Stara Zagora is situated in the central part of Bulgaria. It is the 5-th biggest city in the country, with a population of 185 000 inhabitants. It is situated at the foot of Sredna Gora mountain, 197 m above sea level. The climate of the town is temperate continental with average annual temperature +13 o C. Stara Zagora region is rich in fertile land. It is a strategic crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South. The first inhabitants of the town date back from the end of the VII and the beginning of the VI millenium B. C. In the outskirts of the contemporary town, there are five prehistorical settlements from this time. During the IV century B.C. there was a big ancient Thracian settlement famous with the name Beroe. About the year 107 AD, not far from Beroe, Emperor Mark U.
Traian set up the town Ulpia Augusta Traiana. The forum, streets, colour floor mosaics and others were found from the ancient town.
After the foundation of the Bulgarian State, the town became an important military, strategic and cultural centre. During the time of the Turkish Yoke, the town was named Eski Zagra. At the end of 50s of XIX century the Bulgarian name Jeleznik was given. During 1871 the contemporary name of Stara Zagora was officially recognized. During the time of the liberation war was on fire and ruined.
On the 5th October 1879 the first symbolic stone of the foundations of the restoration of Stara Zagora was placed , according to the plan of Lubor Bayer. Thus, the town turned to be the first Bulgarian postliberation town with contemporary architecture. A rapid economic and cultural progress followed. The first provincial opera and radio was opened in Stara Zagora The town is full of organized musical and theatrical life.
Today Stara Zagora is one of the most modern contemporary towns of Bulgaria. It is an important industrial, cultural and education centre. There are a number of secondary schools, technical schools and specialized secondary schools, a lot of Research and Cultural Institutes. There is the Thracian University in Stara Zagora.
Stara Zagora is famous as the town of lime-trees, painters and poets It is the birthplace of the writers Georgi Bakalov, Kiril Hristov, Dimitar Podvarzachov, Nikolai Liliev, Veselin Hanchev, the famous opera singer Hristina Morfova, the painters Anton and Georgi Mitovi, Vasil Kostakiev, Mario Zekov, Atanas Mihov, Dimitar Gudjenov. The famous poet Geo Milev lived and worked in Stara Zagora as well.
Near the (in the vicinity) town there are the Stara Zagora Mineral Baths – a spa resort, covered with oak, hazelbush and planted pine forests. The warm water spring gives the opportunity for conducting healing and rehabilitation curative activity.
The beautiful nature, interesting objects, the comfortable position and the quick and diverse communications make the town of Stara Zagora an attractive place for many tourists
The rich cultural traditions and the spirit of the contemporary creators maintain an artistic atmosphere, which has always gone together with this town as old as its name.
In the near future the Maritsa and Thracia motor highways, which cross Stara Zagora territory, will be completed. The traffic along the two railway lines, which connect the western part of Bulgaria with the Black Sea ports, and the southeast part of Bulgaria with Turkey and Greece, is extremely intensive. The future passages of Euro corridors 4, 8 and 9., which pass through Bulgaria, also intersect on the Stara Zagora territory.