Tour of Stara Zagora and the Museum of the Europe'
best preserved Neolithic (5600
BC) dwellings (Bulgaria)
Stara Zagora, a nationally important economic center. Located in Southern Bulgaria, it is the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province.
The favorable geographic and climatic conditions of the territory around Stara Zagora contributed to the establishment of several prehistoric settlements in the remote past. More than 100 prehistoric mounds from the 6th to 3rd millennium BC were found in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. One of them, the Bereketska mound, is the largest in Bulgaria, containing traces of people that lived there from the New Stone Age (6th millennium BC) to the Middle Ages (12th century).
A prehistoric settlement can be found within the city itself. Two dwellings from the New Stone Age are preserved in the Neolithic Dwellings Museum. These are the best preserved dwellings from the New Stone or Neolithic Age (6th millennium BC) in Europe and contain a rich collection of tools and artifacts. The oldest copper mines in Europe (5th millennium BC) were found 8 km (4.97 mi) east of the city, a considerable amount of copper ore was extracted from the 11 mines by the ancient inhabitants of this land who traded with it throughout the continent. Located at the cross-roads of multiple civilizations, Stara Zagora is an important piece in the European cultural routes mosaic. Inhabited by ancient Thracians, Romans, Ottomans and Bulgarians, this unique city bears the historical imprint of those past civilizations along with many of their historical treasures.
Proof of its longevity can be found in the multiple names of the city, each one connected with a different era of its development. Founded around 106 AD by the Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 AD), Augusta Traiana, "the most flamboyant city of the Traians" was the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace during 2nd and 3rd century AD, after Philippopolis (present-day Plovdiv). It occupied an area of 38 hectares and was fortified by strong fortress walls. Augusta Traiana had the statute of an autonomous city of the ‘polis' type (i.e. city-state). From the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) to the Emperor Gallienus (253-268 AD) it had the right to mint its own bronze coins, which were in circulation all over the Balkan Peninsula.
The single-day trip to Stara Zagora includes visits to the Regional History Museum, the Museum of the Europe'
best preserved Neolithic (5600 BC)
dwellings, the Museum of Religions - Old Mosque (15th
century) and the Roman Forum and mosaics in situ.