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The Charming Town of Sliven

At the foot of a beautiful, rough mountain range and at the confluence of the Rivers Novoselska, Selishtna and Asenovska lies the charming town of Sliven.

Its mountains were once home to many revolutionary soldiers or haidut giving it its nickname "town of the hundred soldiers". It's most scenic setting is the backdrop of blue mountain rock known as the Сините камъни or "The Blue Rocks." These wondrous towers of nature assume a smoky blue colour in the early morning and later afternoon.

The shale rock face is home to an abundance of wildlife including birds of prey, wild boar, foxes and exotic butterflies. The area is abundant with opportunities for eco and spa tourism and offers a diverse range of leisure pursuits. The town is famous for its clean fresh air, abundant mineral water sources, mild winters and cool summers.

Sliven is a comparatively large town with 114,869 inhabitants, making it number eight in Bulgaria's city rankings. The town has experienced a surge in its economy as more and more industries have invested in this area. The dairy industry has been a part of the Sliven economy for centuries yet it has experienced much investment in recent years and currently continues to grow and thrive. The wine industry is also prospering, with investment from companies like Vinprom and Vini Sliven. There are also a host of prosperous heavy and light industries with their main seat in the town and they are responsible for metal work, the production of electric lights and machines and the main industry textiles, predominantly wool, clothing and socks.

 

Sliven lies on the main highway between Sofia, Plovdiv and Bourgas. The nearest airport is Bourgas, 110 km away. Sliven also lies on the main bus and train routes, which link the capital with the Black Sea coast. Everything in the city is within easy walking distance and there are frequent local transport links to surrounding towns, villages and areas of interest like the Blue Rocks.
A Dip back in Time

Sliven's first settlement can be traced back to 6000 B.C. of the Neolithic era. Sliven was a renowned settlement for the ancient Thracian Asti, Kabileti and Seleti tribes. On a small hill close to the town many Thracian and Hellenistic relics have been discovered. Sliven was conquered by some of history's greatest names notably Philip II of Macedonia and Alexander the Great.
Sliven was incorporated in to the Roman Empire during the second century B.C. and written records show that the town's name was Tsuida. Its present day name derives from the word slivam meaning to fuse as the towns location is a fusion of the pastureland, the mountain and the three rivers, which carve the town into sections.


During the Bulgarian National Revival, Sliven became one of the most important cultural centres and much of its heritage from this period is still preserved and enriched the town and surrounding areas today. It also boasts that it is the birthplace of many of those leaders from the Revival period, namely Julia Kristeva, Hadzhi Dimitar, Dobri Chintulov and many others. On a more modern note, Anton Pann, the composer of the Romanian national anthem was born here.

 


Eating, Drinking and Where to Stay

RESTAURANTS

Zamuka - delightful and inexpensive outdoor restaurant in the town's park.

Areka - located in the centre of Sliven, this restaurant offers a wide range of cuisine including traditional Bulgarian Mehana

Dariankreys - is a reasonably priced small restaurant in the centre, which specialises in international cuisine.

Aktual- Mega - a Chinese restaurant, which is managed to a high standard and offers good quality food.

Pizzeria Ragazza - has a huge variety of pizza, which is all freshly baked to order. The menu also offers other classic Italian favourites such as lasagne and pasta.

Karakachanska Kashta - a restaurant which serves in traditional Bulgarian cuisine. The food is of high quality and is reasonably priced.

CAFES

There are many street cafes in Sliven. One of the best is the Cafe Geya 90, where the menu consists of traditional snacks from meat to fish soup. The drinks are extremely well priced and the atmosphere is one of comfort and fun.

BARS

Vai - a great place to go for a relaxing drink. It has a peaceful and friendly atmosphere.

Polis - a place where you can relax over the morning's newspapers or meet with friends. It has a wide range of music and it also holds parties and an annual big concert with the Sliven Symphony Orchestra.

CLUBS

There are many clubs for dance lovers; Tangra is a great place for people of all ages. The club is situated in the centre near Billa and has a capacity for 300 people.

HOTELS

Hotel Imperia - a luxurious 4 star hotel located in the heart of Sliven; with 35 double rooms, 6 bedroom suites and 8 apartments. Facilities include fitness rooms, saunas, a swimming pool and a wide range of deluxe restaurants.

Windy Hills Chateau - This deluxe hotel contains 11 double rooms, unforgettable walks, and wine-making displays from the juicy home grown red grapes. The traditional cellar has been converted into a restaurant seating 60 guests.

National Hotel - This is the newest hotel in the centre of Sliven. The National Hotel offers restaurants, a conference hall and a delightful garden area. There are 25 double rooms, 4 studio rooms, 2 apartments and 3 VIP suites.

White Bear Hotel - located in the stunning National Park in the Karandila 30 km from Sliven town. The hotel offers panoramic views and comfortable accommodation and a friendly atmosphere.

Ichera Hotel - is situated 20km from the heart of Sliven. This is a cosy family run hotel with good accommodations and a charming restaurant with a barbeque and a beautiful summer garden with swimming pool.

Hotel Park Central - The hotel is modern and stylish and is situated in the centre of the city, overlooking the park. The restaurant has a varied menu. The interior of the hotel is decorated with paintings of roses, which have been bought from art schools across Bulgaria.