The town of Targovishte has a population of 40 775 and is 170 m above sea-level. It is situated at the southern foot of the low mountain of Preslav along the bank of the Vrana River. It is 339 km north-east of Sofia, 41 km west of Shoumen, 25 km north-west of Veliki Preslav|, 24 km north-east of Omourtag, 100 km north-east of Veliko Tarnovo, 36 km south of Razgrad, and 35 km south-east of Popovo. It was an ancient market settlement. A district centre.
The earliest vestiges of human life in the area date back to the copper-stone era (halcolite) of the 5th-4th millennium before Christ (near the village of Ovcharovo). In the vicinity of the town there have been recovered remains of settlements and necropolises from the ancient times (the gold treasure from Kralevo). The name of the present town was first mentioned in 16th century as Eski Dzhoumaya (eski - old, dzhoumaya - Friday; on that same day markets were organised in the Turkish settlements, so in this particular case it is rather a market place or if translated - ?Old market?). It was first registered as such in a Turkish register of 1573, and in the following 17th century the traveller Hadzhi Kalfa gave it a short description. At first it was entirely an Oriental town. In the course of years a lot of Bulgarians settled to live there. The crafts underwent a brisk development together with the trade therewith. The well-known Eski Dzhoumaya Fair started at the end of 18th century became the largest in the Danube district and one of the biggest and most representing in the Ottoman Empire. It used to commence on 14th May and last for 8 days. Traders came from the whole of the Ottoman Empire, from Russia and from the west European countries - Germany, Austria, and England - they offered industrial goods. The material prosperity lead to cultural progress of the settlement.
During the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation (1877-1878) the inhabitants of the town showed great courage in defending the Bulgarian quarters from the Circassians and Bashi-bozouks. The town was liberated in January 1878.
In 1934 the town was renamed Targovishte. It is more and more developing as a tourist centre. The traditional fair in Targovishte known as the Spring Fair and Industrial Goods Expo was resumed.
There are more than 30 buildings of interesting architecture in the old Revival quarter called Varosh. Among them are the school named St. St. Cyril and Methodius and Their Five Disciples where Spiridon Gramadov and Petko R. Slaveikov (who gave the plan for the construction) were teachers and where the latter started editing the ?Gaida? (Bagpipe) newspaper. At present the building houses the Museum of History. The Assumption Church is one of the most beautiful churches built in Bulgaria before the Liberation. The house of Angel Hadzhi Droumev is one of the most precious sights from the Revival Period in the town; it was built by the masters of Tryavna (the Ethnographic Museum at present).
In Targovishte there is a Theatre of Drama and a Puppet Theatre. There is a branch of the Blagoevgrad University here.
Bus and railway transport connects the town with the rest of the world. There are regular bus lines to Omourtag, Shoumen, Veliki Preslav, Razgrad, Popovo and other smaller villages in the district. The bus station is situated near the centre. The town is a railway station on Sofia - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Varna main railway line. The railway station is located in the northern part of the town.
There is an airport adjacent to the town but at present there are no regular passengers flights. There is public bus transport functioning in the town of Targovishte.
The Targovishte spring is located 8 km south-west of the town. The temperature of the mineral water is 27 C, and the water debit is about 6 litter per second. It cures diseases of the kidney and gastric-enteric diseases. A real resort has been set up in its vicinity - an open swimming pool, a prophylactic house, a hotel, and private villas. Part of the mineral water is bottled. There is a regular bus line to the town. In the immediate vicinity of the town is the interesting Hunting Park, the Yukya Forest-Park, the Borovo Oko lake, and 7 km away is the Park in the Targovishte gorge.
Twenty-four kilometres south-west of Targovishte is the town of Omourtag where there are preserved the Menzilishkata drinking-fountain from 1779, the St. Dimitur Church from 1851 and six Revival houses among which is the one belonging to granny Ivanka Hadzhiiska (built in 1876) where she hid 200 women and children from the Turkish army during the War of Liberation. At present it houses the town museum. There is a regular bus line between Targovishte and Omourtag.
The Roman Bridge is situated some 60 km south-west of Targovishte between the villages of Vidanovo and Malko Dolyane, above the Stara River. In spite of its name it does not date back to Roman times, it was built in 16th-17th century. It is 60 m long, 4 m wide and the top-point height is 10 metres. It has the shape of a crescent with one central arc and 5 supplementary ones. It was built directly on the natural rock. This unique installation has been completely preserved; it fascinates with the exquisiteness of its architecture. In ancient times it was an important strategic road. The village of Stevrek is the point of departure (on the Omourtag-Elena way); there is bus transport from the village to Omourtag and Antonovo. The distance from the village to the bridge is 8 km (1.30-2 hours long walk) along the country road fit for vehicles. The road goes through the former village of Malko Dolyane.
The Garbatata drinking-fountain is located 50 metres away from above mentioned Stara River, some 75 km south-west of Targovishte and some 25 km west of Antonovo. It is a natural limestone rock, about 4 metres high and having the shape of an arc. On top there is an outfall where runs the water falling from the vertical cliff above the limestone ridge. So falling from the outfall the water forms a small cascade called the Garbatata drinking-fountain (meaning a drinking-fountain crooked like a hunchback). The small village of Stara Rechka is the point of departure; a regular bus runs between the latter and Antonovo. One can get to the drinking-fountain from the village following a tourist map route for about an hour walk.