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Not to be confused with Târgoviște in Romania.

Targovishte (Търговище, pronounced tuhr-GO-vi-shteh) is a city in north-eastern Bulgaria, on the border between the rolling Danube Plain and the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. With a population of about 35,000 (2021), it's the centre of Targovishte Province, 270 km (170 mi) to the north-east of the capital Sofia, 110 km (68 mi) east of the Black Sea coast (at Varna) and 80 km (50 mi) south-east of Ruse on the Danube. A relatively green and quiet provincial city that sees few international tourists, it can be a pleasant rest stop when travelling. Unless you are a major lover of Bulgarian history, most of the local attractions are of the "if you are already there anyway" variety.

Understand

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Name

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Targovishte's name comes from Slavic roots that can be interpreted as "trading place", or less literally, "market town" - this is why several settlements with almost identical names can be found all around the Balkans. Until 1934, the settlement was known as Eski Dzhumaya ('Ески Джумая'), from the Turkish Eski Cuma (or Cumayı), "Old Friday [Market]" or "Old Gathering".

Orientation

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Targovishte lies in a relatively flat valley in the north-eastern part of the Bulgarian Danubian Plain, between the low heights of the Ludogorie (Turkish: Deliorman) to the north-east and the Preslavska Mountain to the south-west, a part of the Predbalkan, the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. A small river, Vrana ("black" or "crow"), runs through the city before flowing into the Kamchia.

Like many Bulgarian cities, Targovishte consists of a somewhat irregular "old town" core around which more modern neighborhoods with panel-built high-rises were added in the 1970-1980s. It also has a pedestrian main street that concentrates many cafes, shops and other businesses. The pedestrian zone runs north to south, starting from a small park next to the municipal market (incl. the St. John of Rila Church), through the Vazrazhdane square (under a large electronic clock at the top of a high-rise), and reaches the city's central square before terminating at the riverside boulevard.

History

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The area has been inhabited since prehistory - the oldest finds date back to the Neolithic era, 7-6th millennium BC. The Thracians inhabited the region in Antiquity, leaving behind their burial mounds (and the Kralevo Treasure, 3rd century BC). It was then conquered by the Roman Empire, first as a part of the province of Thracia (Thrace), then in Moesia Inferior and later, Moesia Secunda.

In the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, a fortified city stood on the hills south of modern Targovishte, in the area known today as Krumovo Kale ('Крумово кале', lit. "Krum's Castle", after the medieval ruler of Bulgaria). Successively held by the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the First and Second Bulgarian Empires, the city has been tentatively identified as Missionis, a prosperous merchant city described by the medieval Arab geographer al-Idrisi in the 12th century. The fortress was razed during the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 14th century.

The modern city was established in its current location sometime in the 15th-16th century. In the 18th century, the city started holding a yearly fair for trading livestock and crafts that gradually increased in size and importance, attracting goods and merchants from foreign countries, as far as Austro-Hungary and the UK. The city suffered during the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule (1878): after the Ottoman army retreated towards Shumen, irregular troops stayed behind and started looting and burning the city, massacring almost 500 people and setting the dedicated fairgrounds on fire. After the liberation, the fair was restored with a royal decree.

After the 1940s, like elsewhere in Bulgaria the communist regime tried to develop heavy industry in the city, including a military vehicle repair plant. Industrialization had already put the fair into decline, and under a command economy its trade aspects were deemed unnecessary. Nevertheless, in the late 1980s the local government started attempts to reboot the fair as a minor industrial trade expo, like the better-known one in Plovdiv. After the fall of the regime in the 1990s, most of the city's heavy industry failed to weather the subsequent economic crisis. Today, Targovishte is an industrial town in decline that it vigorously resists: many smaller enterprises have found their niche, and a large glass factory opened in the mid-2000s, but the fair is a shadow of its former self.

Get in

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By train

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Targovishte is a major station on the main line Sofia-Varna and its branches. There are multiple daily direct trains to/from Sofia (5 hours), Pleven (2.5 hours), Shumen (30-50 min) and Varna (2 hours). Going to/from Vratsa, Montana and Vidin require changing trains at Mezdra; going to Veliko Tarnovo or southern Bulgaria requires changing at Gorna Oryahovitsa; going to Ruse requires changing at Gorna Oryahovitsa or Kaspichan.

  • 1 Railway Station (ЖП Гара) (northern end of 29-ti Yanuari Str). Old, utilitarian building that has nevertheless seen some maintenance. Unfortunately, it's a 20-min walk to downtown, mostly through an industrial area. There's a bus turnaround in front of the station: the second stop (or the first, sometimes they skip) of all the lines that stop there (3, 4 and 10) should put you within a two-minute walk to the main pedestrian street and the market.

By bus

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Targovishte is one of the stops on the Sofia - Varna route operated by Union Ivkoni/Etap Adress/Group Plus, ensuring at least two or three buses daily from each direction, including buses that may also pass through Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen and Dobrich. There are also smaller local companies that maintain daily lines to the nearby settlements, including Omurtag, Popovo, Shumen and Razgrad.

  • 2 Bus Station (Автогара, Avtogara), 5 Nikola Marinov Blvd. As usual, each company has its own ticket office within the building, so you have to find which one serves your destination. Your inner fifth-grader may be entertained by the garage of the local fire brigade that is just across the street. The bus station is on a 5- to 10-min walk to the local market and the small park that starts the pedestrian main street.

By car

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As of early 2023, the eastern fragment of the unfinished Hemus Motorway (A2) ends 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Targovishte, at Buhovtsi; Targovishte is right on the E772 road that connects the two sections, ensuring connection to Shumen (45 km (28 mi)) and Varna (120 km (75 mi)) to the east, and Veliko Tarnovo (100 km (62 mi)), Pleven (186 km (116 mi)), and Sofia (320 km (200 mi)) to the west.

To the north, Republic road 49 connects Targovishte to Razgrad (40 km (25 mi)), merging into E70 to Ruse (100 km (62 mi)). South of Targovishte, Road 48 branches off E772 at Omurtag to cross the Balkan Mountains through the Kotel Pass into Southern Bulgaria, with connections via E871 and Motorway A1 to Sliven, Yambol and Burgas.

Get around

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Map
Map of Targovishte

By foot

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Even outside of the pedestrian centre, Targovishte is a compact and flat city so it's completely possible to hit all main points on foot. The exceptions are the fortress ruins and the hiking paths outside of town, which require either a car or using public transport (unless you fancy a 7 km (4.3 mi) hike just to get there).

By bus

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Public transport is provided by passenger vans and mini-buses serving five lines. It's cheap, but the system is opaque to non-locals: schedules are available only online and only in Bulgarian, and no route map is available anywhere, even on OpenStreetMap. The fare is paid to the driver on boarding the vehicle; as of 2022, it was something like 0.40 лв, so make sure you have small change.

  • Lines 3, 4 and 10 all start at the remote railway station and their routes overlap for the two stops necessary to reach the central part of the city.
  • Line 4 starts at the railway station, zig-zags through the city and goes to the base of the wooded hills to the south, making it the only public transport allowing access to the local hiking paths and the ruins of a fortress (see below).

By taxi

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See also: Bulgaria § By taxi

As of early 2023, the municipally mandated limits on the price per kilometre are 0.75 – 1.50 лв for both day and night, which means that by law the allowed initial fee should be 1.50 – 2.25 лв, and the maximum dispatch fee is 2.25 лв. The only local taxi company that has bothered to have a website made is Elit Taxi ("ЕЛИТ ТАКСИ", +359 601 62030, +359 88 500 0077).

See

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The Seven Saints School.
Monument to Nikola Simov
Borovo Oko: the restaurant over the pond
  • Picturesque 19th-century houses in various states of preservation can be found in the historical Varosha neighbourhood, south-west of the central square and across the river. Unlike the historic quarters in some other Bulgarian cities, the houses are scattered and mixed with more modern buildings; some of the houses have been turned into museums, and some - into restaurants.
    • The Regional History Museum is spread over several buildings; in theory they are standalone objects, but it makes more sense to buy the package ticket, especially if you also want a guided tour. All objects also share the same working hours.
      • 1 Zaharievs' House (Захариева къща, Zaharieva kashta), 4 Mitropolit Andrey Blvd. May-Sep: M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa 09:30-16:00, Su 09:30-13:00; Oct-Apr: M 13:30-17:30, Tu-F 09:00-17:30, Sa 09:30-16:00, closed Su. The house of a merchant family, built in 1866. Now the administrative building of the museum, i.e. the ticket office. Each site (individually): adults: 4 лв, students and retirees: 3 лв; package ticket (all sites): adults: 10 лв, students and retirees: 5 лв; foreign-language guided tour/lecture (English?): 20 лв.. Zaharieva house (Q108764345) on Wikidata
      • 2 Ethnographic Museum (Hadzhi-Angelov's House, Hadzhiangelova kashta). The collections of the ethnographic museum are displayed in another preserved merchant's house, built in 1863. On the second floor, items of the original owners of the house showcase their way of life, including a mirror with a bullet hole that bears witness to the violent events during the Liberation. During 2022, the house was closed for renovation, but it's possible that it will open in the spring of 2023. In the meantime, parts of the collection are exhibited in the Seven Saints School. Hadjiangelova house, Targovishte (Q12297859) on Wikidata
      • 3 Seven Saints School (Slaveykov's School, Slaveykovoto uchilishte), 1 Georgi S. Rakovski Str (prominent red-and-white building at the entrance of the Varosha quarter, west of the river). The main building of the history museum. The school was built in 1863, using funds collected by the citizens; the face of the building still has the donors' plaque dedicating it to the Seven Saints (St. Cyril and Methodius and their five pupils, patrons of education and the Cyrillic alphabet). It was one of the first purpose-built school buildings in the National Revival period. A famous Bulgarian poet and educator, Petko Slaveykov, was a schoolteacher in Targovishte at the time and took part in the project, hence the alternative name of the school. Unsurprisingly, one of the permanent exhibits is a schoolroom of that era. A temporary exhibit showcases the latest finds from the Missionis fortress. Slaveykov School (Q106993606) on Wikidata
      • 4 Archaeological Exhibition (Археологическа експозиция) (on the opposite (southern) side of Treti Mart Blvd relative to the other museum buildings). Another former school building (built in 1907). Notable exhibits include a unique Copper Age set of figurines representing a religious scene, the Kralevo gold treasure, and the tools of a Roman surgeon/physician.
      • 5 House-museum of Nikola Simov. Simov was the flag-bearer of the rebels lead by Bulgarian national hero Hristo Botev during the April Uprising of 1876 and died in the fighting. Tiny two-room museum, pointless if you don't hear the whole story provided by the guide/curator; there's a nice scale model of the Radetzky, the river steamship commandeered by the rebels to deliver them to Kozloduy.
    • 6 Dormition of the Mother of God Church (from the Ethnographic Museum, go north along Georgi S. Rakovski Str and look to the left). Stone church built in the 1850s, during the National Revival period, and still in use. The name refers to the Eastern Orthodox belief that Mary died in spiritual peace and was then resurrected and taken bodily into Heaven; the feast day of the Dormition is 15 August. Dormition of the Theotokos Church (Q1999964) on Wikidata Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Targovishte on Wikipedia
  • 7 Liberty Square (ploshtad "Svoboda") (southern part of the main pedestrian street). Targovishte's central square. There's a fountain with bronze dolphins, a small park with trees and benches, a metal drinking fountain (next to the bank) and a public piano (by now probably out of tune), as well as an avant-garde statue of Orpheus with his lyre in front of the theatre. The architecture around the square provides some interesting contrasts - the pretty 1930s bank building with its clock that strikes the hours next to the imposing, Communist-era Municipality building. The pedestrian zone continues south, exiting the square in its south-west corner, until it hits Mitropolit Andrey Blvd close to the Regional History Museum and the monument of Nikola Simov at the large crossroads.
  • 8 Art Gallery Nikola Marinov, 1 Murgash Str (15 min walk almost directly south of the central square, through a residential neighbourhood). 08:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 17:00 (closed Sa, Su). The city's art gallery, named after a local artist. Notable mostly for being used as an exhibition hall during the city fair (see Events below). Adults: 2 лв, students/retirees: 1 лв, free for young children and on Thursdays.
  • 9 Borovo Oko Lake (Борово око) (right next to the art gallery). An artificial pond next to a pine park (Borovets Park), hence the name (Pine Eye). The tree-lined alley around it is a pleasant place for a walk during the greener parts of the year. Large fish and water turtles have been introduced in the pond to control vegetation, and people feed them; there's also an inlet full of sonorous frogs. There's a restaurant with an open-air dining area partially overhanging the lake, built in the Communist era (see the Eat section). Borovo Oko Park (Q12273812) on Wikidata

Parks, statues and photo-ops

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  • 10 Yukya Park (парк „Юкя“) (5 min walk east of the central square). A short series of staircases leads to the top of a small hill with a view of the city; there's the city's name spelled in large letters in case you need photo proof you've been there. There used to be a statue at the top, Khan Krum (a medieval ruler of Bulgaria) on a horse, but it has been relocated to a bend on the river by the road (E772/4) south-west of the city. The park itself stretches to the south-east and has some large grassy areas suitable for things like frisbee.
  • 11 Coat of Arms. The city's coat of arms arranged out of colored pebbles.

Outside of town

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  • 12 Ruins of Missionis (Krumovo kale) (7 km (4.3 mi) south-west of the centre, next to E772 (Republic road 4, in the direction of Omurtag/Sofia)). One of the 100 National Tourist Sites. Reaching it requires either a car, or using public transport (bus line 4). There's a small parking lot at the base of the hill, next to the bus stop and a restaurant; a dirt road leads to the ruins, and a hiking path (red markings) mostly follows the road, but then continues after the ruins to the Mladost Hut. Free; you might be able to arrange a (paid) guide if you ask at the History Museum in advance.

Do

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Spring fair

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Just in case you happen to be in the city when it happens: the traditional spring fair/expo[dead link] is held for a week in May, ending on or containing the day of the city (14 May) - for 2023, that is 8-14 May. Trade goods are sold in the halls of the Art Gallery (mostly "made in Bulgaria" light industry products like clothing, cosmetics and furniture), but the more entertaining things are outside - an arts-and-crafts bazaar, a series of music concerts on the grassy area east of the gallery, and various common fairground attractions (food, amusement rides, etc) next to the nearby stadium (south-west of the gallery). Other events organized for the fair vary year by year.

Hiking and cross-country cycling

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Modern Targovishte lies in the plain, several kilometers north of the western end of the small Preslavska Mountain (Preslav itself is at the base of the eastern end), and that's where most of the local hiking opportunities are (if you don't have a car). On the Targovishte side, there's a popular hiking area that starts where Republic Road 4 (E772) reaches the gap where it passes through the hills - at the parking lot of the Lovna Sreshta restaurant (see the Eat section), which can also be reached by public transport (bus line 4). A number of trails branch off the road that leads into the forest from the parking lot, but only two are marked:

  • Red markings - branches off to the south-west, then at the Rotary Club shelter merges back into the dirt road leading to the ruins of Missionis; after the ruins, the path climbs to the radio towers on the Kodzhakuz peak (Коджакуз, 668 m (2,192 ft). A short road connects it to the Mladost hut (see the Sleep section; you can also eat there, or at least buy a snack or coffee).
  • Green markings - at the parking lot, cross over the bridge to the east, then follow the dirt road south until you see the markings branching off to the east. The path climbs uphill, passing through the protected area Iglikina Polyana ("Primrose Glade"), then arcing to the south and terminating by the wind turbine close to the Mladost hut (follow the paved road west to the hut).

Each route can be done for an hour or two. A number of other paths are marked on OpenStreetMap and BGMountains.org (vicinity of Targovishte online; downloadable maps for Garmin with Latin place names), so if you have a GPS-enabled device you can try following other routes:

  • If you want a longer hike, you can try descending from the Mladost Hut towards the village of Strazha (several possible routes, one going by a tank testing ground that's still occasionally used by the local AFV repair plant), though in that case you'll have to either walk from Strazha to Targovishte (5 km (3.1 mi)), or try your luck with public transport - there's a private shuttle bus to Targovishte, though you'll have to find where it stops (probably the main square).
  • A hardcore option: following various paths and dirt roads to go along the length of the mountain all the way to Veliki Preslav, about 20 km (12 mi) as the crow flies. There are marked trails around Preslav too, and the highest point of the mountain (723 m (2,372 ft)).

If you are traveling by car, you can also try the hike to the old bridge at Stevrek (see the Nearby section below).

Buy

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Eat

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The Varosha neighbourhood has a number of traditional restaurants in old (or pseudo-old) houses, and the rest of the city doesn't suffer from a lack of places where you can eat out. Just a small sample:

  • 1 Cake/coffee shop Zlatnata Ribka ("The Goldfish") (Сладкарница "Златната рибка"), 3 Episkop Sofroniy Str (side street of the main pedestrian street, east of Vazrazhdane Sqr (the square under the electronic clock)). 08:00 - 20:00 (closed Su). Quaint sladkarnitsa (roughly analogous to a pâtisserie) with a good price/quality ratio, a favourite among the local children and pensioners. Self-service, and unless you know some Bulgarian, you will probably have to order by pointing (or using a translator app). There's a WC, but it's kept locked - asked the staff for a key.
  • 2 Restaurant Borovo Oko (right next to the Art Gallery and the pond). 10:00 - 0:00. Notable mostly for its outdoor dining area - part of it is on a terrace jutting out over the Borovo Oko pond, providing a pleasant view in the greener parts of the year.
  • 3 Pizza Place, ul. "3-ti Mart" 4 (5 min walk along the boulevard east of the History Museum/the statue of Nikola Simov). 10:30 - 23:00 (closed Mon). Pizza restaurant on the first floor a modern building, in a convenient place.
  • 4 Burger Bar, 33 Trayko Kitanchev Str (10 min walk east of the History Museum - first along the 3-ti Mart Blvd and then turn north when it crosses a double-lane street). 09:00 - 21:00, closed Su. Despite the name, it's primarily a fast food/takeaway place, specializing in fancy burgers.
  • 5 Restaurant Lovna Sreshta (Ресторант "Ловна среща") (right on E772, 7 km (4.3 mi) south-west of the city; right across the road from a bus stop (line 4)). 08:30 - 00:00. Roadside restaurant at the base of the wooded heights - appropriately, the name means "Hunters' Meeting". Notable mostly that it's close to the start of the local hiking trails and the road to the ruins of Missionis. As of early 2023, it's been renovated and might even have a menu in English.

Drink

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  • 1 Planeta Payner Club Targovishte, 11 Stefan Karadzha Str (next to the Terra Europe hotel, a 5-min walk east of the central square). W-Sa 22:00 - 06:00. An expensive chalgoteka - a dance club/discotheque that specializes in chalga, a controversial local genre of pop music that may not be to foreign tastes, though they also play other kinds of music. Make sure you know what's being played that night before you get in.

Sleep

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  • 1 Hotel Moesia (Хотел „Мизия“, Hotel Miziya), 1 Svoboda Square. Check-in: 14:00. Utilitarian hotel-with-restaurant built in the Communist era. Its main advantage is the location: right on Targovishte's main square. 75 лв (single), 90 лв (double), 140 лв (suite, double bed + single bed).
  • 2 Hotel Idol (Хотел „Идол“), 27 Petko R. Slaveykov Str, +359 885 960 145. Check-in: 14:00. Modern hotel in a newly-built building, on a quiet residential street, 5 min walk south of the central square. 110 лв (double room).
  • 3 Hotel Han Krum (Хотел „Хан Крум“), Block 29, Zapad-1 (close to Suren Blvd; 20 min walk west of the central street), . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Probably the cheapest local hotel. Named after a medieval Bulgarian ruler, a renovated Communist-era high-rise building (reportedly, former military accommodation) in a residential area some distance away from the city center. 70 лв (double room).
  • 4 Terra Europe Hotel, 13 Stefan Karadzha Str, +359 601 66 900. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern hotel that is paradoxically simultaneously on the outskirts of town (overlooking a park), and a 5 min walk from the central square. It boasts a bar and two restaurants (including one with a "panoramic" view of the city). 85 лв (single), 105 лв (double).
  • 5 Hotel Complex White Horse (Хотел „Белият Кон“, Hotel Beliyat Kon) (off E772 (national road 4), 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Targovishte's city limits), +359 601 64 297, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A "boutique hotel" in a green, scenic area at the base of the hills south of Targovishte. The name comes from a local natural formation, a landslide-exposed scar in the hillside that looks like a horse. Being on a main road makes it convenient if you are travelling by car. It's also close to the ruins of Missionis and the starting point of the local hiking trails. 81 лв (single), 90 лв (double), 122 лв (double deluxe).
  • 6 Mladost Hut (Хижа „Младост“, Hizha Mladost) (7 km (4.3 mi) south-west of the city, atop the hill). A pretty standard Bulgarian hiker's hut, affiliated with the Bulgarian Tourist Union. 45 beds in rooms of 3, 4 or 5; there's a store/cafeteria and WiFi. Food is served 10:00-16:00 (or 18:00, on Sundays); accommodation is likely by arrangement. At 618 m (2,028 ft) above sea level, the hut is the end point of the two marked hiking paths that start at the parking lot by the Lovna Sreshta restaurant. There's also a direct paved road - take the road that branches off E772/Road 4 south of Targovishte towards a pair of villages with amusing names - Razboyna and Strazha (Разбойна and Стража, respectively "Brigand's [Place]" and "Guard/Watch"), follow the road through them and some 4 km (2.5 mi) after Strazha there is a crossroads in the forest - turn west and keep driving until you reach the end of the road, near a wind turbine. Mladost hut (Q12287252) on Wikidata

Connect

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The area code for landline numbers is 601 (0601 if you are dialling from another area in the country).

Targovishte is covered by the networks of all three mobile operators in Bulgaria, which also means that there's also at least 4G coverage.

There's supposed to be free WiFi provided by the municipality under the WiFi4EU scheme, in three locations - around the market and the St. John of Rila Church, around the Borovo Oko pond, and around the city hospital.

Nearby

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Omurtag

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A small town 25 km (16 mi) south-west of Targovishte, right by the E772. Notable mostly for being the birth place of Aleksandar Aleksandrov, the second (and last, to date) Bulgarian to fly in space - in 1988, as a part of the Soviet Interkosmos programme that invited cosmonauts from friendly nations to fill the third seat in the Soyuz spacecraft.

  • Aerospace Park by the road (E772)
  • Cosmonaut Statue
  • History Museum - has Aleksandrov's flown spacesuit.

Popovo

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Really off the beaten track

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The bridge by Stevrek
  • 13 The "Roman bridge" at Stevrek (between Targovishte/Omurtag and Elena). A picturesque old stone bridge in a remote location among the hills, though it's not actually Roman - it was built in the Ottoman era, sometime between the 16th and early 19th centuries. Reaching the village of Stevrek requires driving (or cycling) on a paved, but sometimes potholed country road; then, you have to hike to the bridge unless you have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. To get to Stevrek from Targovishte/Omurtag: Road 408 branches off E772 30 km (19 mi) west of Targovishte (8 km (5.0 mi) west of Omurtag) - look for a bridge junction with signs to Kamburovo and (408) Stara reka, get off E772 there and follow 408 to the south (Kamburovo is in the opposite direction). Follow the 408 for 24 km (15 mi) to the south-west, passing through Iliyno ('Илийно') and a number of other villages until you reach Stevrek ('Стеврек'). Your next challenge is finding the start of the 1 Stara Reka eco-trail, because it's poorly marked - it's close to the bridge where the 408 crosses Stara Reka (the same river the old bridge is on), on the eastern side; look for a paved road starting on the north side of the street, leading uphill; there's a large faded white sign with the EU flag, and smaller, hard to notice yellow sign "Eco Trail Roman Bridge". The path is not on OpenStreetMap, but BGMountains.org has it (online map zoomed on the trail; downloadable maps for Garmin with Latin place names).

Go next

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  • Razgrad (40 km (25 mi) north) - another small province centre; it boasts the ruins of the Roman city of Abritus. Nearby is Isperih and the Thracian Tomb at Sveshtari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Shumen (50 km (31 mi) east) - under the slopes of the green Shumen Plateau and the shadow of its huge Monument, centre of the historic Shumen region with the medieval capitals of Pliska and Preslav and the Madara Rider, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Veliko Tarnovo (100 km (62 mi) west) - a picturesque city on the steep banks of the Yantra river, the medieval capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire
    • If you are travelling by car and not in a hurry, you can take a scenic (and potholed) detour by going to Tarnovo via Elena (90 km (56 mi)), a neat town in the Balkan Mountains with some preserved 19th century architecture. You need to take Road 508 that branches off E772 30 km (19 mi) west of Targovishte and runs for another 40 km (25 mi) through the countryside before merging into Road 53 to Elena. This route will also allow you to try the hike to the old bridge by Stevrek (see above).
  • Kotel (60 km (37 mi) south, through Omurtag) - a historically significant town in the Balkan Mountains, guarding a mountain pass to Southern Bulgaria (Yambol)
Routes through Targovishte
Pleven ← Gorna Oryahovitsa (junction with Line 4) ←  W BDZ Line 2 (Sofia - Varna) E  ShumenVarna
Veliko TarnovoOmurtag  W  E  → Becomes Motorway A2 (Hemus Motorway)Shumen


This city travel guide to Targovishte is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.