The Valley of Roses is one of the
biggest producers of rose oil in the world. The soil and the
climate in this region are quite suitable for the roses. The
conditions in Kazanlak proved to be more favourable for the
cultivation of the rose than those in its own country of origin
- Tunisia. This is specifically valid for the rainfalls. The
air humidity, cloudiness and precipitation in May and June
contributed to obtain roses yielding high percentage of oil.
The Rose Valley is not a geographical
name – it is just a notion, associated with the location where
the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose grows. The valley altitude
is 710m at his highest point Klisoura. The climate in the
Rose Valley is transitional between moderately continental
and transitional continental. The rose plants usually start
coming into leaf around March 10, when the air temperature
settles at over 5? C.
The rainfalls in the Rose Valley
are heaviest in the spring, with a peak in June. Daily rainfalls
are not abundant, yet the rainy days are many. This kind of
weather prolongs the flowering period, suppresses oil evaporation,
at the same time increasing the yield of oil and its quality.
The mean monthly precipitation in May and June is usually
between 80 and 100 litres per square meter.
The absence of intensive sunshine
prevents undesired liberation of the volatile aromatic ingredients
from the flowers. Every five to seven years there occurs a
sudden warming during the harvesting time, which hampers gathering,
storing and distillation. To avoid the adverse effect of the
winds on the rose bushes, they were always planted in hedge-rows.
The Trip of the rose
According to a legend, returning
soldiers of Alexander Macedon’s garrisons brought the first
roses to Thrace from the region of the town Kashan in Persia
through Syria and Damascus. Bulgarian scientists presume that
the cultivation of the roses was introduced to the region
round Kazanlak, a town founded by the Turks in 1420. The roses
were reportedly brought from Tunisia by a Turkish judge, who
had beautiful vast gardens planted with fragrant roses. This
is the trip of the rose.
After the developing of this industry
in the Middle Ages and inventing the double and multiple distillation,
the Bulgarian rose oil soon made a name for its superior quality.
The demand for this oil of unsurpassed quality has not faded
until today. The Bulgarian producers of the time became aware
of the fact that they were manufacturing a new and precious
Distillation of rose flowers for
liberating oil, a technology unknown anywhere in the world
so far was welcomed by the new industries of perfumery and
cosmetics that were flourishing in Western and Central Europe
at that time. The Bulgarian rose oil was recognized in the
world market for its superior quality and the cultivation
and processing of roses developed as the first Bulgarian industry.
Usually, every year the festival
begins with the Queen Rose beauty contest and continues with
the coronation ceremony in her honour. The chosen beautiful
girl must reward later the most skilful rose-pickers in the
rose-harvesting ritual held in the yard of the Institute of
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