"Kazanluk - the town of Thracians and roses." Kazanluk by Askla

Kazanluk Travel Guide: 76 reviews and 223 photos


The present-day town of Kazanluk was founded in the 14th century although the area has been inhabited for about 7.000 years. The town has ~50.000 inhabitants.

The Thracians.

The Thracians inhabited the lands extending from contemporary Russia to Asia Minor, and were divided into tribes which often went to war against each other. They were tall and slender people with golden or copper-coloured hair, as can often be seen in paintings.
When it comes to religion, the god of the wine and joy, Dionysus, and the sun-god, Helios, were worshiped but the holiest deity of all was the Great Mother-Goddess, the symbol of earth and life.
They were very skilled crafts men, some of their master pieces can be seen in the Iskra Museum like the golden death mask of King Seuthes III and the 5.000 year old golden wreath. The leaves are ~0,1 mm thick!!

The Rose Oil Industry.

Kazanluk gained importance in the late 17th century due to the essential oils industry, based on the cultivation of Rosa damascena. The rose was brought from Persia in the Middle Ages and found better climatic and soil conditions here than anywhere else. It is said that around 1590, a Turkish judge had a large, splendid garden of fragrant roses in the Kazanlak area which he was ordered by Sultan Murat III to extend to supply the palace. Gradually, vast areas of land were used to produce rose bushes and oil for the Ottoman and Russian empires. That gave the start to the rose oil industry which now dominates the worlds production.

The rose-picking starts early in the morning (between 5 and 10), before the dew has evaporated, because this is when the best quality and quantity of rose oil can be obtained. The rose-picking season lasts for 3 - 4 weeks (from the second half of May until the middle of June). Both pink and white roses are used, the pink containing more oil. For obtaining 1 kg of rose oil 3?3,5 tons of pink or 5?6 tons of white petals are needed!
The harvesting is a hard manual work which needs more than 2000 people every year. Most of the hard work is done by Roma people.

There is a Rose Festival the first weekend in June every year.

  • Last visit to Kazanluk: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (2)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Nice introduction! Very interesting place!

    • Askla's Profile Photo
      Jul 11, 2014 at 2:08 AM

      I will get back there. The Thracians are interesting and also the soap production. There is a harvest festival every year in May-June when they pick the flowers, which I would like to visit.

  • Nikolay_Ivanov's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Very good page, congrats! You are welcome again here, it is becoming more interesting!


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