The district of Shoumen is located in the southeastern part of Bulgaria. Its area is 3390.2 sq km and the population is 205 395. It consists of 10 Municipalities: Shoumen, Smyadovo, Veliki Preslav, Novi Pazar, Nikola Kozlevo, Kaspichan, Kaolinovo, Hitrino, Varbitsa, Venets.
The municipality of Shoumen is situated in the central part of the district and its area is 36 027 dka. It consists of the town of Shoumen and 26 villages around it. The area of the town is 17 700 dka and the population is 89 054.
Shoumen is located 380 km north-east of Sofia, 115 km south-east of Rousse, 90 km west of our sea capital Varna, 140 km north-east of Veliko Tarnovo, 41 km east of Targovishte, 49 km south-east of Razgrad and 113 km south of Silistra.
The town is situated at the crossroads of important international routes: Rousse-Shoumen-Varna, Silistra-Shoumen-Yambol and 23 km from the highway Sofia-Varna pass through the town.
Geographically Shoumen is spread over the Shoumen field which is open towards southeast and it gradually decreases its height. The western part of the town lies on 280-300 m above sea level and the opposite eastern part-on 180-200 m.
A small river called Poroyna passes through the old town.
Shoumen has moderate-continental climate. The winter is relatively cold. The average temperature in January is -0.5 degrees C. The summer is hot with average July temperature of 22 degrees C.
The town of Shoumen was founded 3200 years ago. Through the ages it has been a cradle of rich spiritual and material culture-Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, and Bulgarian.
The first two Bulgarian capitals - Pliska and Veliki Preslav and the cultural center "Madara", are located very close to Shoumen.
Serious cultural and educated activities were developed during the so called Bulgaria's "Golden Century", when the town was named Simeonis.
There are two versions about the name of the town. The first one is that it comes from the name of Tsar Simeon Veliki: Simeonis - Shimeonis-Shoumen. The second version is that it comes from the Bulgarian word "shouma" - foliage.
From its foundation till XV century, the town was located in the vicinity of the famous Shoumen fortress, which was like a sophisticated complex of strengthening fittings and installations, daily and religious buildings. The fortress was built in four periods: early and late antiquity, and early and late Middle Ages. It was first created by the Thracians. After that it was inhabited and built on by the Romans, the Byzantine, Bulgarians and the Turks.
After Vladislav Varnenchik's crusade in 1444, Shoumen was destroyed by the Turks and it was then moved to its current place, in the foot of Ilchov Bair.
The old town was one of the most active centers of the Bulgarian Revival. Shoumen was the town with the first Monastery school for young girls founded in 1828, the first Girls' class school-1856 and the first library and cultural club. Shoumen was the town in which the first Bulgarian symphony orchestra was founded - 1850.
After the Bulgarian Liberation from the Ottoman slavery, Shoumen has been a district center. Now the town is the center of Shoumen municipality and Shoumen district.
- The natural park "The Shoumen Plateau"
The park is located on a great part of the plateau and its area is 3930 ha. It was announced to be a natural park in 1980. â€˜The Shoumen Plateau' is famous for its century-old beech forests, mixed beech and hornbeam forests, Karst springs, caves and different animal species.
- The historical reserve "Madara"
It is located 16 km away from the town of Shoumen and around 1.5 km from the village of Madara. The reserve includes different places of interest and it has an exclusive value for our history. â€˜Madara' was called â€˜The Bulgarian Troya' because all the finds that were found there are evidences for culture from different historical periods.
On the almost upright Madara rocks and on the west slope of the Madara plateau, a rock relief of the Madara horseman is carved. It is the most significant monument from the early Middle Ages. The monument is now chosen to be the symbol of Bulgaria in the European Union.
- The Shoumen Fortress
In this fortress the specialists found four building periods.
In the Ottoman Slavery the Shoumen Fortress was the strongest one in the famous fortified square Rousse-Silistra-Varna-Shoumen. During excavations in the fortress, remains from a settlement from the Bronze epoch and a Thracian settlement from V century B.C. were found.
There is a museum next to the fortress.
- A Historical Museum
It was founded in 1904 by Rafail Popov.
- The historical and archeological reserve "Pliska"
It is located 2 km north of the present town of Pliska. The reserve it the first capital of North (Danubian) Bulgaria, founded by Khan Asparuh in 681. Bulgarians became converted to Christianity in Pliska.
In 893 Tsar Simeon I moved the capital into Preslav, but Pliska continued its development as a cultural, trade and craft center.