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Municipality of Karnobat is located in South-West part of Bulgaria and is part of Bourgas district. The Risch pass connects the area with North Bulgaria. The Karnobat - Aytos Stara Planina Mountain is situated in its northern territories and slowly gradates to the Karnobat valley. South from Karnobat is the Hissarski Hills.

The town of Karnobat is located 45 km west from Bourgas and 342 km east from Sofia. It is located on the main highway connecting Sofia and Bourgas.

The total area of the municipality is 806 sq km with predominantly plain terrain. The average height is 174 meters above sea level.

The Karnobat territories have a transitional - continental climate formed by oceanic currents pushing from west and northwest. The average annual temperature is 11.4 C with average winter temperatures of 0.1 C. This defines it as a region with mild climate.

The population of the municipality is 28 843 people, 19682 of which live in the town of Karnobat itself.

The natural conditions determine the development of the region. It is mainly oriented towards growing crops and vegetables.

The branch with best traditions is the vine growing. The area comprises 6820 decars of vines and hosts the biggest wine and spirits factories in Bulgaria.


The history of the region dates back from Neolithic Age. The settlement and mounds yield evidence of life from Eneolithic and Iron Ages, and a busy village life from antiquity to the Middle Ages. Since the 15th century, the town has been an administrative, commercial and trade center. In Ottoman documents and travelers' notes it was mentioned under various names - Karinovasa, Karinabad, Karanovo. Its modern name dates from the middle of the 18th century. After the foundation of the Bulgarian Kingdom in 681, the territories of the region were constantly a battle arena between Bulgarian and Byzantium.

The town fell under Ottoman Rule in 1371. Documents from 1595 name it as Karanovo. In 1762 it was mentioned in documents as Karnobat for the first time.

During the Ottoman rule, the town was an important administrative, trade, crafts, winegrowing and sheep breeding center. The local breed of Karnobat sheep was quite famous.

The annual two week cattle fair was visited by traders from everywhere. The region produced jerk, meat, wool, candles, and soap.

During the National Revival era, it became a unifying center of cultural and educational life and gave a considerable contribution to the fights for independent Bulgarian church. During the mid 1860s the residents chased out the Bishop of Anhialo and that put an end to the Greek influence.

After the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 many of the residents of Karnobat along the ones from Sliven migrated to Bessarabia.

However the strong traditions quickly put the town back on its feet.


  • The medieval fortress Markeli is located 7.5 km west from Karnobat. Markeli is one of the most significant towns in the political and military history of Bulgaria and Byzantium. It was also a Christian religious center with a unique early Christian martyrium dating from the IV century. Markeli was a field for a number of battles between Bulgaria and Byzantium during the VIII and IX centuries. In 792 the Bulgarian ruler Khan Kardam defeats the Byzantine emperor Constantine VI and forces him to pay tax to the Bulgarian kingdom. During the IX century the fortress here has the best battle faculties - ramparts and ditches. There have been serious archeological researches in the region since 1896 till now.
  • The house of the writer Dimitar Polianov - the only preserved revival style house built in the 1870s
  • The house of the writer Minko Nevolin - a fully restorated revival style house built in the 1860s
  • The church St. Iona Bogoslov - a new church has been rebuilt on the place of the one demolished b the Turks. It has impressive architectural elements and wood iconostasis.
  • The clock Tower next to the Bath House, built in 1874 by masters from Tryavna as a symbol of the town's National Revival prosperity as a trade and crafts center
  • Sinan Bay Hamam - Turkish bath in the old section of the town from the last quarter of the 15th century. It is one of the oldest completely intact buildings in all of southern Bulgaria
  • The mosque known as the Black mosque was built in 1821 on the place of an older one
  • The Jewish tombs - a necropolis 1 km south of the town with some of the richest written and sculptural information regarding the Jewish colony in Bulgaria
    The town of Sungurlare 25 km from Karnobat, famous for its exquisite wines far beyong Bulgaria's borders.