The Artist Retreat/Coaching Center we have been working on, since 2017, is in the region/ province – Haskovo – in Bulgaria; in a village in the town named Simeonovgrad.
Time zone: UTC+2 (EET) and Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST)
Haskovo (Bulgarian: Хасково [ˈxaskovo]) is a city in the region of Northern Thrace in southern Bulgaria and the administrative centre of the Haskovo Province, not far from the borders with Greece and Turkey. According to Operative Program Regional Development of Bulgaria, the urban area of Haskovo is the seventh largest in Bulgaria and has a population of 184,731 inhabitants. The number of inhabitants of Town of Haskovo is 67,086 people, according to the 2021 census.
The first settlement found in Haskovo is from circa 5000 BC. Haskovo celebrated its 1,000th anniversary as a town in 1985. To mark the event, a new clock tower was erected in the centre of the town.
Haskovo Cove in Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, is named after the city of Haskovo.
Haskovo Cove (Zaliv Haskovo \‘za-liv ‘ha-sko-vo\) is a 2.1 km wide cove indenting for 1 km the northern coast of Greenwich Island between Aprilov Point and Miletich Point in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Situated next east of Crutch Peaks, southwest of Ongley Island and northwest of Sevtopolis Peak. Shape enhanced as a result of Teteven Glacier’s retreat in the late 20th and early 21st century. The cove is named after the city of Haskovo in Southeastern Bulgaria.
The cove is located at 62°27′03″S 59°54′20″W (British mapping in 1968, and Bulgarian mapping in 2005 and 2009).
The city Haskovo, in Bulgaria, itself, has a humid continental climate, with an average yearly temperature of about 13 °C (55 °F). Winters are cold, albeit not as snowy as the western and northern parts of the country. Summers are hot and moderately dry, due to Mediterranean influence.
The name of the town is derived from its earlier Ottoman-era name Hasköy, which is a hybrid Arabic-Turkish compound meaning “special village” (Turkish has “special” via Arabic خَاصّ + Turkish köy “village”). It was so named after it became the centre of an Ottoman administrative district in the region. The ancient Thracian name of the settlement was Marsa, by which it was known until as late as 1782. By 1830, it was known by its Turkish name, Hasköy.The Bulgarian (and common Slavic) placename suffix “-ovo” replaced the Turkish “köy” after the city switched to Bulgarian from Ottoman rule.
According to archeologists, the area of Haskovo was originally settled about seven thousand years ago. In and around Haskovo, evidence has been preserved that confirms its long history during the prehistoric, Thracian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods. In the 9th century – during the First Bulgarian Empire – a fortress was built in Haskovo that soon was transformed into a town. The town was located at the centre of a sizable region between the Klokotnitsa, Harmanliyska, and Maritsa rivers.
The village and surrounding area became part of the Ottoman Empire shortly after the conquest of Edirne in 1361. During the time of Mehmed the Conqueror, Hasköy, as it was then known, was settled by around 750 people, consisting of 150 Muslim families spread across 12 neighbourhoods: Hacı Mahmud, Îsâ Fakih, Sofular, Saraç İnebey, Saraç Musa, Hacı Kayalı, Cüllâh, Hacı İsmâil, Kadı, Debbâğlar, Hacı Bayezid and Dervişan. The village acquired a largely agricultural character during most of the Ottoman period; there was also a thriving cottage industry and craftsmen such as saddlers, tanners, shoemakers, furriers and soapmakers, dyers, and chandlers made their home in Hasköy. In 1515 the population increased to 1400 people in 274 households, and in 1530 it was recorded that there was one Friday mosque (cami) as well as six smaller mosques in the village.
In 1592, the Ottoman Grand Vizier Koca Sinan Pasha commissioned the building of two caravanserais, two baths, shops, a mosque and an almshouse at the request of the people. According to the Austrian historian and orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, Sinan Pasha also inaugurated the nearby Uzuncaova (Uzundzhovo) fair, which would become famous in all of Ottoman Bulgaria.
The town’s importance increased in the 19th century. With its markets and fairs Hasköy became a significant centre of commerce in the Sanjak (District) of Filibe. At the same time, an increasing number of Bulgarians and other minorities came to settle in the town. By the second half of the century the population had grown to about 6000 people, of whom 3500 were non-Muslims and only 2500 were Turks. In the 1870s Hasköy was a hotbed of revolutionary activity during the Bulgarian National Revival and subsequent Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, after which de facto Ottoman control of the town came to an end.
Haskovo was part of Eastern Rumelia from 1878–1885, and was then incorporated into the autonomous Principality of Bulgaria, which declared full independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. It was renamed Haskovo after Bulgarian independence.
After the liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, the Haskovo region became popular for high-quality tobacco production. However, presently there is no cigarette production in the region anymore after the once big Tobacco company “Haskovo-BT” closed in 2005. Currently, the biggest enterprises produce food, machinery, and textiles.
According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows:
- Bulgarians: 54,869 (79.3%)
- Turks: 12,507 (18.1%)
- Roma: 691 (1.0%)
- Others: 400 (0.8%)
- Indefinable: 709 (0.7%)
- Undeclared: 7,221 (9.5%)
According to the 2001 census, the Orthodox Christians are around 80% vs. around 20% Muslims.
The Monument of the Holy Mother of God, the world’s highest monument of the Virgin Mary is here. A 32-metre-high monument of the Mother of God and the Infant Jesus was erected on the Hill of Youth near Haskovo in 2003. The monument was inaugurated on 8 September on the occasion of the Nativity of Holy Virgin Mary, when the day of the town of Haskovo is celebrated. It was entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the highest monument to the Mother of God in the world.
Haskovo has recently invested in renovating its town center, with a variety of new sculptures and fountains erected.
Municipal landmarks include the Thracian Aleksandrovo tomb as well as Uzundzhovo’s Church of the Assumption, built originally as a mosque during Ottoman times. In 1395 the Eski cami (the Old Mosque) was built as one of the first in the Balkans. Its minaret is slightly inclined.
There are some Monuments as well:
- Monument to Captain Petko Voivoda
- Monument to the Unknown Warrior
- Monument to the Haskovo Revivalists
- Monument to the 10th Rhodope Infantry Regiment
- Monument of Envy
- Monument to the Haskovo Revivalists
- Monument to the Victory
- Monument to Dimitar Ivanov-
- The bell tower – with impressive dimensions and unforgettable views rises above the town of Haskovo. The almost 29-meter-high bell tower was erected in 2010 next to the Holy Mother of God monument and quickly took its place in the resulting architectural ensemble.
Haskovo is twinned with:
- Edirne, Turkey
- Enguera, Spain
- Leicester, England, United Kingdom
- Shatura, Russia
- Veszprém, Hungary
- Viseu, Portugal
Simeonovgrad is a town in the Haskovo Province of southern Bulgaria, located on both banks of the Maritsa River. Three bridges connect the town’s two parts. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Simeonovgrad Municipality. Coordinates: 42°2′N 25°50′E
Near Simeonovgrad Lie The Ruins Of The Ancient Roman And Byzantine Fortress Of Constantia From The Late Antiquity (4th Century AD), Which Developed Into One Of The Large Towns Of Northern Thrace Until The Beginning Of The 13th Century.
The dominant religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The town has two churches, the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God in the town centre and the Church of St Nicholas the Thaumaturge in the Zlati dol quarter. https://www.simeonovgrad.bg/
The town’s historical names were Seymen and later, during 1872–1929, Tarnovo–Seymen (Bulgarian: Търново-Сеймен) – named after the Ottoman-era seymen paramilitary units. For most of the Socialist period, between 1946–1981, the town was named Maritza (Bulgarian: Марица), after the river. The present name Simeonovgrad literally means “town of Simeon”, a reference to the 10th-century Bulgarian king. община Симеоновград
Simeonovgrad is also the seat of Simeonovgrad municipality (part of Haskovo Province), which includes the following 8 villages: Dryanovo,Kalugerovo,Konstantinovo,Navasen, Pyasachevo,Svirkovo,Troyan & Tyanevo.