Pleven is a city in North Bulgaria, an administrative and economic center of the eponymous municipality and region. As of December 2013 the city had a population of 103,122 and was the 7th largest city in Bulgaria. Pleven is situated 150 meters above sea level in the central part of the Danubian Plain, 174 kilometers northeast of Sofia. Between 2008 and 2010 the gross domestic product per capita decreased more than 5%: from 5,322 to 5,051 leva. Unemployment in the region of Pleven increased 1.8 percentage points to 12.1% in 2013, year on year.
Pleven emerged in Thracian times. The first traces of life in these places date back to the fifth millennia BC. The archeological finds bear evidence of the high cultural development of the Thracians. Among them is the Valchitran treasure, which is the biggest gold treasure ever discovered in Bulgaria. It consists of 13 valuable cult items. The treasure is kept in the National History Museum in Sofia.
The fortress of Storgosia has a Greek origin. It is located along the Philippopolis – Ulpia Oescus road with Greek influence coming from the south through the once important road connection. The name originates from the Greek word στοργή, meaning “love”. The name of Storgosia is translated literally as “the city of love”. Storgosia was located on the territory of today’s Kaylaka Park.
The Slavs, who later settled in the region, named the place Kamenets; it was mentioned as Pleven for the first time in 1266. The city was a cultural and educational center in the 19th century. The battles for Pleven in 1877 were crucial for the outcome of the Russo-Turkish War.
The vision formulated by the Development Plan of the Municipality of Pleven for 2007-13 is the following: “Establishing the Municipality of Pleven as an economic center of the Northwest region through implementation of the existing potential for rapid economic growth and transforming it into an attractive center for national and foreign investments.”