Pleven is a city in Central Northern Bulgaria. It is the administrative center of the eponymous municipality of Pleven and Pleven district, as well as one of the important cultural, educational, economic and transport centers in the country. Pleven and its surroundings have roots from ancient times and practically continuous millennial development. At the end of 2019, the population of the city is estimated at 95,086 people, which makes it the seventh largest in the Republic of Bulgaria. Pleven is a famous tourist center, also called the "city of museums". It concentrates many cultural and historical landmarks related to the Russian-Turkish Liberation War, the most popular of which are Panorama "Pleven Epic of 1877" and Chapel-Mausoleum "St. George the Victorious ”, which along with the building of the Regional History Museum are the symbols of the city.

The city of Pleven is located in the central part of Moesia, at the western foot of the Pleven Heights, the Middle Danube Plain. The city is almost equidistant from the Danube and Stara Planina rivers, with good land connections with Sofia, Lovech, Gabrovo, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Nikopol, Svishtov, Ruse and Varna, as well as with the lands north of the Danube and other smaller settlements. places in the region. The main city-forming factor in antiquity is the fertile overflow valley of the Tuchenitsa River (Tuchenishka or Plevenska Bara). The relief in this part of the Danube plain and, respectively, the good road connections facilitate the construction and development of the initially scattered small settlements as an important road junction and center with good indicators of economic progress of Ancient Thrace, the Roman Empire and Bulgaria.



Antiquity and antiquity
The earliest traces of human life and activity in these lands date back to the end of the 5th millennium BC. Numerous archaeological finds are evidence of the high material and spiritual culture of the Thracians, who inhabited this area for thousands of years. Among them is the largest gold treasure discovered in the Bulgarian lands - Valchitran, consisting of 13 cult vessels with a total weight of 12.5 kg.

At the beginning of the new era, these lands became part of the Roman Empire. On the road from Escus to Philippopolis near today's Pleven, the Roman road station Storgozia appeared, and later a fortress of the same name. Archaeological excavations indicate large-scale construction of administrative, military and religious buildings. One of the most valuable archeological monuments preserved to this day is the early Christian basilica church from the 4th century, the second largest in Bulgaria after the large royal church in Pliska.

The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages Pleven was a Bulgarian city with well-developed crafts, trade and coinage.

Under Ottoman rule
In 1738 the population of Pleven was predominantly Turkish.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, Major General Count Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov headed for Pleven in the autumn of 1810 with about 3,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry in order to procure the necessary supplies. Leaders and translators in his army emigrated Bulgarians from the Pleven region during the riots in Kardzhali. Many local Bulgarians joined both the detachment's convoy and with weapons. On October 16, 1810, Vorontsov captured and destroyed the Pleven stone fortress Kervan Saray and headed for Lovech and Sevlievo. The troubled villages were not left without consequences for their participation on the side of the Russians. After their withdrawal, the villages of Dolna Mitropolia, Grivitsa, Nezhovets, Pelishat, Kashin, the Kailash Monastery and many others suffered from Arab and Arnaut gangs.

The liberation found the city with separate Turkish neighborhoods in Bulgarian surroundings. During the Revival the population was engaged in agriculture, sovatchiy, crafts and trade, a church and schools were built. Bridges and public fountains (Balaklia, for example) are being built by the government. In 1825, the first secular school opened its doors here, for which there is no reliable data. In 1840 (or according to other sources in 1841) Anastasia Dimitrova opened the first girls' school in Bulgaria.

In Pleven in 1869 the national revolutionary and apostle of Bulgarian freedom Vasil Levski founded the first revolutionary committee in the country. The same year the Saglasie Chitalishte was founded.

During the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) Pleven gained strategic importance and focused the attention of the world community for 5 months (see Pleven (battle)). Significant military forces were concentrated around the city. As a result of the exhausting siege of the population of Pleven, carried out according to the strategy of General Totleben, the Russian and Romanian armies broke the resistance of the Turkish army and captured Pleven on December 10, 1877. Osman Pasha handed over his sword to the Romanian general Mikhail Cherke and later to Russian Lieutenant General Ivan Ganetsky, tens of thousands of casualties were inflicted by the warring parties (Turkey and the Russia-Romania Union), which was celebrated as Pleven's Day until 2002 and now as Day Streets, and until recently enterprises, are named after dates, personalities, regiments associated with the Pleven epic. There are names such as: "Grenaderska", "Alexandrovska", "San Stefano", "Shipka", "Sheynovo", "Samara", after the wars of 1912 - 1913. "Enos", "Chataldja", "Gen. Kolev ".


After the Liberation
After the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, Pleven established itself as an important administrative, economic and spiritual center.

The municipal elections of August 17, 1919 were won by the Bulgarian Communist Party and Ivan Kantardzhiev became mayor. Income taxes have been introduced, housing for the homeless has been provided, free medical care, clothing, food and textbooks for poor students, and teachers' incomes have been increased. The government was dissolved by the government in July 1921. From December 1922 to June 1923, the Bulgarian Communist Party ruled the city again, this time with Ivan Zonkov as mayor. The end of this municipal council comes with the June 9 coup.

Pleven under State Socialism (1944 - 1989)

From 1934 to 1946 Pleven was the center of the Pleven region (one of the seven in the Kingdom of Bulgaria), including the districts of Pleven urban, Pleven rural, Lovech, Troyan, Teteven, Lukovit, Nikopol, Svishtov, Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Sevlievo. With the creation of the 12 large districts plus the city of Sofia, the last three districts form the Tarnovo district. In 1949 the large Pleven district was formed, and in 1958 the small Pleven district was created, which approximately coincides with today's Pleven district.

Respectively, in 1944 - 1959 changes were made in the city, the economy, education, healthcare, banking and administration.

In place of the nationalized large and small enterprises, consolidated machine-building, textile, tobacco processing, canning, milling, furniture and other state-owned industrial enterprises (DIP) were established, some so-called combines (eg the Georgi Kirkov State Cannery).

According to all trade rules, various old cooperatives were liquidated and new ones were created: shoemaker's "Ninth of September", carpenter's "Furniture", tailor's "Collective Labor", knitting "Saglasie", cardboard "Tsanko Kisov", confectionery "Osvobozhdenie". TKZS and DZS were created, which later merged.

A specific enterprise with a diverse activity from carpet weaving to electrical products is Promkombinat Mir, from the so-called "Local industry and crafts". A number of privately employed craftsmen remain.

Until 1958, Pleven District was a large and impressive entity from the Balkan Mountains to the Danube. It borders with Vratsa, Sofia, Plovdiv and Shumen districts. The creation of the Lovech district and the provision of an outlet of the Danube to the Tarnovo district greatly reduced the Pleven district, dividing the former districts.

Later, after 1960, many of the enterprises changed their sites and expanded to the places of vegetable gardens, hippodrome and other terrains along the Grivishka Bara and Tuchenishka rivers until its confluence with Vita. The Industrial Zone with a length of over 15 km was created, starting halfway to the village of Grivitsa and covering Neftochim (Plama) between Yasen and Dolni Dabnik.

In the southern part of Pleven in the former prison in 1965 a Nuclear Instrument Factory was established, which later became a research and production plant and the largest enterprise in the city.

Visiting and leaving Pleven after 1947-48 are not restricted, except for the movement of motor vehicles around the country, which for movement outside the borders of the large district until 1958 had to have the so-called. "Sign NM" - coupon to the main coupon of the vehicle. This was true for all "big" counties. After the creation of the small districts, these restrictions were lifted.

Until 1965, the Balkan people from the Troyan region descended with closed carts "pair", pulled by small horses, to the Danube. They sell or exchange for wheat and corn potatoes, carpentry, firewood, pots, bacon, plums and other products. Over time, this activity subsided, and the inhabitants of Pleven began to buy and build properties mainly in the Troyan region, but also in other parts of the Balkans and the Fore-Balkans.

The state-owned enterprise Balkantourist, the Orbita Youth Tourism Bureau, the Trade Unions and some powerful enterprises use the increased importance of Pleven as a tourist destination for short visits. Cruises on the Danube take detours from Nikopol to the Museum of the Icon (St. Nicholas Church, other museums and monuments, later especially Panorama "Pleven Epic of 1877"). Large groups of Soviet tourists turn away or jump from the sea, Germans, Israelis, French come. The so-called "Direct connections" (business, cultural, personal) between cities, individual companies and individuals, which contributes to visits of foreigners in Pleven and travel of Pleven abroad.