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SLIVEN

The town of Sliven is situated on the Upper Thracian Lowlands, at the foot of the Sliven Mountains (Eastern Balkan Mountains).

The town emerged during the period from 7th to the 11th century along the old water route from the Danube to Tsarigrad (a.k.a. Constantinople, Istanbul) via the Balkan Mountain Pass, Vratnik (Iron Gate). In various documents it is mentioned as Istiliphounos, Islitnie, Silivno, Slivno, etc. The name Sliven became popular at the beginning of the 11th century and means merger, e.g. the confluence of the three rivers that flow through the town and the three winds that blow down from the three passes of the Balkan Mountains - Asenovski, Bulgarka and Chukata. Sliven is the only town in Bulgaria that never changed its Slavic name. During the time of the Ottoman rule, Sliven was a privileged town of derventdzhii (protectors of the pass) and falconers (keeping falcons for hunting purposes). In time it became an important crafts and trade centre. It made a name for itself with the production of a nice wool fabric (kebe). The best developed handcrafts were production of thick woolen textiles and manufacturing of rifles. In 1836 Dobri Zhelyazkov (nicknamed "the factory owner") built the first textile factory on the territory of the Ottoman Empire. The building is still impressive with its striking size. It has been declared a cultural monument of national significance. Bulgarian industry took its first steps with the creation of this factory. After the Liberation from Ottoman rule the textile industry continued to develop and form the economic image of the town. For the Bulgarians of today, Sliven is the cradle of rebellion, a synonym for national irreconcilability with the Ottoman rule. It is not coincidental that it became known as "the town of 100 voyvodi (militia leaders)" during the National Revival era. The most famous of those were Indzhe Voyvoda, Hadzhi Dimitar and Panayot Hitov.

LANDMARKS
• Drama and puppet theaters.
• Dimitar Dobrovich Art Gallery.
• Sliven's 19th Century Lifestyle Museum (Patkoolu House).
• Sadak Pasha House.
• The House-Museums of respected residents of Sliven - Dobri Chintulov - one of the greatest Bulgarian community activists and poets, who wrote the most powerful National-Revival songs; Hadzhi Dimitar - militia leader; and Dr. Mirkovich.
• The building of the first textile factory, owned by Dobri Zhelyazkov.
• St. Sofia's Church (1835)
• St. Demetrius's church (1831).
• The clock tower (1808) in the town centre.
• The monument to the liberators of Hamam Bair.
• The monument to Hadzhi Dimitar.
• The old elm tree (600 years old) in the centre of the town.
• The remains of the early Byzantine and medieval Tuida fortress in the locale of Hisarlaka.
• The Karandila locale northeast of the town amid 100 year-old oak and beech trees in the Sliven Mountains, a starting point for mountain tourism. It includes Sinite Kamani (the Blue Rocks) Natural Park (area: 6684.3 hectares or nearly 26 sq. miles) with interesting rock formations and many tourist sites.
• The historic locale of Aglikina Polyana approximately 38 km (24 miles) from Sliven in the Elenski Mountains, known in Bulgarian history as a meeting place for armed rebels. The route from Kom Peak to Cape Emine along the ridges of the Balkan Mountains passes through it.
• Slivenski Mineralni Bani (Mineral Baths) (Dzhinovski Bani) 12 km (7.5 miles) from the town. The temperature of the mineral water is 44-45°C (111-113°F) and the capacity is 16 l/sec. (4 US gallons/sec). It is used for treatment of diseases of the skeletal-muscular system, the peripheral nervous system, the digestive tract and the liver and gall bladder. Beside the balneological sanitarium, there are two hotels and convenient bus transport. The resort is open all-year-round.

Live broadcast: Sliven NET

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