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Sliven History, Bulgaria

The town of Sliven is located in the southeastern part of Bulgaria. It is the administrative capital of the province with the same name. The town is popular because of the Bulgarian Haiduts who went to combat against the Ottomans in the 1800s. Just like the other places in the country, its citizens supported the revolution for Bulgaria’s Independence. Trace all the significant facts recorded in Sliven History.

Sliven History – Establishment of the Town

It is believed that the name Sliven was derived by combining the names of where it is located – the field, mountain, and the rivers Selishka, Novosselska, and Assenovska. A settlement was established in the town between the 7th and 11th centuries through the old military path starting from the Danube to the Vratnik Pass.

In 1153, it was the Arabian geographer named Idrissi who initially gave a report about Sliven, which he called Istilifounos. When the Turks attacked the town in 1388, it was completely annihilated. Following the destruction, the Ottomans rebuilt Sliven and occupied it for a number of centuries.

Sliven History – Ottoman Occupation

The first decades of the Ottoman occupation brought a number of privileges to the town of Sliven. The residents started to breed falcons and guard mountain routes. Slowly, it evolved into a significant center for crafting, expanded in size, and improved the welfare of the citizens. Weaving of woolen textiles known as “kebe” had placed Sliven on the map and became very popular. The town’s population rose from around 20,000 in 1828 to about 25,000 in 1872.

The Russian-Turkish War in 1828 brought the Russian armed forces to town. The Turks were victorious in the war. After the Russian army left the country, about 15,000 Bulgarians left with them and started to live in Bessarabia, Romania, and South Russia.

Following the battle, Sliven started to mature as a center of crafts and trade, and used the water power of the three rivers. The art of making woolen textiles especially the “aba” was further developed. This industry helped the town to progress as many traders flock in Sliven yearly to buy meters and meters of textiles. In 1836, the very first woolen textile industrial unit was constructed in Sliven. This was owned by Dobri Zhelyazkov.

Rifle making became the second most significant industry of the town. Trade fairs in the town were attended by merchants from countries like Hungary, Poland and Turkey. These expositions helped in building up the economy of Sliven.

Sliven History – Independence of Bulgaria

During the Bulgarian National Revival, Sliven became popular as “the town of 100 voivodi.” It supported the movement for liberating the whole of Bulgaria. After the war in 1878, all of Bulgaria was freed from the Ottoman rule. Although there was freedom, Sliven experienced a relative decline in its industry because craft making in town deteriorated. It had to rely on the textile industry to boost its economy. In the succeeding years up to today, Sliven strengthens the textile manufacturing.

Just like in other European cities, Sliven History is a combination of triumphs and downfalls. To appreciate this continent even more, read facts listed in Bucharest Travel Guide and Constanta Travel Guide.

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