Travel Guide to Shoumen
Shoumen stands at a central point to the ancient towns of Pliska, Preslav, and Madara. There are many historical sites within Shoumen, which makes it a perfect spot for exploring while also traveling to outlying reaches to see other areas. With the Shumensko Plato National Park to the south, there is much to experience.
With a population of almost 104,000 people, Shoumen has an ample amount of stores, restaurants, and bars. The location, retail options, and restaurants make this a decent spot for tourists.
- Province: Shoumen/Shumen
- Population: 103,016 (Year 2005)
- Altitude: 184 Metres
- Postcode: 9700
- Area Code: 054
- Geographic Coordinates: 43° 17′ North, 26° 56′ East
Though not originally called Shoumen, the city was founded more than 3,000 years ago. Many cultures have helped to shape the city Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, and Bulgarians. The town went through a number of names from Simeonis or Shimeonis to Shoumen.
In 1444, the city was destroyed by the Turkish. Before the area was rebuilt, the area was moved slightly so that it was bordered more by the mountains. The city rose from those ancient fortresses that were then repaired or completely rebuilt. The city’s location, in a valley between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains, proved it to be an excellent spot for forming a military stronghold, also many traders passed through the area making it a popular stop along the trade routes.
Plenty of growth occurred in the 1800s, a girls school was established, the symphony orchestra began, and a community center was erected. These additions helped bring the arts to the former military town. Eventually, the Liberation ended and Bulgaria regained control of the region.
Shumensko National Park is a great spot for hiking and sightseeing. A large number of trails cross through the park leading to natural rock formations, historical sites, and camping areas. There are numerous picnic areas and water fountains available for guests to use.
Near Shoumen is the amazing Madara Horseman, an ancient rock carving of a warrior on horseback that dates back to the 14th or 15th century. It is a short drive from Shoumen, but well worth the time! Two other ancient towns exist in the area, both are open-air museums that display many of the ruins and artifacts Pliska and Preslav are sites that should not be skipped.
Three kilometers west of the city center, you will find the Shoumen Fortress. This open-air museum is set in the well-preserved fortress from more than 3,000 years ago.
The Thracian Tomb Complex requires a short drive to the neighboring Ivanski Village. Here two recently discovered burial tombs dating back to 4 B.C.
Shoumen’s Regional History Museum provides guided tours that are held in Bulgarian and occasionally in other languages as needed. The halls offer many artifacts round within the region ranging from coins to artwork.
Four area houses display many famous Shoumen residents. Panayot Volov’s House displays photographs and documents from the revolutionistâ€™s life. Dobri Voynikov is a famous Bulgarian author whose house is on display to the public. Many of his works are found within the house/museum. Layosh Koshut is another revolutionist. There are written documents available for viewing. Finally, author Pancho Bladigerov’s house, a former music school, is open to the public. Here they can see many of the author’s works, as well as some items from the old music school.
While there are a number of hostels in Shoumen, there are only a handful of hotels.
The Shoumen Hotel Complex. This is huge establishment has 400 beds and a total of six bars and restaurants guarantee that guests will find food items to suit their needs. All rooms have minibars, private bathrooms, and cable television. Suites are larger and add soundproofing in the walls, two bathrooms per unit, Jacuzzis in the bathrooms, and many business needs. An indoor pool and health club tops the list of shared amenities.
Hotel Madara is smaller with no more than 100 beds. The hotel is located close to the Madara Horseman, but the amenities are more basic. If you can handle small and basic, Hotel Madara may be a great choice.
Hotel Bohemi is a small establishment adjacent to the Shumensko National Park. Nine rooms and seven villas make up the total accommodations. Built-in 1997, the hotel was completely renovated in 2004.
Finally, there is a campground in the area. Camping Madarski Konnik has a limited number of campsites. This is an excellent choice for someone on a budget who does not mind being in a rustic area.
Appliance and auto repairs are the area’s most important industry. More than 50% of the area’s revenue comes from automobile or appliance repair shops. This is followed by manufacturing and tourism.
Herti, Raifen, and Tim Shell are plants manufacturing aluminum caps for soda, juice, beer, and wine bottles. The aluminum used at these factories most likely comes from another area company, Alkomet, who produces sheets of aluminum.
Beer and wine have their place in Shoumen. Shumensko Pivo is an area brewery producing large amounts of beer on a daily basis. Domein Boiar produces many wines and other alcoholic beverages.
Typically, Bulgarian cuisine does not vary from region to region. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are prepared using a sampling of different styles including European, Turkish, Greek, and Russian. Typical dishes include meats and vegetables roasted in clay pots.
Some of Bulgaria’s most famous dishes include Banitsa (a dish of spinach, cheese, phyllo dough, eggs), Panagyurishte Eggs (eggs poached in Bulgarian yogurt), Ayryan (a salty yogurt drink that supposedly cures hangovers), and crÃ¨me caramel with lemon.
There are a number of bars scattered throughout the town. Also available are dance clubs, though many are connected with local hotels, so the prices can be higher.
Shoumen focuses much of their nightlife around huge open-air concerts. There is always something happening and the acoustics of the sheer rock walls at the outdoor amphitheater make for incredible sound. You cannot miss this experience.
Shoumen is an area rich in culture. With many historical sites, an excellent location, and tremendous schools, Shoumen stands out as one of Bulgaria’s hidden gems. This may not be your first thought of a tourist destination, but the city will surprise you.
The nice balance of theatres, art galleries, museums, and architectural wonders makes it an excellent choice. For a vacation that covers all the bases, choose Shouman!