History

The first settlers of the site near the town of today came here in the time of the Middle Neolithic (3000 - 2600 BC). Novae - the former Roman castle - initially sprang as headquarters of a Roman Legion. Gradually it turned into an important economic and cross-roads center. The archaeological excavations near the town of Svishtov revealed ancient city remains of inestimable historic value.

There are various attitudes concerning the origin of the name "Svishtov". Some are seeking in Greek root there - Sebas-tokastron, Sbestokastron, Sestos; and others Slavonic - Svishtov by analogy with Velika and Mala Svishtovka in Check Republic.
Under the Ottomans the town of Svishtov was a private, inviolable possession of the sultana, with independent administrative and financial government. All these and the enterprising spirit of the men of Svishtov turned out to be decisive for its recognition as a commercial and cultural centre.
During the 18th trough the 19th centuries caravans of carts brought to Svishtov cereals, leather, vegetable oil, honey, wax, rose oil, wool, cotton, silk, silkworm eggs and industrial articles. The goods were loaded on sailing vessels for export to Braila, Galatas, Constantinople, and Central Europe. During the period 1850 - 1860 there were about 150 Danubian sail-vessels in the Svishtov harbor. Part of them were possessed by merchants of Svishtov. Nikola Stanchov - a merchant from Svishtov was a main shareholder of the Danube Vapour Company (established in 1867), which bought a ship and three barges for cereals from Austro-Hungary. At the time Svishtov had the reputation of an European town. The crafts, silkworm breeding, vine-growing, and stock-breeding experienced a blossom. Forty-five companies carried on business with Veles, Ohrid, Ser, Melnik, Razlog, and Bansko. In 1869 a great fire burned to ashes the harbor and many of the shops but new 260 shops were built in short time. Svishtov was the first Bulgarian town liberated by the Russian liberators in 1877.

Pictures of Svishtov

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