|The Valley of Roses is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world. The soil and the climate in this region are quite suitable for the roses. The conditions in Kazanlak proved to be more favourable for the cultivation of the rose than those in its own country of origin - Tunisia. This is specifically valid for the rainfalls. The air humidity, cloudiness and precipitation in May and June contributed to obtain roses yielding high percentage of oil.
The Rose Valley is not a geographical name – it is just a notion, associated with the location where the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose grows. The valley altitude is 710m at his highest point Klisoura. The climate in the Rose Valley is transitional between moderately continental and transitional continental. The rose plants usually start coming into leaf around March 10, when the air temperature settles at over 5º C.
The rainfalls in the Rose Valley are heaviest in the spring, with a peak in June. Daily rainfalls are not abundant, yet the rainy days are many. This kind of weather prolongs the flowering period, suppresses oil evaporation, at the same time increasing the yield of oil and its quality. The mean monthly precipitation in May and June is usually between 80 and 100 litres per square meter.
The absence of intensive sunshine prevents undesired liberation of the volatile aromatic ingredients from the flowers. Every five to seven years there occurs a sudden warming during the harvesting time, which hampers gathering, storing and distillation. To avoid the adverse effect of the winds on the rose bushes, they were always planted in hedge-rows.
To visit Bulgaria and not go to the Valley of Roses is to go to Egypt and not see the pyramids. The Valley of Roses is in the very heart of the country and is shielded by the high slopes of two majestic mountain ranges - the Balkan and Sredna Gora.
The rose, the queen of flowers, has been focusing the attention of people since the remote past as a symbol of beauty and youth. It was the Phoenicians who organized first the feast of the blessed flower. Cleopatra chose the rose for her palaces; her bathroom and numerous cosmetic substances all had a rose smell. The ancient Greeks decorated their temples with roses. Homer described rose oil in the "Iliad" and in the "Odyssey". In his "Natural History" Pliny mentions the rose that was grown in Thrace.
The rose - a symbol of perfect love.The Romans lavishly spent on rose fragrances; they adorned the feast tables with roses and Nero "invented" the rose rain. Christianity reinterpreted the symbol of fleeting pleasure as the symbol of perfect love and adorned the most virtuous maids with roses.
The rose - a kind of Bulgarian currency.The emergence of the perfume industry in France in the 17th century triggered off the rapid development of rose production, including the Bulgarian lands. Rose oil that was extracted, as in ancient times by the distillation of fresh rose petals, which were treated with water steam became a kind of Bulgarian currency.
The attar of roses.For centuries Bulgarians have planted roses, picked their flowers and extracted their heavenly essence – attar of roses. The rose, this marvellous gift of the land, is admired and used in perfumery, pharmacy and food industry.
The Festival of Roses.The Rose Valley is magically transformed with breath-taking blooms in May and early June each year when The Festival of Roses is celebrated in many towns of the region. Rose picking rituals and folklore displays are presented.
Queen Rose.The festival program includes the coronation of Queen Rose (a beauty contest in several rounds), the traditional rose-picking ritual and rose-distillation that gives you a true feeling of authenticity.
The Festival ends with a street procession in which the main role is allotted for the participants of the International Folklore Festival that has been hold parallel to the Festival of Roses for some years.
Other places of interest in the region:
Kazanlak.The town of Kazanluk is located in the gorgeous Valley of Roses at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. The natural geographical centre of Bulgaria is just here where the roads of domestic and international tourist routes cross each other.
Thracian tomb – Kazanlak.One of the most famous monuments of Thracian culture, included in the World Register of Historical Sites, in 1979, was discovered in 1944. A corridor, 1. 95 m in length, 1. 12 m in width and 2. 24 m in height leads to a domed tomb, 3. 25 m in height and one of the most famous monuments of Thracian culture, included in the World Register of Historical Sites, in 1979, was discovered in 1944. A corridor, 1. 95 m in length, 1. 12 m in width and 2. 24 m in height leads to a domed tomb, 3. 25 m in height and 2. 65 m in diameter at the base.The building material is brick, used two centuries later by the Romans. The frame is of blocks of stone and clay is used as bonding material. It is situated in the southern part of a mound, at ground level. Entrance is from the south side. The tomb became world famous with its unique mural, done in wet fresco and tempera. The artistic decoration covers an area of 40m2 and is an extraordinary art gallery, taking the visitor a long way back in time. The pictures show battles and scenes from daily life, realistically displayed, with great dynamism and details in the clothing and armour. The scenes of funeral procession , the musicians, the Thracian ruler and his wife, the chariots, the horses and other depictions are all very interesting. The tomb dates from the late IV c. - early III c. B.C. Nearby an exact copy has been built for tourists.
The Thracian tomb is situated in the north-eastern part of Kazanlak
The Valley of Roses.To visit Bulgaria and not go to the Valley of Roses is to go to Egypt and not see the pyramids. The Valley of Roses is in the very heart of the country and is shielded by the high slopes of two majestic mountain ranges - the Balkan and Sredna Gora.