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Svishtov
Свищов
Church of the Holy Trinity (1867) designed by Kolyo Ficheto

Coat of arms
Svishtov is located in Bulgaria
Svishtov
Location of Svishtov
Coordinates: 43°37′N 25°21′E / 43.617°N 25.35°E / 43.617; 25.35
Country  Bulgaria
Province
(Oblast)
Veliko Tarnovo
Government
 - Mayor Stanislav Blagov (UDF)
Elevation 0-80 m (-262 ft)
Population (13.09.2006)
 - Total 33,000
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 5250
Area code(s) 0631

Svishtov (Bulgarian: Свищов, known as Свѣщний / Sveshtniy in old Bulgarian) is a town in northern Bulgaria, located in Veliko Tarnovo Province on the right bank of the Danube.The city is the third largest in Veliko Tarnovo Province after the towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Gorna Oryahovitsa.The town is also the administrative centre of Svishtov Municipality.

Contents

Geography

Svishtov is situated in northern central Bulgaria on the banks of the Danube river.This is the most southern place on the banks of the Danube river and the most southern harbour on the Danube in Bulgaria.The distance between the town of Svishtov and Sofia is 237 kilometers, 80 kilometers to Pleven and 90 km to Rousse.

History

Svishtov is identified with the Roman colony Novae mentioned by Ptolemy. It served as a base of operations for Roman campaigns against Barbarian tribes, last time during Maurice's Balkan campaigns.

For a short time the place was The Main City for the Ostrogoths of Teodoric The Great. Theodoric occupied Singidunum (Belgrade) in 471 and, after plundering Macedonia and Greece, settled in Novae (the modern Svishtov), on the lower Danube, in 483, where he remained till he transferred the sphere of his activities to Italy ten years later.

It was destroyed some time after 613, as shown by coin founds minted up to this date. The exact site appears to have been Staklen, to the west of the present town, which has gradually moved eastward since the 16th century, when it was almost destroyed in the Turkish wars.

It was at Svishtov that the peace treaty was signed in 1791 (the Treaty of Sistova), by which the Austrian-Ottoman boundary was determined. The town was burned in 1810 by the Russians; but after 1820 a process of revival began, and the introduction of steam traffic on the lower Danube (1835) restored its prosperity. The Romanian town of Alexandria was founded by fugitives from Svishtov after the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829.

Svishtov is known as the first town to be liberated during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78, since the largest part of the Imperial Russian Army forced the Danube nearby.

On 4 March 1977, Svishtov suffered major structural damage in the Vrancea earthquake, including the collapse of three apartment blocks in which over 100 people were killed.

Svishtov Cove in Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Svishtov.

Name

The origins of the name Svishtov can be found in its old Bulgarian variation Sveshtniy (Свѣщний), deriving from the word svesht/svyasht (свѣщ), meaning candle. This was due to the existence of a lighthouse in the city. The previous name Sistova was first mentioned in the treaty after the Austro-Turkish War in 1791, when Bulgaria was still under Ottoman rule. This name was chosen instead of the Turkish word Zigit. During the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria the town was also known as Ziştovi and in Romanian as Şiştova.

Religion

The main religion in Svishtov is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. There is also a small group of Roman Catholics that have migrated from the surrounding villages of Oresh, Dragomirovo and the town of Belene.

Politics

The mayor of Svishtov Municipality is Stanislav Blagoev, he is in his third mandate and is chosen from the list of the coalition For Svishtov that includes SSD, SDS, BZNS and Lider.

Economics

Harbour, Electronics, chemical industry, agriculture:wheat

Landmarks and Interesting places

One of the most beautiful places around the town of Svishtov is the unique river valley(1–2 km away from the town) with the monastery of Svishtov; the region called Pametnistsite / Паметниците (The Monuments) on the banks of the Danube and the park around the old fortress in the centre of the town. The House-museum of the Bulgarian novelist Aleko Konstantinov is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria. Another place around the town is the region called Мanastira / Манастира (The monastery) 5 km south-east of the town.

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