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Coat of arms
Sliven is located in Bulgaria
Location of Sliven
Coordinates: 42°41′N 26°20′E / 42.683°N 26.333°E / 42.683; 26.333
Country  Bulgaria
 - Mayor Yordan Lechkov (independent)
Elevation 243 m (797 ft)
Population (2006-06-12)
 - Total 115,758
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 8800
Area code(s) 044
License plate CH

Sliven (Bulgarian: Сливен) is a town in southeast Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Sliven Province. It is a relatively large town with 115,000 inhabitants (the 8th largest in Bulgaria). Sliven is famous for its Bulgarian Haiduts who fought against the Ottoman Turks in the 19th century and is known as the "City of the 100 Voyvodi", a Voyvoda being a leader of Haiduts. The current mayor of the city is former football star Yordan Letchkov.

View of Sliven and the lowlands of Thrace from southern Stara Planina

The famous rocky massif Sinite Kamani (Сините камъни, "The Blue Rocks") and the associated national park, the fresh air and the mineral springs offer diverse opportunities for leisure and tourism. Investors are exploring the opportunity to use the famous local wind (Bora) for the production of electricity.

Another point of interest and symbol of the city, as featured on the coat of arms, is the thousand-year-old Stariya Briast (Старият Бряст, "The Old Elm"), a large Smooth-leaved Elm in the center of the city. During the time of the Ottoman Occupation, Turkish officials would hang Bulgarian revolutionaries on the tree. In modern times, the city is doing its best to keep the tree alive with the addition of cement to the base.

Sliven Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Sliven.


Geography and climate

Sliven is located 300 km east of Bulgaria's capital Sofia, 100 km from Bourgas, the country's largest commercial port, 130 km from the border with Greece and 130 km from the border with Turkey. It is located in close proximity to the cities of Yambol and Nova Zagora.

West of the city lies the so called Peach Valley which contains large peach orchards. The city is also known for its mineral baths whose water is used to treat diseases of the liver and nervous system.

Sliven Panorama - east view.

The most visited geographical location and attraction in the city is the Karandila (Карандила). It is a hilltop 1050m above sealevel, with great sights overlooking the city. On the Karandila is the rock formation Halkata (Хaлката, "The Ring"). It is a rock protrusion with an interesting, yet peculiar hole in the center. According to myth, one would change gender upon passing through the ring.

At the high point was 1181 meters peak Bulgarka.


Statue of Hadzhi Dimitar in Sliven

Remains of the oldest settlements on the territory of Sliven date back to around 6000 B.C.E of the Neolithic. Ruins of a Thracian settlement dating to around 5th–3rd century B.C.E as well as Thracian ceramics and Hellenistic coins have been discovered in the area of Hisarlaka — a small hill in Sliven.In antiquity it was known as Selymnos (Greek). The area occupied by present-day Sliven has in the past been settled by the Thracian tribes Asti, Kabileti and Seleti. These tribes held their independence until time of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great who conquered them.

The second century B.C.E. marked the beginning of the Roman conquests of northeastern Thracia. Sliven became part of the Roman Empire around 71–72 B.C.E. when the Thracian[1]Kabile and later Greek[2] cities of Kabile and Apolonia are conquered. With the emergence of the Roman Empire the region of the city became part of the Thracian province of the Roman Empire.

A new stage in the city's history began around 2nd–4th century B.C.E. The first written records of the settlement's name, Tuida/Suida/Tsuida date to this period. This name is most likely of Thracian origin. Its etymology is currently not understood. It was a sanjak centre at first Rumelia eyalet, after Silistre (also called Özi) eyalet, Edirne vilayet, finally Eastern Rumelia vilayet in Ottoman Empire as "İslimye" before its inclusion in the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885.

In more modern times, Sliven became one of the most significant cultural centres during the Bulgarian National Revival, with much of its old heritage still preserved and enriched its heritage and today offers to its citizens and visitors a lot of opportunities for cultural life. It served as the birthplace of many prominent Bulgarians who contributed to the enlightenment such as Hadzhi Dimitar, Dobri Chintulov, Evgeniy Chapkanov, Ivan Sеliminski and many others. Another notable native is Anton Pann who composed the Romanian national anthem.


The economy of Sliven has centered around industry since the early 19th century. In 1834, Dobri Zhelyazkov established the first factory in Bulgarian lands, thus starting industrial development in Bulgaria. Sliven was one of the largest industrial centers in Bulgaria, playing an important role during the Bulgarian National Revival. It has long-lived traditions in textiles, machine-building, glass-making, chemical production, and the technical аnd food industries.

Following the beginning of communist rule in Bulgaria in 1944, most industries were nationalized and much industrial building and development was spurred. Industry continued to develop until the fall of communism, at which point much of the previously built industry stagnated; many plants and factories were shut down and there was little development.

In contemporary times, Sliven has experienced a surge in economy with increased investment, banking establishments and new industries have begun to emerge. The dairy industry, which has long been present, continues to grow and thrive. The wine industry, with companies such as Vinprom and Vini Sliven and about a dozen others, continues to grow as grapes are easily grown due to the climate conditions. In terms of heavy industry, Sliven is home to a 3M plant which produces machinery used to cut metals. The city also produces electric lights and electrical machines.

Light industry in Sliven is mostly devoted to textiles with many companies making wool clothing, socks, and food.


The dramatic theater in Sliven, situated on the city's main square. This theatre serves as a venue for various performing arts.

There are many buildings in the city built in the National Revival Architecture style, including the Hadzhi Dimitur House-Museum. It is in the south western part of the town and shows visitors a complex of a native memorial home and an old traditional inn. The Dobry Chintulov Memorial House Museum is on the North side of Sliven; it was the home of the Bulgarian revival teacher and poet Dobry Chintulov. The city's main theater is located at the main city square. It is named after the Sliven native Stefan Kirov (Стефан Киров) who was a prominent actor and director.


According to 2007 estimates the Sliven municipality has a population of 147,557, while the city Sliven 112,103 citizens.


Ethnic Groups

Members of the following ethnic groups are represented in the city's population.


Sliven is the administrative centre of the eponymous Sliven municipality (part of Sliven Province), which includes the following 49 places (towns in bold):

  • Bikovo
  • Binkos
  • Blatets
  • Bozhevtsi
  • Bozadzhii
  • Byala
  • Chintulovo
  • Chokoba
  • Dragodanovo
  • Gavrailovo
  • Gergevets
  • Glufishevo
  • Glushnik
  • Golyamo Chochoveni
  • Gorno Aleksandrovo
  • Gradsko
  • Ichera
  • Izgrev
  • Kaloyanovo
  • Kamen
  • Kermen
  • Kovachite
  • Krushare
  • Malko Chochoveni
  • Mechkarevo
  • Mladovo
  • Nikolaevo
  • Novachevo
  • Panaretovtsi
  • Rachenitsa
  • Rakovo
  • Samuilovo
  • Seliminovo
  • Skobelevo
  • Sliven
  • Sotirya
  • Sredorek
  • Stara Reka
  • Staro Selo
  • Strupets
  • Topolchane
  • Trapoklovo
  • Vaglen
  • Zaychari
  • Zhelyu Voyvoda
  • Zlati Voyvoda

See also

Town twinning


  1. ^ Fol, Aleksandar. The Thracian Royal city of Kabyle. - In: Settlement Life in Ancient Thrace. IIIrd International Symposium “Cabyle”, 17-21 May 1993 Jambol. Jambol, 53-55.
  2. ^ An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by The Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation by Mogens Herman Hansen,2005,Index

External links

Coordinates: 42°41′N 26°20′E / 42.683°N 26.333°E / 42.683; 26.333


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. a town in central Bulgaria


  • Bulgarian: Сливен



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