The town of Targovishte is located in the Norteastern Bulgaria, 339 km to the northeast from the city of Sofia, 41 km to the west from the town of Shumen, 25 km to the northwest from the town of Veliki Preslav and 100 km to the northeast from the town of Veliko Tarnovo.
It is situtated in the fertile and picturesque Danube Valley.
The population is more than 40 000 people.
The climate in the city is of temperate-continental type. During the winter cold winds are blowing from the northeast. The summer is dry and hot.
There are archeological evidences proving that the area has been inhabited since the copper age - 5th-4th century BC. Neolithic settlements have been revealed dated back to the 7th-6th century BC.
Later archeological findings give evidence for the civilization of the Thracians and the Roman. The following findings are of a particular interest - the eneolithic religious prehistoric scene from the village of Ovcharovo, the Thracian golden treasure from the village of Kralevo (III century B.C.). Of interest is the Byzantine basilica near the village of Draganovets, the ancient town of Misionis (Krumovo Kale). The abundance of ruins in the region of Derventa passage brings us back to Mediaeval Bulgaria and Byzantium.
The old name of the settlement - Eski Djumaya - emerges for the first time in a 1573 Ottoman tax register. From XVII on, it became an administrative centre and the place where the most popular trade fair in the European part of the Ottoman Empire used do be held. It was here where the merchandises and cultures of Austria, Germany, England, Russia, the Near East and the Arabic world got in close touch.
In 1934 Eski Dzhumaya was renamed Targovishte. From 1959 on it acquired the statute of administrative centre of a district. Later on the town bacame a regional centre.
Farming is the main aspect of the economy in Targovishte municipality. The agriculture has been on eof the main features of the area. On the territory of the municipality there are excellent conditions for growing grain, technical and fodder cultures. The main culture remains the wheat.
The industrial production is represented by production of food, beverage and tobacco - 53.9%, trade with and repair of cars and domestic electrical appliances - 15.6%, production of electrotechnical machinery and equipment - 18.6%, tailoring industry - 5.7%, timber and woodworking industry - 3.7% etc. The town is a host of a traditional fair, known as a Spring Fair and Exhibition of Industrial Goods.
On the territory of the city there are 7 primary schools, 19 secondary schools, 3 high-schools and 4 educational units. There are also 5 vocational schools. There are many opportunities for post high-school education according to the PHARE program and the Bulgarian-Danish College.
The town's proximity to the two exit points of the country - the city of Varna and the city of Rousse makes it to a natural strategic crossing on those two routes.
There is a convenient road connection via the town of Kotel to the southern Bulgaria. The central road - transporting arteries cross the municipal area in 4 directions.
The total municipal highway network covers 282,2 km, which is partially being reconstructed under the EU PHARE Programme.
The Sofia - Varna railway section also passes by the town.
13 km away from Targovishte there is the base of Targovishte Airport. It represents a clear advantage for the municipality, but due to the lack of funds the airport facilities are practically unusable on this stage.
Targovishte is a respectful and active cultural centre. The town has hosted many traditional cultural events such as Festival of Women's and Girls' Choruses, Dramatic Festival entitled "The Big Theater In The Small Town", as well as the international festival of professional scenic performances for children "The Magic Curtain".
Nikola Marinov Art Gallery keeps the biggest water color collections countrywide, which includes works by Bulgarian and foreign artists. This unique collection is being enhanced on a regular basis through donations made by the international Biennial - Pleinair in water - colour painting in Targovishte.
The regional Petar Stapov Library is located in a modern building with 6 reading - rooms where 330 thousand volumes of literature are offered to the readers. The library also serves as a modern community and information centre equipped with a house computer network.
A lesson in history for Targovishte students is held in the museum house of Nikola Simov - Kuruto , the bearer of the Botev's detachment. The collections of the Historical Museum of Targovishte are kept on show in remarkable houses typical of the time of the Bulgarian National Revival in the old town of Targovishte, such as the "Cyril and Methodius and their five disciples" School, the house of Hadzhi Angel and the House of Hadzhi Russi.
Also unique are the two local orthodox temples - the 150-year old Assumption Church and the St. John of Rila. The latter preserves the mortal remains of Metropolit Andrey of New York - a prominent donor and benefactor of Targovishte.
The big building of cultural club "Napredak" is situated in the very centre of the town. There are 39 village cultural clubs on the territory of the municipality.
There are two theaters in Targovishte - the Dramatic Theatre with the status of open state scene, and the Puppet Theatre.
The cultural and historical heritage is little known, but nevertheless surprisingly rich. The region has been inhabited since hoary antiquity. Remnants of settlements from the Neolith (6000 years B.C.) have been found. Later archeological findings give evidence for the civilization of the Thracians and the Roman. In ХVІІ century Targovishte already became centre of the most famous fair in the European part of the Ottoman Empire. The following findings are of a particular interest - the eneolithic religious prehistoric scene from the village of Ovcharovo, the Thracian golden treasure from the village of Kralevo (III century B.C.). The tourists could also visit the Byzantine basilica near the village of Draganovets, the ancient town of Misionis (Krumovo Kale). The abundance of ruins in the region of Derventa passage brings us back to Mediaeval Bulgaria and Byzantium. The old living quarter of Targovishte called Varosha is impregnated by the romance of the years of the Bulgarian National Revival.
The unique combination of natural resources and climate, historical and cultural sightseeing turns the municipality of Targovishte into an attractive destination for domestic and international tourism.
The wines of Targovishte
Wine-production and vine-growing are traditional sectors in the economy of the municipality of Targovishte. The various sorts of wines of the region have won plenty of medals.
Text and pictures: Mirela - Varna office