The Stara Zagora region’s capital city is one of the most important cultural centres in Bulgaria, and is one of the oldest cities in the whole of Europe. The region is rich in water resources, and in the fertile plains of Kazanlak grow the world-famous Bulgarian Roses from which precious rose oil is extracted.
The most historically important region of Stara Zagora must be the Valley of the Thracian Kings, which includes the well-preserved remains of an ancient city. The valley is also called the Rose Valley for its blooms.
Stara Zagora is also rich in mineral springs, and so a lot of spas and health centres have sprung up in the area. There is no shortage of natural beauty in the region—lush forests, deep gorges, and high waterfalls and cliffs dot Stara Zagora. The village of Granit also claims to have the oldest tree in Bulgaria: an oak tree estimated to be 1,640 years old.
Stara Zagora has a large industrial region and has several good medical and educational institutions. It is well-connected, being the central hub of the national railway, linking it with all of the major Bulgarian cities and several cities in Eastern and Western Europe as well.
Stara Zagora City
Stara Zagora city was the location of Thracian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine cities that yielded considerable power in the ancient world. The city was a cradle of European civilization, and the BBC-produced film, The History of Europe, starts right in the city’s Neolithic Museum.
Stara Zagora manufactures textiles, beverages, machinery and furniture. The town is a good choice if you are looking to live the good life on a small budget. There are many recently-built low-cost developments, set against stunning natural backgrounds, and the region’s rich cultural heritage has led it to be recognized by FDI Magazine as having the best quality of life in Europe in October 2004.
The fertile plains of Stara Zagora have been inhabited since ancient times. Traces of prehistoric life, and vestiges of some of the first homes built in Europe, have been discovered here. The most famous archeological site in Stara Zagora is The Valley of the Thracian Kings, where royal relics made of solid gold have been discovered. The well-preserved ancient city of Seuthopolis has been discovered here.
The word “yagoda” means strawberry, so Yagoda is also known as the Strawberry Village. Situated on the slopes of the Sredna Gora, it has a Thracian tomb and old fortresses, monasteries and churches in the vicinity, including the Maglizh Monastery.
There are many mineral springs in the area. Yagoda also has a hotel and spa centre.