This remarkable bulgarian town is situated in the Thracian Valley. The ground fertility made famous its durum wheat, « the zagorka », especially sought-after for pastry-making. The winters are mild and the summers warm. For that reason, Stara Zagora was called the « bulgarian Nice » (a city in the south of France, well known for its mild climate). The surrounding area consists of many orchards and vineyards ; the town itself is plunged into greenery. Stara Zagora is overhung by a conical hill with a very romantic park, called « Aiazmoto », the vegetation of which consists of conifers and almond trees.
The origins of my town are very old : in ancient times the thracian town, which existed 25 centuries ago on the location of the present town, was called Beroe. Later, Philip of Macedonia made of it a powerful fortress ; in the time of ancient Roma, it was called Augusta Trajana ; it was a fortified town.
In the late Middle Ages, it was a byzantine fortress which in the VII-th century became Irinopolis, in empress Irina's honour, later known by the name of Vereia (Boroui or Beroia). The Turks razed the fortress to the ground after the conquest of Bulgaria and on its location a new town was built. At that time Stara Zagora was called Eski Zaara. During the war between Russia and Turkey (1877-78), Stara Zagora, where big fights took place, was completely set on fire. After the war, the town was rebuilt in accordance with a new plan, with wide streets crossing at right angles. Since 1871 the town has officially the name of Stara Zagora.
The town where I was born is an important administrative center with 170 000 inhabitants ; there are big mechanical, textile and food industries. There is also a big factory of nitrogene fertilizer.
It's an important cultural center. There are a remarkably designed museum, a State opera house, a dramatic theater, a puppet theater, a symphonic orchestra, a house of literature, several galleries and showrooms, the Thracian University. It's the native town of eminents bulgarian poets Gueo Milev, Nikolai Liliev, Vesselin Khantchev, [ click on these names in order to get informations on these poets ], painters Anton and Gueorgui Mitov, famous bulgarian opera singers Christina Morfova, Anna Tomova-Sintova, Stefka Mineva. Here was founded the first bulgarian opera house in 1925.
Among the interesting sights, we can name the ancient Forum where several operas take place every year, roman mosaics, neolithic dwellings.
I love Stara Zagora, which is called « the city of poets, painters, lime trees and straight streets ».