Kazanlak, Bulgaria
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Kazanlak is famous worldwide City Of Roses in Bulgaria, and Thracian Kings, is located in the lovely Rose Valley, at the foot of Stara Planina mountain.

The town of Kazanlak is located in the center of Bulgaria, in the western part of the Kazanlak basin. The town’s population is around 82,000. Kazanlak is the center of the Valley of the Roses, the home of the Thracian kings, and an attractive tourist destination. The country’s largest and best preserved Thracian tombs are found here, and they are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with the Museum of Roses. There are two nature reserves and five protected areas in the vicinity of Kazanlak, preserving natural wonders and age-old forests. The town neighbors on the largest and stunningly beautiful reserve in the Stara Planina mountain range, Dzhendema, which is part of the Central Balkans National Park. The park extends almost to the Kazanlak’s western town limits.

The greatest treasure of the region Kazanlak is the famous Rosa Damascena, known as the Damask or Castile rose. The rose was imported into Bulgaria centuries ago, and today it is one of the national symbols. Under the influence of the country’s unique climate and soil, this rose gradually developed into a Bulgarian strain distinct from the Damask roses.

That is the reason why, at the beginning of the 19th century this rose was named the Kazanlak Damask rose and the valley to the south of the Central Balkans came to be known as the Valley of the Roses.

Along with the production of rose oil, a leading role in the economic development of the region was commerce related to the roses. The first official records of rose oil exports refer to trade with Germany and Austro-Hungary beginning in 1771.

The Museum of Roses was founded in 1984 . The exhibits are arranged in three separate halls, and include original photographs and documents related to the cultivation of roses during the 18th -19th centuries and in the 20th century. There is a display of tools used for cultivation of rose gardens, along with vessels used to store and transport rose oil and rosewater.

The Festival of the Roses is one of the most remarkable Bulgarian events.  The festival was first held in 1903, and it has become a tradition ever since. It takes time during the first weekend in June, because this is when the Kazanlak roses bloom. The festival has become an international attraction, when the city is glad to host thousands of guests. The festival program includes the crowning of the Rose Queen and the ritual gathering and distilling of roses.

Among the town’s more interesting attractions is the house of the acclaimed Bulgarian writer, artist, and activist Dimitar Chorbadzhiiski, also know as Chudomir (1890-1967). The house was declared a museum the year after his death, in 1968, and now has the status of a national historical cultural landmark.

When visiting Kazanlak, do not miss the Valley of the Thracian Kings – you can visit the tombs of Ostrusha, Kosmatka the Great, Arsenalka the Great, The Gryphons, Helvetia, Shushmanets, and Svetitsata. The unique finds from these tombs are now on display at the Iskra Historical Museum.



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Map of Kazanlak