Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgarian: Велико Търново, romanized: Veliko Tǎrnovo, pronounced [vɛˈliko ˈtɤrnovo]; “Great Tarnovo”) is a town in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Veliko Tarnovo Province.
Often referred as the “City of the Tsars“, Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the town is situated on three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, and also a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls.
Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. During the Middle Ages, the town was among the main European centres of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School, and to literature. Veliko Tarnovo is an important administrative, economic, educational, and cultural centre of Northern Bulgaria.
Ancient and Eternal
The most widespread theory for the name’s origin holds that its original names of Tarnovgrad (Търновград) and Tarnovo (Търново) come from the Old Bulgarian тръневъ (tranev) or тръновъ (tranov), meaning “thorny”. The suffix “grad” means “city” in Bulgarian and in many Slavic languages. In 1965, the word велико (veliko), meaning “great”, was added to the original name in honour of the town’s status as an old capital of Bulgaria. This also helps distinguish it from the town of Malko Tarnovo. In Ottoman Turkish, it was called طرنوه (Modern Turkish: Tırnova). The anthem of the city is Shishman’s song, dedicated to the last Bulgarian king of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The coat of arms of Tarnovo depicts a figure with three lions. Purple color was used for the flag of the city, because during the excavations in the church “St. Forty Martyrs “were found clothes of rulers in purple. There is also a key and a necklace of Veliko Tarnovo.  The first known coat of arms of the city is from 1921 by Dimitar Bagrilov.
Veliko Tarnovo has an area of 60.9 km2. The area which is assigned to the town is 30.379 km2. It is located on the river Yantra. The town has always had a strategic position. It is located on main roads which connect West Balkans with Black sea and East Europe with Middle East. In the East and North-East the town borders with the Arbanassi Bardo. North – with the Orlovets locality, to the west with the Kozludzha locality and to the south with the area Dalga laka.