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Settlements: Haskovo

Haskovo - Pictures Of Bulgaria
Haskovo (population: 80 870, 200 meters above sea level) is located at the banks of Haskovska River, among Haskovo Hills at the foothills of the Eastern Rhodopes. The town is 225 km and 75 km to the south-east of Sofia and Plovdiv, respectively; 64 km and 16 km south of Stara Zagora and Dimitrovgrad, respectively; 50 km north-east of Kurdzhali and 70 km north-west of Svilengrad. It is one of the oldest settlements is Bulgaria (in 1985 Haskovo celebrated it 1000th anniversary). It is a regional administrative centre.

History: The first settlement on this territory dates back to around 7 000 years BC in the neolith period. Throughout its existence, the town experienced innumerable periods of revival and decay. During the first half of 13th century near Haskovo history witnessed one of the most successful battles in Bulgarian history - the Battle of Klokotnitsa (nearby the village bearing the same name). On 9th March 1230 Tsar Ivan Assen II (1218-1241) inflicted a smashing defeat of the Byzantine Empire, which had violated the peace treaty. The battle at Klokotnitsa later proved to have been an event of immense importance for the entire future of Bulgaria.

The town developed into a settlement of craftsmen although much smaller than the near village of Uzundzhovo, which hosted a big fair. In fact, during some time Haskovo was called Haskyoi by Uzundzovo.

The town was liberated on 19 January 1878 by General Gourkos army. After the Balkan Wars the population of the town grew rapidly as a result of the incoming refugees from the Aegean Thrace. Gradually, it developed as the tobacco-producing centre in Bulgaria. The town is the birthplace of the noted Bulgarian scientist and social activist Prof. Assen Zlatarov and the famous violin player Nedyalka Simeonova.

Landmarks: The Museum of History (Svoboda Sq., tel.: 038 32067) exhibiting sections in: Archaeology, Ethnography, The Revival and the National Liberation Movement, 19th Century Town Life (in the Paskalevs House, 9, Bratya Minchevi Str., tel,: 038 32276), Home Crafts up to the end of 19th century (in the Shishmanovs House), and Prof. Doctor Assen Zlatarov. Working hours: 9 a.m. - 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. The Gurkovs House, now the Composers Club (59, Benkovski Str., tel.: 038 32224). The Museum of Literature (32, Dobroudzha Str., tel.: 038 24241, 29877). St. Archangel Mihail Church (Tsar Osvoboditel Str.) with precious frescoes and wood-carvings. St. Holy Mother Church, built in 1837 (Bratya Minchevi Str. , working hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.). The Art Gallery (43, Tsar Osvoboditel Str. , tel.: 038 33901, 22126).

Haskovo has two theatre houses - Ivan Dimov Theatre of Drama (40, Otets Paisii Str., tel.: 038 24233) and the Puppet Theatre Kutsoto Petle (the lame cockerel) (tel.: 038 20726).

The town is a university centre and hosts the Territorial Systems and Administration Faculty with o the University of National and World Economy, Sofia.

Accommodation: Aida Hotel Complex (3-star, 1, Svoboda Blvd.). Romantika Hotel (3-star, in Kenana Park). Klokotnitsa Motel (3-star, north-west of the town, on E80 motorway). Drouzhba Hotel Complex (in Kenana Park). The Rhodopes Hotel Complex (39, Bulgaria Blvd.). Andy Motel (210, Osvobozhdenie Blvd.). Oscar Hotel (20A, Tsar Osvoboditel Str.). Tony-M Hotel (32, Suedinenie Blvd., Entr. A, Apt. 15). Hadzhi Passeva Hotel (1, Aleko Konstantinov Str.) Kenana Tourist House (in the Kenana Park, offering 100 beds in rooms of 2, 3, 4 and 5 beds).
Haskovo has many establishments, offering traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Some of the best known are: Aida Restaurant (4-star, 1, Svoboda Sq.). Gourkova Kushta Restaurant (Gourkovs House) (3-star, 6, Gen. Gourko Str.). Divo Kozle Restaurant (The Wild Goat) (3-star, in the Kenana Park). Bolyarka Tavern (2-star, 18, Elbrus Str.).

Tourist information: Aida Tourist Association (2, Sredna Gora Str., tel.: 038 32120, 24858) and at the hotels, as well.

Transport: Haskovo has bus and railway transport facilities. This is a stop along the Trans-European motorway to the Middle East. Over 54 bus lines ensure the transport connections with Dimitrovgrad, Harmanli, Lyubimets, Svilengrad, Stambolov and many other towns and villages in and outside of the region. The bus station is located at 11, Suedinenie Blvd. (tel.: 038 22393, 42452) and not far from there is the railway station (27, Suedinenie Blvd., in the eastern part of the town, tel.: 038 24125, 29787). The town is a station along the Rousse Toulovo - Podkova railway line. Apart from the central railway station there are several other stops on the territory of the town. 11 regular bus and trolley inter-town lines line operate within Haskovo.

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Bulgaria Regions: Haskovo