Karlovo (Bulgarian: Карлово [ˈkarɫovo]) is a historically important town in central Bulgaria located in a fertile valley along the river Stryama at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains. It is administratively part of Plovdiv Province and has a population of about 30,340 (as of 2017), the mayor being Dr. Emil Kabaivanov.
Karlovo is famous for the worldwide-known rose oil, which is grown there and used in producing perfume. In addition to this, Karlovo is the birthplace of Vasil Levski, the most distinguished Bulgarian to start preparing the national liberation from the Ottoman rule in the late 19th century. There is a museum and large monument dedicated to him. Karlovo is also a popular location for tourism in the region.
During the 2000s, Bulgarian archaeologists made discoveries in Central Bulgaria which were summarized as 'The Valley of the Thracian Kings'. On 19 August 2005, some archaeologists announced they had found the first Thracian capital, which was situated near Karlovo in Bulgaria. Many polished ceramic artifacts (pieces of roof-tiles and Greek-like vases) were discovered revealing the fortune of the town. The Bulgarian Ministry of Culture declared its support to the excavations.
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