Svishtov ( _bg. Свищов, known as Ziştovi during Ottoman rule) is a town in northern Bulgaria, located in Veliko Tarnovo Province on the right bank of the Danube.The city is the third largest in Veliko Tarnovo Province after the towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Gorna Oryahovitsa.The town is also the administrative centre of Svishtov Municipality.


Svishtov is situated in northern central Bulgaria on the banks of the Danube river.This is the most southern place on the banks of the Danube river and the most southern harbour on the Danube in Bulgaria.The distance between the town of Svishtov and Sofia is 237 kilometers, 80 kilometers to Pleven and 90 km to Rousse.


Svishtov is identified with the Roman colony "Novae" mentioned by Ptolemy. It served as a base of operations for Roman campaigns against Barbarian tribes, last time during Maurice’s Balkan campaigns. For a short time the place was The Main City for the Ostrogoths of Teodoric The Great.Theodoric occupied Singidunum (Belgrade) in 471 and, after plundering Macedonia and Greece, settled in Novae (the modern Svishtov), on the lower Danube, in 483, where he remained till he transferred the sphere of his activities to Italy ten years later.

It was destroyed some time after 613, as shown by coin founds minted up to this date. The exact site appears to have been Staklen, to the west of the present town, which has gradually moved eastward since the 16th century, when it was almost destroyed in the Turkish wars.

It was at Svishtov that the peace of 1790 was signed, by which the Austrian-Turkish boundary was determined. The town was burned in 1810 by the Russians; but after 1820 it began to revive, and the introduction of steam traffic on the lower Danube (1835) restored its prosperity. The Romanian town of Alexandria was founded by fugitives from Svishtov after the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829.

Svishtov is known as the first town to be liberated during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78, since the largest part of the Imperial Russian Army forced the Danube nearby.

Svishtov Cove in Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named for Svishtov.


The current name of Svishtov derives from the world Sistova as it is mentioned in the treaty after the Austro-Turkish War in 1791.Sistova comes into use instead of the turkish word Zigit.During the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria the town is known as Ziştovi and in romanian as Şiştova.It is also said that the name of the town comes from the old Bulgarian word Sveshnii (from the Bulgarian word svesht meaning candle) because in the past there was something like a lighthouse(candle) showing the way for the ships at night.


The main religion in Svishtov is Orthodox Christianity.There is also a small group of Roman Catholics that have migrated from the surrounding villages which are predominantly Catholic likethe villages of Oresh, Dragomirovo and the town of Belene.


The mayor of Svishtov Municipality is Stanislav Blagoev, he is in his third mandate and is chosen from the list of the coalition "For Svishtov" that includes SSD,SDS,BZNS and Lider.


Harbour, Electronics, chemical industry, agriculture:wheat

Landmarks and Interesting places

One of the most beautiful places around the town of Svishtov is the unique river valley(1-2 km away from the town) with the monastery of Svishtov ,the region called "Pametnistsite"(The Monuments) on the banks of the Danube and the park around the old fortress in the centre of the town.The House-museum of the Bulgarian novelist Aleko Konstantinov is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.


Aleko Konstantinov

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Guide to municipality Svishtov - cites and villages]

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