Shumen is the tenth-largest city in Bulgaria and capital of Shumen Province. In the period 1950–1965 it was called Kolarovgrad, after the name of the communist leader Vasil Kolarov. As of February 2011, the town has a population of 80,885 inhabitants.
The city lies 80 km 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 north 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 to Dobruja, southwards to the passes of the Balkans, and eastwards to Varna and Balchik.