Haskovo

 

 

Haskovo is a town in central southern Bulgaria. It is the administrative center of Haskovo municipality and Haskovo district. According to the latest NSI data, as of December 31, 2018, Haskovo has a population of 70,406 people and is the 12th largest city in the country.

Haskovo is the fastest and most direct road connecting Europe with Asia and the Middle East. Not far from the borders with Turkey and Greece, Haskovo has become a center of international, trade and cultural exchange. The presence of these indicators make Haskovo and the region an attractive destination for industrial development, in the field of construction and mechanical engineering for the food industry, chemical industry, wine production, production of food, beverages and tobacco, clothing and textile industry.

Culture and tourism occupy a significant place in Haskovo. Every year the city hosts international festivals "Pretty Thrace sings and dances", music days "Nedyalka Simeonova", festival for Bulgarian people and dances "Haidushka sofra", national competition for debut literature "Southern Spring" and many others.

On the territory of Haskovo municipality is one of the most impressive Thracian tombs - Alexander's Tomb. An integral part of the city is the world's tallest statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Infant.

 

History

Haskovo is a city with more than a thousand years of history. In the very center of the city rises a clock monument, which was built in 1985 on the occasion of the celebrations around the millennium since the founding of the city.

A center with a rich heritage, according to archaeologists, the first settlement on the territory of today's city appeared in the middle of the Neolithic Age around 5000 BC. From then until today, numerous evidences of the long road and the history of the city are preserved in prehistoric, Thracian, Roman, late ancient and medieval archaeological monuments, traces of which we find both in the city and in the whole area.

Towards the end of the 8th century, on the territory of today's Hisarya district, south of Haskovo, the Slavs built a new settlement, surrounded by a thick fortress wall. With its expansion in the early 10th century, a second fortification wall was built. Thus, 10 centuries ago, an early medieval city emerged with the typical crafts of the time, a military garrison and a significant population.

In the 11th century the settlement was completely destroyed by the Byzantine invaders. However, the population remained here and settled on the other side of the river and around today's "Youth Hill". Haskovo was revived again during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom under the rule of Assenevtsi and Shishmanovtsi.

After the conquest of the lands, the Turks named the village Haskoy, later known as Haskoy near Uzundzha, due to the popularity of one of the largest commodity fairs - the Uzundzhovo Fair, held within the empire. In the middle of the 19th century, traditional crafts such as leather and furs flourished, and entire craft and trade streets with over 200 workshops and commercial offices were formed in the city. One after another, new Bulgarian schools appeared in Haskovo.

In 1858 the existing to this day community center "Zarya" was established. Despite the emergence of the first industrial enterprises in the period before the wars, the main livelihood of the population remained agriculture. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, Haskovo established itself as a center of the tobacco industry.

Immediately after the September 9 coup of 1944 in Haskovo came one of the worst incidents in the establishment of the new regime - an attempt to enter the guerrillas in a military unit killed the commander of the Second Army Artillery Regiment Veliko Marinov, three other officers and a communist.

Passed through the era of the so-called. "Socialist construction" and the years of democratic transition, today Haskovo is a modern, contemporary city with developed infrastructure and light industry.