1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sliven

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SLIVEN, Slivno or formerly Selimnia (Turk. Islimye), a town of Bulgaria, in Eastern Rumelia, at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains, 105 m. E.N.E. of Philippopolis and near the southern entrance of the defile known as the Iron Gate. Pop. (1906), 25,049. There are numerous mosques in the town, but the greater part of the Turkish population emigrated after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. Sliven contains the government factory, founded in 1834, for the manufacture of military clothing; it is the chief centre in Bulgaria for the rough and fine homespuns known as aba and shayak, and its wine is locally celebrated. Extensive mulberry orchards have been planted in connexion with the silk industry.

Sliven, the Stlifanos of the Byzantine writers, owed its former strategic importance to its position on one of the trans-Balkan highways to Adrianople and the south. In the middle ages it was a subject of dispute between Byzantium and Bulgaria. After its capture by the Turks (1388) it was one of the voinik towns which remained exempt from taxes and were allowed to elect their own voivode; but these privileges were lost in the 16th century. In 1829 Sliven was occupied by the Russian army under Rudiger and Gorchakov.