Stara Zagora region has been populated for eight thousand-years. The favourable geographic and climatic conditions of the territory around Stara Zagora contributed to the establishment of several prehistoric settlements in the remote past.
More than 100 prehistoric mounds from the 6th to 3rd millennium BC were found in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. A prehistoric settlement can be found within the city itself. Two dwellings from the New Stone Age, the best preserved dwellings from that time (6th millennium BC) in Europe are exhibited in the Neolithic Dwellings Museum, it also contains a rich collection of tools and artefacts. The oldest copper mines in Europe (5th millennium BC) were found 8 km from the city, A considerable amount of copper ore was extracted from the 11 mines by the ancient inhabitants of this land who traded with it throughout the continent.
Located at the cross-roads of multiple civilizations, Stara Zagora is an important piece in the European cultural routes mosaic. Inhabited by Thracians, ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Ottomans and Bulgarians, this unique city bears the historical imprint of those past civilizations along with many of their historical treasures.
Proof of its longevity can be found in the multiples names of the city, each one connected with a different era of its development: Augusta Trayana - founded around 106 AD by the Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (98-117 AD). It was the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace during 2nd - 3rd c. AD, after Philipopolis; Beroe was the name of the city between 4th and 7th centuries. After this period city’s names were: Irinopolis; Vereya; Boruy; Eski Zagra; Zheleznik.
The city's current name, Stara Zagora, appeared for the first time in documents from the Church Council of Tsarigrad (Istambul) in 1875.
During the War between Russia and Turkey in 1877, the city was burned down and razed to the ground by the Turkish army. The only public building surviving the fire was the mosque, Eski Dzhamiya. Currently it is in a process of restoration and soon a museum of religions will be established
October 5th, 1879. Stara Zagora's restoration from the destruction began immediately after the liberation of Bulgaria. The first symbolic foundation stone was laid on October 5th, 1879. The city was rebuilt on plans designed by the Czech architect Lyubor Bayer, and became the first modern-looking Bulgarian city after the Liberation with its large straight streets and spacious squares. Thus the date has become the Day of Stara Zagora.