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Shumen City – How to find us


By car

Highway road I-4  Sofia – Veliko Tarnovo – Shumen (E772)
Highway road I-2  Rousse – Shumen – Varna (E70)
Highway road I-7  Romania/Silistra – Shumen – Yambol – Lesovo/Turkey
Secondary road II-73 Shumen – Smyadovo – Karnobat

By train

Main (national) rail route Sofia – Shumen – Varna
Railway line – Shumen – Komunary – Karnobat, transfer to South Bulgaria


The earliest traces of human presence in Shumen region date back to the Early Iron Age, 12th c. BC. The first settlement also correlates to the same period. It was constructed of crushed stone walls, two meters in width.

The name of Shumen, once known as Simeonis (Shimeomis), was mentioned for the very first time in 12th c. In 1153 the Arab georgrapher Idrisi described it as an old and famous city situated amongst highlands on a well watered and cultivated surroundings, having also developed trade. Professor Tomashek claimed that Simeonis was the Arab verification of King Simeon’s name. In 14th c. Dubrovnian traders when passing through Sofia and Tarnovo, on their way to Balchik and Silistra, used to pronounce the name as Shumna or Shuman. When describing the wars of Vladislav III Varnenchik in 1444, Behaim refered to the fortress as Shemla. Irechek and Ishirkov explained the origin of the name as coming from “noisy”, for the town was located in a wooded, leafy place.

After conquering the territory, Romans erected a war castel on the same spot where remains of Thracian fortification were. The Ancient Bulgarian fortification that was there dates to 7th-10th c.  During the ages, around modern day Shumen were erected defensive walls and towers. That was the way the old Bulgarian fortification was turned into a well-guarded feudal town having its inner and outer fortification consisting of 28 towers, 3 gates, churches and workshops.

After a long siege the place was conquered by the Ottomans. After the Liberation the town declined because of the limited market for craft production, though later it recovered.

During the period of the Bulgarian national revival, Shumen turns into one of the busiest craft and commercial centers. The city had a vibrant cultural life. Shumen was the city where many cultural events took place for the very first time in Bulgaria. On May 11th was held the first celebration in commemoration of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. In 1828 was established the first school for girls. In 1846 were established the first school communities, and in 1856 the first secular school for girls. In 1851 Mihai Shafran established the first Bulgarian orchestra comprised of 11 participants.
Prominent Bulgarian enlighteners such as: Dobri Voinikov, Vassil Drumev, Sava Dobroplodni, Panayot Volov, Nancho Popovich, Iliya R. Blaskov and many others worked here. Dobri Voinikov is considered as the first Bulgarian playwriter, founder of the Bulgarian drama and theater. In 1871 he set the beginning of the Bulgarian comedy with “Civilization  Misunderstood”. In 1856 was established the first community center named after him. On August 15th, 1856, was staged the first theater performance in Bulgaria – a comedy called “Mihal Mishkoed” adapted by Sava Dobroplodni.

The very first Bulgarian novel “Unhappy Family” was written by Vassil Drumev in1861. He left a trace as a playwriter too. “Ivanko, Assassin of Asen I “ the first significant Bulgarian drama work.

In 1857 in Shumen was held one of the first archaeological conventions which later set the beginning of museum activities.

Panayot Volov, the Apostle of the April uprising was also born in Shumen.

The composer Pancho Vladigerov spent many years in Shumen too.  
It’s worth visiting the city of Shumen! 

Twin Cities


      The city of Barnaul is situated on the Ob river in the West Siberian lowlands, and since 1937 is the administrative center of Altai region. Till the end of the 18th c. and the beginning of 19th c., nearly 90% of Russia’s silver has been produced in the Altai region. Today Barnaul is the heavy industrialized, scientific and cultural center of the Siberian region. There are numerous heavy industry enterprises such as machinery, chemical and processing industry.
   The city of Barnaul is a center of a newly created industry of diamond faceting which citizens hope to develop, and turn into a prosperous profitable business.
      Currently this is one of the few places in Russia specialized in diamond faceting industry.         


Debrecen – Hungary

        Debrecen is situated in Eastern Hungary, and is the capital of Hajdu – Bihar county. The name of the city occurred for the first time in 1235, in an ecclesiastic document. Today it’s the second largest city after the capital city Budapest; it is located 30 kilometers of the Romanian border and 230 km of the capital city Budapest. An important rail track is crossing Debrecen, starting from Budapest, passing through the cities of Solnok, Debrecen and Niherzada, leading its way towards the Ukrainian border and other former Soviet Union republics. 
        House – museum “Lajos Kossuth” in Shumen links Bulgarian and Hungarian history. The leader of the Hungarian revolution Lajos Kossuth lived there during his exile. Annually in Debrecen is held the Debrecen Flower Festival.
        Both towns are twinned since October 1998.


Macon – France

The city of Macon was foundеd in the 3rd century. It’s a prefecture of the Saône-et-Loire department, in the region of Bourgogne. It is also the administrative centre of Sône-et-Loire department.
The largest part of the city is situated along the right shore of the river Saône.

The region of Mâcon produces the well-known wines from the Chardonnay grape.
The city has hosted three times the Tour de France.
Shumen and Macon have signed their Twinning oath in April 2006. 


Podolsk – Russia

         Situated in central European Russia on the Pakhra river, the city of Podolsk is one of the most industrialized cities in Moscow Oblast with over ten various industrial enterprises including heavy machinery, cement and cables.
Podolsk was first mentioned in the Russian chronicles in 1627-1628 as Podol village, a patrimony of Danilov monastery of Moscow. Empress Ekaterina II-nd declared Podolsk city in 1781.
           Both Shumen and Podolsk have signed the Twinning oath in May.

        Between 20th – 30th September, 2005, Shumen Drama and Puppet Theater successfully toured in Russia, performing on the stage of Podolsk’s Palace of Culture.  


Tournai – Belgium

       The city is located in the Province of Hainaut, which is a part of the Walloon region of Belgium. Along with the city of Tongeren, Tournai is the second oldest city in Belgium and it has had a significant influence in the country’s cultural history. The 2000 year old town is extremely proud of its long and vast history. 
       The mixed Romanesque and Gothic-style cathedral of Notre Dame de Tournai and the Belfry, the oldest in Belgium, have been jointly designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
         The twinning oath between Shumen and Tournai was signed in November 2008.


Tulcea – Romania

     The city is the administrative center of region Tulcea, Northern Dobrudja, Romania. It is an important harbor on the Danube Delta. Stefan Todorov Dimov (Karadjata) lived there. In the city of Tulcea there is Bulgarian Orthodox  church “St. Georgy” built in 1667. There have been School for girls and School for boys, Bulgarian community centre “Saglasie”, Bulgarian trade association, Bulgarian association of women “Nadejda”.  
      Both Shumen and Tulcea have signed their Twinning oath in June 2007.


Zhengzhou – China

Zhengzhou is a multimillion city and administrative centre of the central Chinese province Henan. It is a center of textiles industry. The name of Zhengzhou came from the Sui Dynasty. Lying on the Southern plain of the Yellow River, Zhengzhou was an ancient Chinese capital and a traditional trade center. It has impressive cultural heritage depicting heroic past. The city is a starting point to the famous Shaolin temple.

Shumen participated in the Second Green Garden EXPO 2010 presenting a project called “Bulgarian Garden”, in front of whose entrance is the concentric flower figure of the Madara Horseman which is an allegory of the coat of arms of Shumen, and was voted a global symbol of Bulgaria. The above mentioned garden will remain as a part of the landscape of the Chinese city.

Shumen and Zhengzhou are twin towns since April 2007.