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A City Visit To Stara Zagora

 

 

There are shopping centres of renowned hypermarket chains like Metro, Billa, Kaufland, Technopolis, Technomarket, and Mr. Bricolage. Plus modern shopping malls including Galleria, Park mall, Carrefour city mall.

Also worth visiting is Handknit Crafts, an enterprise owned and operated by a group of women from the Stara Zagora Home for the Handicapped. These eight women combine their talents to create unique hand knitted products that reflect the very best in traditional Bulgarian crafts. Designs are created by local artist Leonora Gencheva. The group have a website where you can purchase goods over the internet. (www.handknitcrafts.com).


Recreation and Sport

Rent a rowboat on lovely Zagorka Lake or have fun in a paddleboat at Ezeroto Lake. Stara Zagora offers much to do in the way of sport and recreation. Fishing is available on the banks of the Tunzha River or the popular Coprinka Dam.

Located in the north-western part of the city near Ayazmoto Park, Beroe Stadium seats 12,000 and has gymnastics, acrobatics, boxing, and table tennis facilities. Many tournaments are held here including the Martial Arts Tournament in May and two annual football tournaments. The National RC Speedboat Championship is held on the Zagorka Lake in August.

There are also bowling alleys in the town centre with excellent bar facilities. Moya, Stara Zagora's latest bowling alley and entertainment centre, has a total of six Brunswick lanes and a stylish setting.
Water Land lies 30 kilometres from the city and offers an Aqua Park with mineral water swimming pools with artificial waves, waterslides, large Jacuzzis and swimming pools. In addition to water sports facilities, there are areas dedicated beach volleyball and one for football.

In addition to recreation facilities, the park also offers six open-air bars, one of them submerged in water and a nightclub with a huge laser beam cutting through the darkness above the Kazanlak Valley. Stara Zagora is renowned for its hiking and trips can be arranged to nearby villages and through the Stara Planina. If walking is too energetic, you can arrange to take a jeep safari.

Performing Arts

The Geo Milev theatre presents outstanding classical and modern productions by the Stara Zagora Drama Group.

The opera is connected with the names of internationally recognised Bulgarian opera singers like Hristina Morphova, Georgi Batalov, Todor Mazarov, and Anna Tomova-Sintova. Further to the Stara Zagora Opera house renovations, it now boasts to have the largest, modern revolving stage in Bulgaria.

The State Puppet Theatre provides excellent performances for children of all ages. The productions are both creative and fun-packed. Every September, the Puppet Theatre hosts the Pierrot International Puppet Theatre for Adults Festival.

There are two cinemas in the city, the Comsomol and the Septemvri Open Air Cinema.The region has a long cultural history and boasts an impressive number of talented poets, writers, artists, musicians, and actors. Numerous cultural events take place throughout the year and it is worth planning a visit to co-inside with one of them.

The Bagatur School for Ancient Bulgarian Martial Arts organises demonstration tournaments to present typical combat techniques and weapons, historical and folklore tales, rites, dances and games that were performed by the first Bulgarians, Thracians and Slavs.

During the Palm Sunday weekend, in the town centre, local girls perform traditional Lazaruvane songs.
During late May and early June, The Trakia Pee (Thrace Sings) Festival attracts folk groups from throughout Thrace to perform at outdoor venues. The National Festival of Gypsy Music takes place in Ayazmoto Park at the end of June.

BEER!

You could be forgiven for wondering why every cafe and bar has large parasols with Zagorka Beer so heavily promoted. Apart from the fact that Zagorka is the most popular beer brand in Bulgaria, it is produced by the Zagorka Brewery in the city and many of the townsfolk are employed here. The lager's name was derived from that of the city.

The beer itself is a full bodied, mildly hopped Pilsner with a 5% alcohol content. The brewery is not independently owned, in the mid-1990s, it became a fully owned subsidiary of the Dutch brewing giant Heineken. Today the brewery produces Ariana, Stolichno, Heineken, Amstel and Murphy's here.

In August, the beer festival takes place on the banks of the Zagorka Lake.

Photographs courtesy: www.bulgariaphotos.net