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Shumen (also spelled Shoumen or Sumen), is the tenth largest city in Bulgaria and the administrative and economic capital of Shumen Province. The city was first mentioned as Simeonis in 1153 by the Arab traveler Idrisi. The name is probably from Bulgarianshuma (deciduous) forest, though some believe (Konstantin Jirecek)[citation needed] that it comes from the name of the Bulgarian emperor Simeon the Great. In the following periods, the city was mentioned with different variants, such as Sumena, Sumna, Sumular, Sumunum, Sumnu and Sumen. The city lies 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Varna and is built within a cluster of hills, northern outliers of the eastern Balkans, which curve round it on the west and south in the shape of a horse-shoe. A rugged ravine intersects the ground longitudinally within the horse-shoe ridge. From Shumen roads radiate northwards to the Danubian cities of Rousse and Silistra and toDobruja, southwards to the passes of the Balkans, and eastwards to Varna and Balchik.


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