A big Slavonic-Bulgarian settlement of the 8th to 10th century was founded on
the ruins of this town. At the end of the 10th century the hill was already
densely populated and in the 12th century it was a fortified town and a
significant economic centre.
The origin of the name is related to the Slavonic word “tern” or “trun”
(thorn) and during the years it developed into Ternov, Trunov, Tur-nov,
Turnovgrad, Turnovo and Veliko Turnovo, being called “Veliko” (Great) in
relation to its size, beauty and grandeur. In 1187 the Uprising of Assen and
Peter was successfully completed, the Byzantine Rule was thrown off and
Turnovgrad became the capital (the third capital in the history of Bulgaria)
of the restored Bulgarian Kingdom. The following two centuries are “golden” in
the history of the town.