SHU3ILA (Bulg. Shumen, Turk. Shumna), a fortified town of Bulgaria, 58 miles south-south-west of Silistria and in that pashalic and 50 west of Varna. The town is built within a cluster of hills 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 horseshoe ridge. From Shumla roads radiate northwards to the Danubian fortresses of Rustchuk and Silistria and those in the Dobrudja, southwards to the passes of the Balkans, and eastwards to Varna and Baltchik. Shumla is therefore one of the most important military positions to the north of Turkey, while it ranks as the third largest town in Bulgaria. Spread over a large extent of ground, each house mostly isolated in the midst of its own stables and cow-houses, Shumla has the appearance of a vast village. A broad street and rivulet divide the military or upper quarter, Gorni-Mahle, from the lower quarter, Dolni-Mahle. The latter, dirty and unhealthy, intersected by a labyrinth of lanes, is inhabited mostly by Christians and Jews. The Armenians possess a small church, and each of the two Bulgarian quarters has its temple. The houses of the Gorni-Mahle, occupied chiefly by Turks, stand pleasantly embowered each in its flower and fruit garden. GorniMahle has preserved the old church of the Resurrection. In the Dolni-Mahle is the new church of St Cyril, a fine basilica adorned with a peristyle. The Bulgarian community possesses two boys' and two girls' schools, giving instruction superior to that obtainable at the primary Turkish school. In the upper part of the town is the magnificent mausoleum of Jezairli Hassan Pasha, who in the 18th century enlarged the fortifications of Shumla. The principal mosque, with a cupola of very interesting architecture, forms the centre of the Moslem quarter. At the farther end of the town, isolated on a bill, is a large military hospital. The population of Shumla in 1881 was 23,093, exclusive of the garrison. The town is renowned for its manufacture of red and yellow slippers, ready-made clothes, richly embroidered dresses for females, and its copper and tin wares. It also rears silk-worms, spins silk, and carries on an important trade in grain and wine. The branch railway from Shumla to Kaspidjan, 91,- miles, to connect the town with the Rustchuk-Varna Railway, though commenced in 1870, was not finished in 1886.
In 811 Shumla was burned by the emperor Nieephorus, and in 1087 was besieged by Alexins. In 1388 the sultan Ilurad L forced the castle to surrender ; and thence till the 17th century Slitunla disappears from history. In the 18th century it was enlarged and fortified. Three times - 1774, 1810, and 1828 - it was unsuccessfully attacked by Russian armies. The Turks consequently gave it the name of Gazi (" Victorious"). But on 22d June 1878 Shumla capitulated to the Russians. The treaty of Berlin stipulated the demolition of the fortifications ; but this article has not been executed, and Bulgarian troops garrison the fort.
See F. Kanitz, La Bulgarie Dawabienne (1882); H. C. Barkley, Bulgaria before the War (1877), and Between the Danube and Black Sea (1876); S. G. B. and C. A. St Clair, Residence in Bulgaria (1869); J. L. Farley, New Bulgaria (1880); and J. G. 16 inehin, Bulgaria since the War (1880).