Silistra is a town in north-eastern Bulgaria, center of Silistra region and a significant river port, set on the southern bank of teh Danube river. The town is located 442 km to the north-east from the city of Sofia, 122 km to the north-east from the town of Ruse, 113 km to the north from the town of Shumen and 143 km away from the city of Varna. The town is the administrative center of Silistra municipality. The population numbers to 41 000 people. The climate is temperate-continental and is characterized by a cold winter with plenty of snowfalls, a sunny spring, a hot, dry summer and a cool autumn. The relief is predominantly flat.
Silistra is considered to be the oldest settlement in Bulgaria, built over 5 000 years BC by the Thracians and restored later on by the Roman Empire. The Roman town of Durostorum was established in 29 year BC and became the capital of the Roman province Moesia. It was initially a bivouac, built over a former Thracian settlement. In 5 year BC it got deserted after being plundered by Goths, Huns, Avars, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians and other tribes. During the middle ages the name of the town was Drastar. The settlement used to be of great importance during the ages, until it has been occupied by the Turks in 1388. In 1877 it was liberated by the Russian armies and turned over to Bulgaria. After Bulgaria lost the Second Balkan War the Saint-Petersburg treaty was signed in 1913 according to which Silistra has become a part of Romania. Later on, in 1940 Bulgaria has regained its rule over Silistra.
Silistra has an excellent infrastructure. The roads are in a very good condition. Many trees are planted on the streets in the town giving it a unique look, providing coolness in the hot summer and getting covered in beautiful colours during the autumn. There are different quarters in the town with a specific infrastructure. The residential buildings are predominantly one and two-storey houses with small, neat, well-maintained yards in which grow a vine-arbour, fruit-trees and flowers. There are also taller buildings in the outskirts of the town, and 4-5 storey buildings in the central part.
All modern services and conveniences are available in Silistra: a polyclinic, a hospital, a dental clinic, private doctor's and dentist's offices, a church, a mosque, a regional library, post-offices, banks, many cafes, restaurants and hotels. Several internet providers are providing high-quality services including digital TV and telephone. A digital telephone operator is available.
Near the city operates on of the most modern factories for collection and processing of domestic waste in Bulgaria, built in conformity with all European standards and requirements.
Many branches are being developed in Silistra: agriculture, textile, furniture production, production of stainless utensils, production of meat and milk products and brick-making.
Most important for the development of the region is the agriculture, over 80% of the population in the region is occupied in this field.
The trade is developing progressively, as well. The first mall in Silistra was opened in May 2009. It is located in the center of the town, right next to the Danube Park.
There are excellent opportunities for the development of cultural and eco-tourism.
Most developed are the bus and railway transportation. Regular bus-lines are available to Ruse, Razgrad, Shumen, Dobrich, Varna and to the smaller settlements in the region.
The bus-station and the railway station are situated next to each other in the industrial zone of the town. Silistra is the last station on Sofia-Silistra rail-road.
The port benefits from well developed transportation infrastructure - roads and rail roads are available to connect the port to the main transportation net. Water and electricity supply is available for the vessels at the port.
In the eastern part.
A ferry-boat complex is operating to connect Silistra to the neighbouring Romanian town Kalarash.
A project is being developed for the construction of a bridge over the Danube to connect Silistra and Kalarash.
Some 10 km away from the center of the town, near Lambrinovo village lies Silistra Airport. It is a small airport designed to serve both passenger and cargo planes.
The town is a host of many international, national and local cultural events: an international festival of the puppet theatre, the festival of the Bulgarian folklore, a national tournament of dance sports etc.
In the town there are 16 kindergartens, 3 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, 8 high schools, a school for children with intellectual disabilities.