Targovishte (until 1934 - Eski Dzhumaya) is a district town in northeastern Bulgaria, administrative and economic center of the eponymous municipality of Targovishte and Targovishte district. The population of the city as of December 31, 2019 is 35,344 inhabitants.

The town is located in the Danube plain, about 170 m above sea level, north of the Preslav Mountains. It is located 339 km northeast of Sofia, 41 km west of Shumen, 25 km northwest of Veliki Preslav and 100 km northeast of Veliko Tarnovo. The proximity of the city to the starting points of the country Varna (110 km) and Ruse (100 km), as well as major economic centers such as Shumen, Tarnovo and Ruse makes it a natural strategic crossroads. The medium-high relief helps the development of both agriculture and industrial production. Due to the simplified relief, the construction of transport facilities has been facilitated, unlike heavy regions such as the Rhodopes, for example. The city has very good conditions for the development of each area. The geographical coordinates of the city are 43 ° 13'07 '' N. and 26 ° 24’04 ’’ E In the past, the geographical location of the city has played to varying degrees and a positive role in its economic development. Located between two physical-geographical areas - Stara Planina and the Danube Plain, it served as a center of mutual exchange of goods between the population of these areas. This crossroads helps the city to form a bustling market.

administrative partition
Town of Targovishte is the administrative center of Targovishte municipality and district. The municipality consists of 52 settlements, of which 51 villages and 1 town. The municipality has an area of ​​840.4 km². The municipality borders the municipalities of Omurtag, Antonovo, Popovo, Loznitsa, Hitrino, Shumen, Veliki Preslav and Varbitsa. The city consists of separate neighborhoods, residential complexes and villa areas.

The territory of Targovishte municipality is characterized by its diversity and overflow of plain, hilly and low-mountainous relief, due to which the altitude varies from 150 to 690 m. For the town of Targovishte it is 170 m. Most of the territory of the municipality is located in the foothills of the Fore-Balkans near the northern slopes of the Preslav Mountains, whose highest point is the peak "Kodjakus" - 690 m. The northern part of the territory is located in the Targovishte plain along the Vrana River. Well-defined terrestrial forms are the valley extensions of the Vrana and Siva rivers and the low mountain elevations - Targovishte field, Preslav mountain and Popovski heights. The Targovishte hilly field is most closely connected with the city's economy. It borders the Razgrad Heights to the north, the Shumen Heights to the east, the Lilyak Plateau to the west, and the Preslav Mountains to the south. In the northeastern direction of the Vrana River, its valley widens, forming two accumulation terraces, one of which is part of the town of Targovishte. The relief of the Targovishte field is also varied by hills, the most famous being Yukya, Ivanka Bair, Sersema, Drakata and Chokyata. The Targovishte field is made of chalk materials composed of limestone and marl. They start with the valance and end with the apta. They are characterized by high water permeability and vertical cleavage. Their average slope is from 3 to 5%. There is also a Jurassic spot in the Preslav anticline. Its axial zone is composed of Valang flysch and limestone and limestone marls, and its thighs are made of Hotriv marls.

The climate is characterized by cold northeast winds during the winter months and the summers are hot and dry. Droughts are typically observed in late summer - July and August, while in the beginning it is characterized by numerous rainfalls. The climate of Targovishte is moderately continental. The fenced low mountains and hills have little effect on the climate of the town, located in the Targovishte plain. In the spring, moist air masses invade from the southwest and west. No less important for the formation of the climate is the transfer of air masses of tropical origin during the summer. The climatic influence of the Black Sea has almost no effect on the climate of Targovishte. The hilly and low mountainous terrain in the near and far surroundings has little effect on the atmospheric circulation. More important for the microclimate of the city are its exposure, depth and direction of the river valleys and the high ridge of Stara Planina.


The duration of sunshine is 2250 hours per year, and has a positive effect on the development of agriculture and forestry. The first meteorological station in Targovishte was established only in 1960. The average annual temperature of 10.7 ° C, in contrast to cities of the same parallel as Pleven (11.5 ° C) and Varna (11.8 ° C), is relatively -low. The average monthly maximum temperature is 29.4 ° C. 240 days a year the temperature is above 5 ° C; 184 days with over 10 ° C; 120 days with over 15 ° C. Winter colds are sensitive. The average monthly January temperature is -6.7 ° C. The annual absolute humidity is 7.7. The highest humidity is in July - 12.6 mm, and the lowest in January - 3.5 mm.

Rainfall is an important condition for the development of agriculture. The annual amount of precipitation in Targovishte is 585 mm per m², which is below the national average. In neighboring municipalities such as Omurtag it is 686 mm, and in Popovo - 577 mm. According to their distribution, they belong to the continental type. Their main maximum is 77 mm, and their minimum is in February - 28 mm. Maximum daily precipitation was reported on May 26, 1937 - 111.2 mm. The maximum annual precipitation for Targovishte was reported in 1952 - 990 mm, and the minimum - 385 mm in 1935. The driest months are July, August and September. Heavy rainfall is expressed by snowfall in winter and hail in summer. The snow cover lasts for an average of 43.6 days; its average thickness is 10 - 12 cm. The area is poor in water resources, which has necessitated the construction of many water sources.

Winds are a reflection of the circulation of air masses in Northern Bulgaria. The western, northern and northwestern winds blow most often in Targovishte. Of these, the western ones have the highest relative percentage - 47%. Their frequency is greatest during the winter and spring months. The northern and northwestern ones blow in winter. They blow away a significant part of the snow cover. In summer, dry and hot winds sometimes blow from the south and southwest. The latter cause premature ripening of crops.

In Targovishte and the region there are all adverse climatic phenomena - fog, hail, frost, ice and whirlwinds. Hailstones fall in late spring and early summer. The average annual cases of hail are 1.7. They often cause great damage to agriculture. Frosts form in spring and autumn. The first frost has an average date of October 5, and the last - April 21. The average duration without frost is 172 days a year. Cloudiness is more significant in winter and weaker in summer. The number of clear days is 63. The number of foggy days is 35.5.

Climatic resources are those elements of the climate and properties of the air environment that can be used directly in practice. They are defined as energy, bioclimatic, recreational, agroclimatic. The complex of climatic conditions in Targovishte is important for the development of agriculture. The characteristics of the local climate are decisive in the selection of crops. The indicators show that in Targovishte a number of crops can be grown as second crops. The amount of precipitation during the vegetation period is also important for agriculture. It has been established that in Targovishte the precipitation coincides with the duration of this period. Of importance for agriculture are also the solid precipitations, which accumulate in the form of snow cover and are used during the months of vegetation of the plants. The climate is extremely favorable for the development of agriculture.



Archaeological excavations in the area of ​​Targovishte reveal a rich centuries-old history, the main place in which is occupied by the separate material culture "Polyanitsa" from V-IV millennium BC. Nine settlement mounds have been discovered:

Teketo settlement mound, inhabited during the Chalcolithic, located on a low plateau 3.5 km southeast of the city in the Kos district, between the rivers Kalayji Dere and Umnik.
Neolithic settlement, located 3.5 km southeast of the city south of the settlement mound Teketo.
Chalcolithic settlement located in Mihail Petrov neighborhood.
An early Neolithic settlement called Polyanitsa - the plateau, located 4 km south of the town, in the swamp below the Polyanitsa plateau. Excavations in 1973 - 1975 by Henrietta Todorova.
Settlement mound "Polyanitsa - the plateau", permanently inhabited during the early, middle, late Chalcolithic, early Iron and Late Middle Ages. Eight residential horizons with a thickness of the cultural layer 3.5 m with specific finds of idol sculpture. The mound is located 4 km south of the city, in the swamp below the plateau Polyanitsa. 200 m northwest of the settlement mound is a necropolis of the Early and Middle Chalcolithic. Excavations in 1973 - 1975 by Henrietta Todorova.
Targovishte - Garata settlement mound, dated to the Chalcolithic, located 0.5 km northeast of the town, on the bank of the Vrana River, to the left of the road to Shumen, with a diameter of about 100 m and a height of 10-12 m. Identified by Vasil Mikov.
Omurtag settlement mound, from the Middle and Late Chalcolithic, located south of the town, to the left of the road to Omurtag on the banks of the Vrana River. It consists of 4 residential horizons.
Chalcolithic settlement mound, 50 m in diameter and 2 m high, located 2 km southwest of the Mihail Petrov neighborhood in the grove, to the right of the dirt road.
Chalcolithic settlement mound, with a diameter of 50 m and a height of 4 m, located 3 km northwest of Mihail Petrov.

Archaeological evidence in the area of ​​today's city proves the remains of Thracian settlements (V-III century BC) and a settlement from the Roman era (II-IV century). Of all the registered finds in Targovishte, the largest is the number of those from the period of antiquity. The lands of Targovishte region, as well as the territories of the whole present-day Northeastern Bulgaria are inhabited by numerous Goth tribes. In the middle of the 5th century BC they were part of the Odrysian kingdom, later they were allies of Alexander the Great, and in the 3rd-1st century BC they lived independently. Numerous finds containing Thracian weapons were found on the territory of Targovishte region. At the beginning of the 1st century, the Roman Empire conquered the Balkan Peninsula, and the lands of today's Targovishte region became part of the province of Lower Moesia. The ancient authors did not mention cities in the Targovishte region, but in view of the significant size of the settlements near the villages of Gorsko Ablanovo and Kovachevets and the archaeological materials found there, it can be argued that they had an urban appearance.

The Middle Ages
Archaeological evidence proves the remains of a settlement and fortress from the early Byzantine era (V-VI century). From the coins, ceramics, household items found near the town, the connections and the great influence of the centers Nikopolis ad Istrum (now Tarnovo region) and Marcianopolis (today Varna region) are judged. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the constant raids of the barbarian tribes from the north became characteristic. Emperor Justinian built a number of fortresses and walls in these places. Today's Targovishte Pass in the Middle Ages is provided by a similar fortification on the road between Lower Moesia and Thrace. At the highest end of the late antique fortress were found the remains of a church from the V century, which seems to continue to be used in the Middle Ages.


Remains of a settlement from the First Bulgarian State - the fortress Sborishte were found. According to the latest research, the famous battle between Khan Krum and Emperor Nicephorus in 811 took place in the Targovishte Pass, instead of the imposed version of the Varbish Pass. This is judged by an inscription on a stone slab found near Misionis. It clearly shows the inscription "kan", ie. khan, and its dating is somewhere from the beginning of the 9th century. The stone was discovered years ago at the fortress, but only now have scientists begun to read it. The first data point to the fact that in the 9th - 10th century in these lands of the First Bulgarian Kingdom there were fortified fortresses, which in fact have remained since Byzantine times and our ancestors used with few improvements, leaving marks on the stones. This inscription, an open amphora with the symbol of the Dulo family, along with the animals painted on stone, found by Prof. Dimitar Ovcharov, directly refer to the version that near Targovishte is "Krumovoto Kale", as the fortress Misionis was known in folklore. It is quite possible that in July 811 it was here, in the Boaza Khan Krum pass, that he met and defeated the 60,000 Byzantine army led by Basil Nicephorus I Genicus. From here it leads the most direct way to Sredets, starting from the robbed Pliska. In addition, numerous remains of arrows from different periods were found in the fortress, which means that heavy fighting took place at this place. A settlement and a fortress from the Second Bulgarian State were also found.

Ottoman-Turkish period
From 1573 in the tax register of the Ottoman Empire for the first time there is the old name of the village Eski Dzhumaya. In 1658 it became an administrative center.

Contact with European culture and the thirst for knowledge prepare the ground for active educational activities. As early as the 18th century, a cell school was opened here, which in 1846 was transformed into a secular one. The great Revivalist Petko R. Slaveykov taught there. At that time a Christian church and a community center were built in the town. The fair and craft glory of Targovishte is preserved in the Renaissance. Many crafts developed - abadjiystvo, mutafchiystvo, gaitandzhiystvo, shoemaking, etc., and soon after the city became the center of the most famous fair in the European part of the Ottoman Empire.

Hungarian ethnographer and artist Felix Kanitz, during a visit to the city on the eve of the Liberation, mentioned that it was predominantly Muslim, with eight Turkish neighborhoods of about 1,400 houses and three Bulgarian neighborhoods with about 400 houses. According to him, the Bulgarians were more solidly built than the Turks.

In 1872 Angel Kanchev created a secret revolutionary committee. The national awakeners Sava Gerenov and Sava Katrafilov sow the seeds of knowledge and progress. Nikola Simov (Kuruto) was born here - the standard-bearer of Botev's detachment.

With the advance of the Russian army on January 27, 1878, the Turks gathered from the town and surrounding villages began to emigrate with the regular Turkish army to Shumen. Some of the Turks, Circassians and armed men from the villages, led by Kuzli Yusuf, Kyuchuk Ali and June Ahmed, remained in the city and subjugated the city. The fair, the bazaar and the Bulgarian Meeting neighborhood were set on fire. About 400 shops, 7 inns, 50-60 Bulgarian and Turkish houses, as well as the famous city clock tower burned down together with their goods. The total number of victims was about 485 people. But some did not choose to flee, and with weapons in hand gathered in separate houses with their families and defended themselves. The protection in the old quarter of Varos was best organized. Hadji Iliya h. Markov, warned by Effendi Castle that the Turks were preparing to flee, bought gunpowder and ammunition and prepared a large quantity of ammunition with his son. As soon as the arson began, the local Bulgarian leaders gathered at the house of Vasil Magnoolu, deciding to convene the population of the whole neighborhood and defend themselves. About 350-400 people gathered. But not everywhere the defense was successful - many were slaughtered, shot and hanged. The church was not spared either.

The book "The Suffering of the Bulgarians", published in Plovdiv in 1889, describes:


"... after the Turks removed their families from the city, under the leadership of Kizili Yusuf, Injili Oglu Ahmed, Kyuchuk-Ali Ijun Ahmed with a detachment of troops and Circassians, set fire to the bazaar and the Bulgarian neighborhood on the right bank of the Vrana valley, embarked with rifles and bare knives in their hands, tortured for money and tortured, dishonorable women, raped maidens, robbed mothers in the arms of children and cut them in two, dismembered women and killed their children, cut off the ears of the elderly, the eyes of some with their knives they twisted and finally killed them with a rifle or a knife."

Seeing the stalemate, several brave citizens, divided into two groups, crossed the Balkans seeking Russian help for the city. One group - Penyo Stoyanov, Bandyu Dimitrov, Genyo Dimitrov, Vasil Stoykov and Dosi Todorov, passed by the village of Razboyna and entered the Balkans through Boaza, passing near Vardun and approaching Osman Pazar. The other group, led by Sava Sevov and Stoyan Mitrev, found themselves with the Russians, passing through the village of Bozhurka. Penyo Stoyanov's group was captured by a Russian patrol and he reported to Lieutenant General Ernroth about the tragic situation of Eski Dzhumaya. A detachment was formed under the leadership of the Russian regiment Karganov from three battalions of the Okhotsk regiment, one hundred Cossacks and two cannons. The unit immediately went to the city and on January 29, 1878 it was liberated. The next day, by decision of the Russian command, five of those arrested were convicted and hanged publicly for their actions.

Post-liberation period (1878 - 1944)
According to the 1885 census, there are 9,558 people living in the city, of whom 5,976 are Turks, 3,250 Bulgarians, 331 Gypsies and one Jew. The Bulgarians lived in "Varush mahala" (today part of "Varosha").

In 1934 the town was renamed Targovishte, as it is today.