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Shipka is located in Bulgaria
Location of Shipka (town)
Coordinates: 42°42′N 25°23′E / 42.7°N 25.383°E / 42.7; 25.383
Country  Bulgaria
Stara Zagora
 - Mayor Stoyan Ivanov
Elevation 650 m (2,133 ft)
Population (2005)
 - Total 1,398
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 6150
Area code(s) 04324
License plate CT

Shipka (Bulgarian: Шипка, "Rosa canina") is a town in central Bulgaria, part of Kazanlak municipality, Stara Zagora Province. It lies in the Central Balkan Mountains, at 42°42′N 25°23′E / 42.7°N 25.383°E / 42.7; 25.383, 650 metres above sea level. As of 2005, Shipka has a population of 1,398 and the mayor is Stoyan Ivanov.

The town is known for being located near the historic Shipka Pass, the location of several key battles in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. Local sights include the Shipka Memorial (1934) on Stoletov Peak, the Buzludzha Monument, the Russian-style Shipka Memorial Church (1885–1902) and the recently discovered Thracian tomb Golyamata Kosmatka.

The population is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox and ethnically Bulgarian, with a notable minority of Karakachans (a Greek-speaking transhumant people of obscure origin).


Shipka Pass

The Shipka Pass (Bulgarian: Шипченски проход, Shipchenski prohod) (el. 1150 m./3820 ft.) is 13 km from the town, and connects the town with Gabrovo.

During the Russo-Turkish War, Shipka Pass was the scene of a series of conflicts collectively named the Battle of Shipka Pass.

The Shipka Memorial (Bulgarian: паметник „Шипка“), a memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass, stands near the pass.

Shipka Memorial Church

The Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ (Bulgarian: Храм-паметник „Рождество Христово“, Hram-pametnik „Rozhdestvo Hristovo“), better known as the Shipka Memorial Church or Shipka Monastery is a Bulgarian Orthodox church built near the town of Shipka in Stara Planina between 1885 and 1902 to Antoniy Tomishko's design in the seventeenth-century Muscovite style, under the direction of architect Alexander Pomerantsev. It is, together with the other parts of the Shipka Monument complex, dedicated to the Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian soldiers that died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78.

The western façade and the entrance

The temple was officially opened on 28 September 1902 in the presence of Russian Army generals and many honourable guests. The opening and consecration of the Shipka Memorial Church coincided with the 25-year anniversary of the Battles of Shipka Pass. In 1970, the temple was proclaimed a national monument of culture.

The church's bell tower reaches a height of 53 m and its bells, the heaviest of which weighs 12 tons, were cast from the cartridges that were collected after the battles. In the temple itself, the names of the Russian regiments and Bulgarian volunteers are inscribed on 34 marble plates. The remains of the perished are laid in 17 stone sarcophagi in the church's crypt.


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