|Southeastern Europe - the Rila Mountain|
|• Mayor||Metodi Chimev|
|• Total||32.321 km2 (12.479 sq mi)|
|Elevation||535 m (1,755 ft)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Dupnitsa (Bulgarian: Дупница (previously Дубница), sometimes transliterated Dupnica) is a town in southwestern Bulgaria. It is at the foot of the highest mountain in the Balkan Peninsula – the Rila Mountain, and about 65 km south of the capital Sofia. Dupnitsa is the second largest city in Kyustendil Province and in the first half of the 20th century Dupnitsa was bigger than the current administrative centre Kyustendil.
Dupnitsa is referred to as "The Green and Shady Town", because of its location which makes it quite shady in summer and due to the abundance of trees in the town. Dupnitsa is that is often called "The Little Italy of Bulgaria". This nickname comes from the fact that many inhabitants have gone over the years to work and live in Italy and every summer they return to their hometown. A large part of the immigrants from Bulgaria in Italy are from Dupnitsa, possibly being the majority of Bulgarian immigrants in Italy. According to an anecdote, when people from Dupnitsa once asked Italians "Which is the capital of Bulgaria?", the ignorant Italians answered: "Is it Dupnitsa?".
The town has existed since Antiquity. The names Tobinitsa, Doupla and Dubnitsa are mentioned throughout history, the last one used until the Liberation of Bulgaria, when the official name was changed to Dupnitsa. In 1948 the town was renamed Stanke Dimitrov; for a short period in 1949 it was called Marek; the name was changed to Stanke Dimitrov in 1950. After the democratic changes, the old name Dupnitsa was restored.
During the World War II, even though there was no deportation of Bulgarian Jews of the former Bulgarian territories, over 4,000 Jews from parts of Greece and Yugoslavia annexed by Bulgaria were arrested on 4 March 1943 and deported to an internment camp in Dupnitza. After ten days in the Dupnitza camp, on 18–19 March they were transferred by train to Lom on the Danube.
Nowadays Dupnitsa is a fast-developing town combining new buildings with modern architecture with all itse historical monuments. Because of its beautiful location at the foot of the Rila mountain, the town is marvelous holiday destination. One of the main branches of industry is the pharmaceutical company Actavis (formerly HeFeKa, in Bulgarian ХФК), which gives employment to about 30%–40% of the citizens. Small business is developing rapidly due to the city's economic growth.
Dupnitsa is famous for its cultural festivals. From 1 May to 2 June many festivals are held in the town due to the richness of the Bulgarian holiday calendar. The nightlife is very well developed. There are a lot of local pubs and clubs where young people meet and have fun. A few other popular places for socializing are the recently refurbished City Park and the Town Garden (Градска градина, Gradska gradina).
In recent years the town has become notorious due to the activities of an organised crime group led by pair of Bulgarian gangsters, former policemen Angel Hristov and Plamen Galev, known as the "Galevi brothers". Using intimidation and extortion, and with the help of corrupt policemen, they controlled Dupnitsa to the extent that they have been described as "the owners of the first private city in Bulgaria". Hristov and Galev are fugitives after having been sentenced to five and four years respectively but are still believed to control the town.
Marek Dupnitsa is the football club, representing the town. Sir Alex Ferguson made his debut as a coach with Aberdeen F.C. here in the 1970s, where he was defeated by the local Marek with 3:2. Ferguson said that remembers the town with the then name Stanke Dimitrov. Marek finished with a victory of 2:0 over the current UEFA Champions League holder - FC Bayern Munich at a football match at Marek's home stadium - Bonchuk Stadium as part of the 1977–78 UEFA Cup. The goalkeeper Sepp Maier gave his gloves to Marek's goalkeeper Stoyan Stoyanov as a gift. The victory over Bayern Munich and the joy is still remembered by the senior citizens of the town.
The names Tobinitsa, Doupla and Dubnitsa are used throughout its history. Dubnitsa survived until the Liberation of Bulgaria, when the official name was changed to Dupnitsa. In 1948 the town was renamed Stanke Dimitrov; in 1949 it was called Marek; the name was once again changed to Stanke Dimitrov in 1950. After the democratic changes, the name Dupnitsa was restored.
Dupnitsa is located at an altitude of 500 m in a valley, surrounded by hills. Its location, as seen from above, resembles a hole (дупка, dupka in Bulgarian), hence the name Dupnitsa. There are five rivers flowing in the vicinity.
Memorial to the Jewish soldiers from Dupnitsa
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dupnitsa.|
- The Associated Press (1902-10-16). "Editorial Article 7 - No Title - View Article - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
- "The Fate of the Bulgarian Jews | The German Occupation of Europe". Holocaustresearchproject.org. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
- "Bulgaria's Norotious Mobster Pair Goes to Jail". Novinite.com.
- "Bulgaria: International Search Warrant For Galevi Brothers". Reportingproject.net.
- "Sofia courts Brussels with illegal assets confiscation law". Euractiv.com.
- "Investigative Journalist Under Attack Again". Hetq.am.
- Oficial Dupnitsa Municipality
- Dupnica News Web portal for Dupnica town.
- Dupnica Issues Report a problem related to Dupnitsa town.