Sliven (Сливен) is a town in southeast Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Sliven Province. It is a relatively large town with 110,000 inhabitants (the 8th largest in Bulgaria). Sliven is famous for its Bulgarian Haiduts who fought against the Ottoman Turks in the 19th century and is known as the "City of the 100 Voyvodi", a Voyvoda being a leader of Haiduts. The current mayor of the city is former football star Yordan Letchkov.
The famous rocky massif Sinite Kamani (Сините камъни, "The Blue Rocks") and the associated national park, the fresh air and the mineral springs offer diverse opportunities for leisure and tourism. Investors are exploring the opportunity to use the famous local wind (Bora) for the production of electricity.
Another point of interest and symbol of the city, as featured on the coat of arms, is the thousand-year-old Stariya Briast (Старият Бряст, "The Old Elm"), a large Smooth-leaved Elm in the center of the city. During the time of the Ottoman Occupation, Turkish officials would hang Bulgarian revolutionaries on the tree. In modern times, the city is doing its best to keep the tree alive with the addition of cement to the base.
West of the city lies the so called Peach Valley which contains large peach orchards. The city is also known for its mineral baths whose water is used to treat diseases of the liver and nervous system.
The most visited geographical location and attraction in the city is the Karandila (Карандила). It is a hilltop 1050m above sealevel, with great sights overlooking the city. On the Karandila is the rock formation Hulkata (Хaлката, "The Ring"). It is a rock protrusion with an interesting, yet peculiar hole in the center. According to myth, one would change gender upon passing through the ring.
Remains of the oldest settlements on the territory of Sliven date back to around 6000 B.C.E of the neolithic. Ruins of a Thracian settlement dating to around 5th–3rd century B.C.E as well as Thracian ceramics and Hellenistic coins have been discovered in the area of Hisarlaka — a small hill in Sliven. The area occupied by present-day Sliven has in the past been settled by the Thracian tribes Asti, Kabileti and Seleti. These tribes held their independence until time of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great who conquered them.
The second century B.C.E. marked the beginning of the Roman conquests of northeastern Thracia. Sliven became part of the Roman Empire around 71–72 B.C.E. when the Thracian cities of Kabile and Apolonia are conquered. With the emergence of the Roman Empire the region of the city became part of the Thracian province of the Roman Empire.
A new stage in the city's history began around 2nd–4th century B.C.E. The first written records of the settlement's name, Tuida/Suida/Tsuida date to this period. This name is most likely of Thracian origin. Its etymology is currently not understood.
In more modern times, Sliven became one of the most significant cultural centres during the Bulgarian National Revival, with much of its old heritage still preserved and enriched its heritage and today offers to its citizens and visitors a lot of opportunities for cultural life. It served as the birthplace of many prominent Bulgarians who contributed to the enlightenment such as Hadzhi Dimitar, Dobri Chintulov, Evgeniy Chapkanov, Ivan Sеliminski and many others. Another notable native is Anton Pann who composed the Romanian national anthem.