Pleven is located in an agricultural region in the very heart of the Danubian Plain, the historical region of Moesia, surrounded by low limestone hills, the Pleven Heights and it stretches over five officially recognized Bulgarian wine regions, covering Pleven and Veliko Tarnovo. The city’s central location in northern Bulgaria defines its importance as a big administrative, economic, political, cultural and transport center. Pleven is located 170 km away from the capital city of Sofia, 320 km west of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and 50 km south of the Danube. Pleven is the nucleus of Bulgarian wine-making, also known as the Danube Valley wine region. The National Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, the fifth of that kind in the world, started its work in 1902. The Institute cultivated a popular hybrid grape Storgozia, named after a Roman road station and later a fortress /3rd century AD/ near Pleven. The oldest, biggest and most respectable wineries here are Raynoff, Pirgovo, Svishtov and Pleven Winery which grow the famous grape varieties as Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Traminer, Riesling, and revive special, local varieties: Misket Vratsa, Vratsa violet, Kaylaka Muscat, Tamianka and Gamza.

The river Vit flows near the town and the earliest traces of human settlement in the area date from the 5th millennium BC, the Neolithic. Numerous archaeological findings, among them the largest golden treasure found in Bulgaria, evidence for the rich culture of the Thracians, who inhabited the area for thousands of years. The first traces of habitation on the site date back to the Stone-Copper age /5th century BC/. In the beginning of the new era, the region of present day Pleven became part of the Roman province of Moesia, and a road station called Storgosia arose near present-day Pleven on the road from Oescus /near modern Gigen/ to Philippopolis /now Plovdiv/. One of the most valued archaeological monuments in Bulgaria from the period is the Early Christian Basilica from the 4th century, discovered near the modern city. According to its initial design it is a 3-nave, one-conch building with a south entrance and colonnade. The walls had brick layers which reinforced the outward aesthetic effect. The central nave of the Pleven Basilica had two-slope tile roof, and the side naves had one-slope ones. The walls were covered with multicolored mosaics made from glass cubes, stone and terracotta. The Storgosia basilica was put on fire during the invasions of the Huns. In 1st-3rd centuries in its vicinity existed a sanctuary of the goddess Diana Germetita. A temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus – the supreme Roman god – was erected on the site. In the 4th century the settlement of Storgozia /which originated within the boundaries of today’s town/ moved to the site and was transformed into a fortress situated on an area of 31 acres, with a defense wall, two gates and towers. At its foot, along the river, public and private buildings were built. An Old Christian basilica and a choreum – a grain storage warehouse have been preserved from the 4th – 6th centuries, and renovated. The Storgosia fortress was destroyed at the end of 6th century by the Slavic population that settled in the area. The ruins of the Storgosia fortress have been renovated in 2013 and are illuminated at night. The wonderful terrace with benches has been built for visitors to admire the beautiful view to the Kaylaka park and the city, and also steep stairs lead to the fortress, starting very close from the a lake with boats and pedalons and the clock tower. The period which is characterized as especially busy is that of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom /12th – 14th centuries/, as a result of which the medieval settlement turned into a town with the developed crafts and trade typical of it. The tiny Tuchenitsa river /commonly known in Pleven as Barata, literally “The Streamlet”/ crosses it. Kaylaka is a large protected park south of Pleven, situated in a Karst valley of Tuchenitsa river. The park is spread over 10 km² and is surrounded by sheer cliffs that suggest favorable conditions for rock climbing. There are places as ponds and reservoirs with boats and pedalos, zoo-park, museum of Bulgarian wines, swimming pools, hotels, cafés, restaurants, discotheques and playgrounds.

Pleven is most famous for its Epopee, and by the 1877 war panorama monument at the actual battlefield, in the Skobelev Park Museum in the southwestern outskirts of the town which commemorates the liberation of Pleven as a turning point in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. The Epopee panorama monument in Pleven is the only monument of its kind in the Balkan Peninsula and features a 40 meters in diameter truncated cone that lies on four stylized bayonets. The three horizontal rings that encircle the whole structure stand as symbols of the three battles of Pleven, while the ring with the bayonets symbolizes the siege of the town. The Pleven Epopee 1877 Panorama has introductory hall, panorama hall, diorama hall, and a conclusion hall, displaying replicas of typical objects and weapons from the period. The visitor is put in the center of the military action and may see the development of the battle in all directions. Six 4 x 3.6 m paintings in the introductory hall depict scenes from the history of Bulgaria and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, while paintings in the conclusion hall depict the capitulation of Osman Pasha and the winter crossing of the Balkan (Stara planina Mt) by the Russian army. Ottoman forces found themselves driven back into the city of Pleven, losing 5,000 men to the Russians’ 2,000 and made “Plevna Battle one of the few engagements which changed the course of history”. A. J. P. Taylor.

Pleven is also famous for the beautiful Regional Historical Museum, which nowadays features a new attraction – the Bulgaria’s first Wine Museum in the Kailaka (Kaylaka) National Park. The statue of the famous Russian General Totleben, who decided on a complete encirclement of the city and its defenders and blocked the nearby river in 1877 to finally end the Ottoman’s siege of Pleven, shows the way to the huge entrance gate to Plamen Petkov’s Chateau Kailaka winery, just 250 meters from the Wine Museum. A cross-shaped cave, created by General Vinarov to celebrate Russian military glory, now houses the history of Bulgarian wine-making, starting with a small statue of the young wine god Dionysus, found near Pleven. Visitors of the cave can learn many interesting facts about the history of wine production in Bulgaria. In the historical part of the cave visitors can see many pictures and items, connected with the history of wine production, the technology and sort specifications in the different regions of the country. Here visitors can see old barrels, old containers for wine production, rhytons and other drinking vessels for the ‘divine spirit’.
The Pleven Wine museum also offers wine tasting, which is actually a short sommelier course and is conducted by a specialist. During the wine tasting in Pleven Wine Museum visitors learn interesting and useful facts, such as how to hold the wine glass and why, what is the role of food, what should be looked for in the color, aroma, taste and aftertaste of the tasted wines. The Wine Museum collection in Pleven includes wines, aged between 30 and 90 years. Part of the collection is 6,000 bottles of modern wines from various regions and companies from the country.