• Density||360/km2 (930/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
The suffix "grad" means city in Bulgarian, while the origin and the meaning of the first part "raz" is obscure. During the Second Bulgarian Empire, around the present city there was a settlement, mentioned by the names of Hrasgrad, Hrazgrad and Hrizgrad. The first hypothesis is, that these names come from the name of the Proto-Bulgarian and Slavic god Hors. This deity is of Proto-Iranian (Persian) descent and means sun and sun light.
It is suggested that the mentioned location Igrizinus in the medieval maps of the Arab geographer Al Idrisi (1100 - 1165) in the surroundings of Razgrad was the city itself. In his maps the names of the settlements are strongly Arabized. It may be an Arabized form of the Latin name Abrittus. Another theory suggests that it is an Arabized form of the Medieval Hrizgrad and Hrazgrad, because the transliteration kept the syllable iz. In the following periods Hrazgrad (Keresdavicha within Ivan Shishman rule) was mentioned with the names: Hezargad, Herazgrad, Hasgrad, Chetehezar, Krasgrad, Arangrad, Azargrad, Hrazgrad, Krozgrad, Hirazgrad. The word "hezar" is of Iranian (Persian) origin and means thousand (thousand tents of the army). It is possible, that the word "hezar" derives from "Hisar", which is an Arabic word for fortress. The name Hezargrad may be also the turkified form of the medieval Bulgarian Hrazgrad (Hrizgrad).
Razgrad was built upon the ruins of the Ancient Roman town of Abritus on the banks of the Beli Lom river. Abritus was built on a Thracian settlement of the 4th-5th century BC with unknown name. Several bronze coins of the Thracian king Seuthes III (330-300 BC) and pottery were found, as well as artifacts from other rulers and a sacrificial altar of Hercules.
Some of Razgrad's landmarks include the Varosha architectural complex from the 19th century, the ethnographic museum and several other museums, the characteristic clock tower in the centre built in 1864, the St Nicholas the Miracle Worker Church from 1860, the Momina cheshma sculpture, the Mausoleum Ossuary of the Liberators (1879–1880) and the Ibrahim Pasha Mosque from 1530. The mosque is said to be one of the largest in the Balkans (excluding Turkey).
In 251, the town was the site of the Battle of Abrittus, during which the Goths defeated a Roman army under the emperors Trajan Decius and Herennius Etruscus. The battle is notable for being the first occasion of a Roman emperor being killed in a battle with barbarians.
In January 2012, Razgrad was inhabited by 33,416 people within the city limits, while the Razgrad Municipality with the legally affiliated adjacent villages had 50,457 inhabitants. The number of the residents of the city (not the municipality) reached its peak in the period 1988-1991 when exceeded 55,000. The following table presents the change of the population after 1887.
|Highest number 58,112 in 1991|
|Sources: National Statistical Institute, „citypopulation.de“, „pop-stat.mashke.org“, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences|
Ethnic, linguistic and religious composition
- Bulgarians: 24,701 (79.1%)
- Turks: 5,902 (18.9%)
- Roma: 288 (0.9%)
- Others: 140 (0.4%)
- Indefinable: 195 (0.6%)
- Undeclared: 2,654 (7.8%)
The Razgrad Province has the second largest Turkish population in Bulgaria behind the Kardzhali Province, though the municipality and the city of Razgrad have a lower proportion of Turks than the rest of the province. In the city live 6,000 of the total 57,000 Turks in the Razgrad Province. According to the 2011 census, Razgrad Province has a Turkish majority of 50%, what in Bulgaria has only the Kardzhali Province in addition, in the Razgrad Municipality the Turkish population is a minority with 30% and within the city limits of Razgrad it is 19%. An absolute majority are the Bulgarians, with the remaining being composed for the most part of Gypsies, who constitute 5% in the province and 3.3% in the municipality. The ethnic composition of Razgrad Municipality is 30,660 Bulgarians, 14,296 Turks and 1,549 Gypsies among others.
Razgrad is home of the football team Ludogorets, who in recent years have become the dominant force in Bulgarian football after winning five consecutive A Group (now First League) titles from 2011–12. After reaching the Europa League round of 16 during the 2013-14 season, the team made their 2014–15 UEFA Champions League debut a season later in 2014. The team currently plays their home games at the Ludogorets Arena.
|Climate data for Razgrad, Bulgaria (2000-2014)|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.1
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||42
Notable people born in Razgrad
- Ivan Ivanov Bagryanov (born 1891), Bulgarian politician who briefly served as Prime Minister
- Petar Gabrovski (born 1898), Bulgarian politician who briefly served as Prime Minister
- Dimitar Nenov (born 1901), Bulgarian classical pianist, composer, music pedagogue and architect
- Stoycho Stoev (born 1962), Bulgarian former footballer and manager
- Diyan Angelov (born 1964), Bulgarian former football player
- Nikolay Antonov (born 1968), Bulgarian former athlete
- Boncho Novakov (born 1935), Bulgarian former cyclist
- Emanuil Dyulgerov (born 1955), Bulgarian former athlete
- Mecnur Çolak (born 1967), Turkish former footballer
- Sofu Mehmed Pasha (governor) (died 1626), Ottoman administrator
- Neriman Özsoy (born 1988), Turkish female volleyball player
- Şoray Uzun (born 1968), Turkish comedian, writer and television host
Twin towns — sister cities
- (Bulgarian)National Statistical Institute - 2012
- (Bulgarian)National Statistical Institute - Towns population 1956-1992
- Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - towns in 2009
- (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)
- , Stringmeteo.com Retrieved December 03, 2013.
- "Списък на побратимени градове" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 9 July 2012.