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Pleven, Bulgaria

About Our Sister City Emeritus

Established in the Bronze Era. Site of  hundreds of war memorials. Bulgaria's seventh-largest municipality. 


Centuries old and rich in history, Pleven originated in the Bronze Era (5 BC) and is today the seventh-biggest town in Bulgaria. Evidence of this early civilization is found in archaeological discoveries such as the Valchi Trun, found in 1924 and housed today in the National Museum of History in Sofia. A fourth-century Christian basilica is another of Pleven's famed historic sites.  

Pleven is situated about 150 metres above sea level in the central part of the Danube Lowland. It is located 174 km north-east of Sofia, 35 km north of Lovech and 146 km south-west of Rousse, and is one of the regional north administrative centres in Bulgaria. It is a nice historical and cultural town, famous for its architecture buildings and monuments.

The city originated in Thracian times and used to be spread on today's Kailuka Park. Nowadays Pleven is the 7th biggest town in Bulgaria. The earliest traces of life and human activity on these lands date back to the end of 5-th millennium BC. Numerous archeological finds are the proof for the spiritual culture of the Thracians, who used to inhabit for millenniums these areas. Amongst them is the biggest golden treasure discovered on the Bulgarian lands – Valchi Trun, consisting of 13 treasures with cult purposes. Vulchi Trun gold treasure was found in 1924 and represents the late Bronze Era in Bulgaria. It is preserved in the National Museum of History in Sofia. Another thing of interest in Pleven is the early Christian basilica of IV century, the second largest in Bulgaria after the Tsars basilica in Pliska.

There is a variety of archeological monuments and more then 200 monuments, reminding of the national heroes, who took part in many sanguinary battles. Bratskata Mogila (The Brothers’ Hill) preserves the bones of thousands Russian soldiers and is the main attraction of Pleven, situated among the green lanes of the town. The renowned Pleven Epic 1877 Panorama is situated at the top of the hill too. Through original combination of artistic paintings, sculptures and old scripts, the Panorama represents the epic fights from the last Russian-Turkish War.

Undoubtedly a special landmark of Pleven is the Regional Museum of History. The exposition of the museum is arranged in 24 halls containing over 5000 museum valuables in five sections: Archeology, Ottoman oppression and Bulgarian Revival, Ethnography, New and Contemporary history and Nature. Other places of interest include the Museum to the Liberation of Pleven, the Skobelev Park, the Museum of the Hunters' and Fishermen's Society, the Art Gallery and the Monument to Victory raises on the high hill past the Vit River. National important churches are the “Saint Nicholas” and the “Holy Trinity” churches.

Nature is very beautiful in Pleven. The famous Kailuka Park is situated in the immediate proximity of the town, in the valley of the Tuchenitsa River. Just 12 km away from the city, the natural reserve of “Chernelka” is situated. The reserve is located in the central part of the Danube lowland and stretches along to 7 km. The sheer rocks with over 20 metres of height, the exuberant vegetation and the eccentric Peshtera (Cave) Restaurant make it a favorite place for the citizens of Pleven and the visitors of the town. The visitors are also impressed by the natural rock column “Mechoka”, the late ancient and medieval fortress “Gradishte”, "Tzarevata" Cave and the Roman road.

Pleven is a big transport center. There are regular bus lines to Sofia, Veliko Turnovo, Lovech, Troyan and a lot of other big and small settlements. Pleven is situated on the main railway line Sofia - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Varna (Rousse). There is a town bus and trolley-bus transport functioning in Pleven.

A Pleven Project

Two local artists traveled to Pleven in search of sights and sounds to bring home to Charlottesville.

2014-2015. Charlottesville artists Roger Williams and Victoria Long received a Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission grant in support of their visiting Pleven and depicting its cultural landscape in text, drawings, photography, and film.  In January 2015, their works were exhibited at the Garage gallery in Downtown Charlottesville. New City Arts sponsored a public artist talk with them in conjunction with the exhibit.They also produced a limited edition book with the Virginia Art of the Book Center. Like many CSSC grants, this one covered part but not all the recipients' project expenses; the artists also sought funding via a Kickstarter campaign, among other sources.


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