With a population of about 164 000, Stara Zagora is the sixth largest city in Bulgaria. It is situated at the foot of Sredna Gora Mountain, 197 m above sea level. Stara Zagora is an important economic centre as it is situated on the crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South. It is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, being at least eight thousand years old and fonded at the place of the former Roman settlement of Beroe.
Stara Zagora is poetically nicknamed as the City of Limes for the numerous lime trees planted along the main streets of the town and enchanting visitors with their marvelous scent in springtime. The city plan, designed by the Czech Loubor Bayer, strikes visitors with its perfectly straight and perpendicular streets and makes Stara Zagora unique in Bulgaria.
Stara Zagora is a prime tourist destination offering various places of interest. The most visited ones are the ancient forum of "Augusta Trayana", the antique mosaic floors from the end of the 6th century, the Chilendar Covent, the memorial complex of "Defenders of Stara Zagora", the temples of "St. Virgin Mary", "St. Dimitar", "St. Trinity", the antique theatre and others. The city has several beautiful parks. The largest one is the Ayazmo with the biggest zoo in Bulgaria. At a distance of 15 km is located the "Ladjite" balneological resort with preserved Roman thermal springs. What is more, Stara Zagora offers a range of fine hotels from small charming family-run establishments to large, contemporary hotels with conference facilities.