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District SmolyanPlace Info Properties Hotels Postal codes Phone codes Population Coordinates Distances Area sizes Photo Gallery Video & Webcams News Schools Smolyan Region is situated in Southern Bulgaria. It is bounded by the regions of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Kardzhali and Blagoevgrad, and to the south it borders on Greece. The relief in the region is mountainous. It covers the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains with venerable coniferous forests and pastures. The main road passing through the area is the Plovdiv–Smolyan road.
In the region is developed the livestock. Near Madan there are deposits of lead and zinc ores.
The nature of the Rhodope Mountains is the perfect place for winter and summer tourism, rural tourism, hunting and ecotourism. Most of the populated areas are tourist centers. In the pretty villages of Momchilovtsi, Smilian, Gela, etc. one can taste traditional cuisine of the Rhodopes, hear and see the famous dances and songs of the Rhodopes.
Some of the natural landmarks are the biosphere reserves of Kazanite, Soskovche, Momchil Dol and Amzovo, the rocky vaults of the Wonderful Bridges (Chudnite mostove), the Buinov and Trigrad gorges, the Devil’s Throat (Diavolskoto Garlo), Uhlovitsa and Yagodina caves. There are a lot of rivers that cross the area, the bigger of which being the Arda, the Vacha, the Chepelare, the Varbitza, the Cherna (Black) Reka and the Devin. Mineral water springs abound in the vicinity of Devin, the villages Bani, Beden, Mihalkovo, Lyaskovo. The Dospat and Vacha dams offer excellent conditions for fishing. The beautiful Smolyan lakes are located in the Smolyan kettle.
The Rhodope Mountains have been praised in folk songs as the holy mountain of the Thracians, the birthplace of the mythological Rhodope singer Orpheus, whose music charmed beasts and people alike. The lands were occupied by the Thracian tribes Bessi, Coylaleti, Satrai. Vestiges of ancient fortresses that once guarded the frontiers can be found near the villages of Shiroka Laka, Smilian and Gela (Gradishteto), on Mount Turlata.
During the Ottoman rule the population of the Rodopes was forced to convert to Islam. All the churches and monasteries were destroyed, while the priests and monks were slain. Lots guerilla detachments (haidouks) lead by chieftains of Momchil, Delio, Doichin, Captain Petko, etc. Despite the hard time they had, the people of the Rhodopes managed to preserve their customs and culture. Even today there are a lot of monuments and traditions preserved from the National Revival period.
An idiosyncratic area in the Rhodopes is Rozhen where the haidouks used to roam during the years of the Ottoman rule and where the spacious meadows were a host family gatherings and song contests. It is here where the distinctive band of bagpipers One Hundred Low-Tuned Bagpipes (Sto kaba gaidi) started its career and turned into the symbol of the gatherings. It is from where the Bulgarian song about haidouk Delyo performed by Valia Balkanska was sent out into the space shuttle as a message to extraterrestrial civilizations. Not far from Rozhen one can find the Rozhen astronomic observatory – the biggest one on the Balkans.
Sights & Landmarks District Smolyan >> Natural phenomena "The Wonder Bridges", Rock Phenomenon The Devil Bridge, Lednitsata cave, Pamporovo ski resort, Rhodopes mountain, Zlatograd Ethnographic Complex, Ski museum, Trigrad Gorge, Koznik Fortress, Ski-center Mechi chal, Rhodopes mountain, Smolyan Planetarium...
Quick facts about District Smolyan
Other transcriptions: Smolian
In Bulgarian Alphabets: Смолян
Location: South-Central Bulgaria
Area size of district: 3193km2
Population of district: 121752 people
Total Towns and Cities in Smolyan province: 8
Total Villages in Smolyan province: 234
Regional Center: Town of Smolyan
Municipalities in Smolyan District: 10 - Municipality Smolyan, Municipality Banite, Municipality Borino, Municipality Devin, Municipality Dospat, Municipality Zlatograd, Municipality Madan, Municipality Nedelino, Municipality Rudozem, Municipality Chepelare
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