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Provadia () is a town in northeastern Bulgaria, part of Varna Province, located in a deep karst gorge (Provadia syncline) along the Provadia River not far from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Provadiya Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 12,901 inhabitants.

Provadia served as a customs point since ancient times. It is well known for salty mineral waters, its mild climate and a total of 70 km of caves in the surrounding mountain walls. It can be reached by train from Sofia or Varna and there are also hourly buses from and to Varna, and a sophisticated road system.


Historical names of the medieval fortress, the ruins of which have been preserved until today, include Provat (Byzantine Greek), Ovech (Овеч, Bulgarian), Provanto (Italian) and Pravadı (Turkish language). The Greek name and its adaptations stem from the word πρόβατο, provato, "sheep", and the medieval Bulgarian name corresponds directly (being derived from овца, ovtsa, with the same meaning). The fortress is open for visitors.

During the Middle Ages the town was a key centre of the First Bulgarian Empire with an important monastery at the modern village of Ravna, the church of which was consecrated on 23 April 897, and a major scriptorium of the Preslav Literary School. The rebel leader and subsequently emperor of Bulgaria Ivailo defeated a...
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