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(before 1878 Eski Stambul), a Bulgarian city in the district of Shumen, on the left bank of the Goljama Kamčija river. Population, 8,000 (1965). Preslav has a winery, an industrial combine, an intermediate polytechnic school, and an agricultural technicum.
Some 3 km south of Preslav are the ruins of an ancient city of the same name that was, after Pliska, the second capital (893–971) of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. In 971, Preslav was seized and pillaged by the Byzantines. It remained in a state of decline during the 11th and 12th centuries while under Byzantine domination. After the revolt of the brothers Petr and Asen (1185–87), the city again became a Bulgarian fortress.
Ancient Preslav had an area of 3.5 sq km and consisted of two parts: the outer city, surrounded by a white stone wall 3.25 m thick, up to 10 m high, and provided with gates and towers; and the inner city, the tsar’s residential compound, also surrounded by a stone wall. Archaeological excavations of the inner city carried out since the end of the 19th century have investigated the ruins of massive palaces built of large stone cubes, including the Great Palace, or Throne Palace, with its remains of pillars, slabs with carved designs of foliage, and marble and porphyry floor. Excavations in the outer city have revealed the remains of houses and artisans’ workshops, and of the Round Church (10th century), with an atrium and a vestibule richly decorated with marble, mosaics, and glazed, patterned ceramic tiles.