The oldest traces of life found in the land of Karlovo date from the Neolithic era /VI millennium BC/. In the area "Yas Tepe" west of Karlovo there was a Neolithic settlement.
During the Middle Ages, near today's Karlovo, there were several settlements, one of which was near the area of St. Panteleimon and probably the medieval Bulgarian Sushitsa. A medieval necropolis was discovered in the western part of the town in the Bademlika district. Next to the Balkans was the medieval monastery of St. Spas.
In the 70s of the 14th century the Karlovo Valley was conquered by the Ottoman Turks.
At the end of the 15th century, Sultan Bayezid II donated the village of Sushitsa and the belonging lands to the Ottoman military leader Karl Ali Bey as a feudal estate.
In 1485, Carl Ali Bey built the Kurshum Mosque with materials from the ruined St. Spas Monastery, which is the oldest architectural monument in the city.
The name Karlovo was gradually established in later times and probably derives from the surname of Karl Bay: Karl’ova - land of Karl.
The city reached the peak of its economic and spiritual prosperity in the Bulgarian Revival period. Crafts are developed: cultivation of oil-bearing rose and production of rose oil exported to England, France, Constantinople; 40 foundry workshops; forged copper - pottery, copper household utensils 47 types, distinguished by artistic flair, tin vessels for brandy; shoemaking, carpentry; ironworks; glassmaking; gunpowder production; goldsmithing - presented at the big fair in Uzundzhovo; 24 guild associations; tailors; samardzhii; silk; pottery; kaftans /tailors of men's outerwear/; astardzhii / weavers of sails /.
In the middle of the XIX century two large churches were built - "St. Nikolay ”and“ St. The Mother of God ”.
The school in Karlovo was founded around 1810. An epoch in the educational work in the town was the activity of the teacher and translator Rayno Popovich / 1773 - 1858 /
Karlovo is mostly associated with the fact that it is the hometown of Vasil Levski. Vasil Ivanov Kunchev - Levski / 1837-1873 / - national revolutionary, organizer of the national liberation movement, founder of the Internal Revolutionary Organization, organizer of the committee network to liberate Bulgaria from Turkish slavery.
Dr. Ivan Bogorov / 1818 - 1892 / was born in Karlovo - publicist, translator, publisher of the first Bulgarian newspaper "Bulgarian Eagle".
Notable teacher, writer, publicist and public figure Botyo Petkov / 1815 - 1869 / - father of the great poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev - was also born in Karlovo.
On May 11, 1861, the people of Karlovo founded the community center in the town, which became a center of education and revolutionary ideas. The Women's Society, established on September 14, 1869, has made an indisputable contribution to the spiritual awakening and development of girls' education in the city.
There is no field in public life, art, science in which Karlovo has no contribution: Ivan Popov - founder of the Bulgarian theater and its historian; Pesho Radoev - founder of the art of ballet; the famous artists Vasil Kirkov and Elena Snezhina; Rayna Kasabova - the first woman in the world to fly a fighter plane; Anka Lambreva - the first Bulgarian traveler around the world; the climber Hristo Prodanov; Ivan / John / Nochev - rocket designer and many others.
Karlovo gives Bulgaria remarkable and generous donors - the two most prominent brothers Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi donated funds for the largest university in Bulgaria "St. Kliment Ohridski” in Sofia, as well as for hospitals, churches and schools.