History of Kazanlak
The first settlement sprang here in ancient times. The material culture of its inhabitants was manifested as early as the New Stone Age (Neolithic) - 6th - 5th centuries B.C. During the 4th through the 3rd centuries B.C. the lands on the upper course of the Tundzha river were a part of the area ruled by the Thracian King Seuthes III and took an important role in the Thracian history during the Hellenistic times. During the construction of Koprinka Dam the Thracian town of Seuthoplis was completely excavated, preserved and researched. The researches show that the area was inhabited by a large Thracian population, which reached the height of its cultural development during the 5th - 3rd centuries B.C.
In the Middle Ages the valley became administrative centre of Kran region, ruled by the Bulgarian boyar Eltimir.
During the first decades the town was a military fortress but later on more than 50 crafts developed here - leather-working, coppersmith's and goldsmith's trade, homespun tailoring, shoemaking, cooperage and of course, rose-oil manufacture. In the 1270, during the crusades, Count de Gruye brought the Damascus rose from Syria to the valley at the foot of the Balkan Range where conditions proved excellent. The temperatures in February, when roses bud, are ideal. The blossoms are picked in May and June, when high humidity is very important. So is the cinnamon-forest soil in the area. The first store house, run by the rose merchant Doncho Papazov was established in 1820. Since the 19th century Kazanlak has been the centre of Bulgarian rose-growing and rose-oil manufacture. The attar of rose from Kazanlak won gold medals at exhibitions in Paris, London, Philadelphia, Antwerpen, Milan.
Kazanlak region was a centre of the heroic battles led by the Bulgarian volunteer forces and the Russian troops in 1878 during the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation - 1877/78.
After the liberation from the Ottomans the textile industry experienced a rapid development. The modern textile company named Rozova Dolina was established as a spinning factory by the Stainovi brothers as early as 1890. Kaprony company (aircraft industry) and Arsenal Munitions Works (1924) conquered good positions at the market.
Kazanlak had an important role in Bulgarian economy after the Second World War. Hydraulics and pneumatics, arms industry, food industry, textile industry, essential-oil bearing plants, perfumery, and cosmetics experienced rapid development.
Kazanlak has strong cultural and educational traditions. In 1836 Neofit Bozveli introduced the mutual method of teaching at monastery schools (e.g. older students instructed younger ones); the first school was established in 1860; Iskra chitalishte (reading club) was opened in 1973. Chitalishtes or reading clubs sprang up in nearly every town and village and provided the community with a venue for the arts, culture and public education. In 1883 Pedagogue School of Kazanlak was opened and created an army of well educated teachers for the whole country. Kazanlak is known as the native town of many artists and actors of national importance - Porfirii Velkov, Mara Penkova, Todor Mazarov, Stefan Getsov, Luna Davidova, Lyubomir Kabakchiev, Vidin Daskalov and others.
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