Montana, Bulgaria

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Montana
Монтана
Panoramic view of Montana
Panoramic view of Montana
Coat of arms of Montana
Coat of arms
Montana is located in Bulgaria
Montana
Montana
Location of Montana, Bulgaria
Coordinates: 43°25′N 23°14′E / 43.417°N 23.233°E / 43.417; 23.233Coordinates: 43°25′N 23°14′E / 43.417°N 23.233°E / 43.417; 23.233
Country Bulgaria
Province
(Oblast)
Montana
Government
 • Mayor Zlatko Zhivkov
Area
 • City 69.235 km2 (26.732 sq mi)
Elevation 135 m (443 ft)
Population (Census February 2011)[1]
 • City 43,781
 • Density 630/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
 • Urban 53,856
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 3400
Area code(s) 096
Website Official website
Montana central square
Main street in Montana
Montana-Bulgaria-church-Cyril-and-Methodius-park.jpg

Montana (Bulgarian: Монтана) is a city in northwestern Bulgaria, located 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Danube river, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Vratsa and 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of the Serbian border. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Montana Province.

Names[edit]

When the town was first settled by Slavs it was known as Kutlovitsa; later in Ottoman Turkish as Kutlofça. The town was renamed Ferdinand in 1890, receiving the benevolence of Bulgarian Knyaz Ferdinand and a city status. On 1 March 1945, by a decree of the government, the communist authorities changed the town's name to Mihaylovgrad after the red party activist Hristo Mihaylov (died 1944), a leader of the 1923 September Uprising in the region. In 1993, after a presidential decree, the town received the name Montana, inspired by the name of the nearby Roman settlement.[2]

Geography[edit]

Montana is situated on the river Ogosta, north of Stara Planina, surrounded on the south and east by uplands.

The climate is temperate continental, with a cold winter and hot summer. The average temperature is 1 °C (34 °F) in January and 25 °C (77 °F) in July. In the last 15–20 years, temperatures reaching up to 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in the summer are not uncommon.

Population[edit]

As of February 2011, the city has a population of 43,781 inhabitants.[1] The number of the residents of the city reached its peak in the period 1988-1991 when exceeded 55,000 with a highest rate in 1991 numbering 57,142.[3]

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows:[4][5]

  • Bulgarians: 38,278 (91.8%)
  • Gypsies: 3,055 (7.3%)
  • Turks: 29 (0.1%)
  • Others: 166 (0.4%)
  • Indefinable: 171 (0.4%)
  • Undeclared: 2,082 (4.8%)

Total: 43,781

There is a large concentration of Gypsies within the city limits as the Gypsies are 3055 in the city and 3764 in the municipality, while the Bulgarian elements are 38278 in the city and 47464 in the municipality. The following table presents the change of the population after 1887.

Montana
Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2011
Population  ??  ??  ?? 8,049 13,399 27,040 40,197 51,714 52,397 49,176 43,324
Highest number 57,142 in 1991
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[1][3][6] „citypopulation.de“,[7] „pop-stat.mashke.org“,[8] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[9]

Educational facilities[edit]

The city hosts about a dozen high schools, two of the most notable are:

  • Math and Science HS "St. Kliment Ohridski". Enhanced studies in math, biology, geography and foreign languages. Excellent development of talents and outstanding student performance. http://www.pmgmontana.com/pmgsite/
  • Foreign Language HS "Petar Bogdan". Emphasis on English and German language proficiency. Recognized and praised for its scholars' academic accomplishments worldwide. http://gpchemont.com/sitegpche/

Entertainment venues[edit]

"Dragomir Asenov" Drama Theater is situated at the western end of the main city plaza.
The last working cinema in the city was closed in the early 2000s.
The city is host to a regulation sized football stadium home to the local football(soccer) team.

History[edit]

Roman times[edit]

The region around Montana became part of the Roman province of Upper Moesia in 29 BC. Around 160, the military camp that was most likely founded on the remains of an older Thracian settlement, acquired city rights under the name of Municipio Montanensium.The oldest part of town is the neighborhood at the foot of Montana mountain (hill). The city developed and urbanized after a Roman model and became the second most important settlement in the province after Raciaria (modern-day Archar). A fortress was built on top of the hill over Montana, as well as public and residential buildings, temples, baths and theatres. Montana became a typical imperial settlement, where the local romanized population coexisted along Italic and Anatolian settlers. The base of the town's economy were the big landowners of Italic origin and their villas and mansions, where the locals served to obtain agricultural production and gold from Ogosta's river valley. A stratum of Greek settlers, who engaged in craftsmanship and money-landing existed in the town during the period. The patrons of Montana in the spirit of Hellenism were Diana and Apollo.

Middle Ages[edit]

Between 440 and 490, the northwest of modern Bulgaria was devastated by the raids of the Huns, under Attila, and later by the Goths. Slavs and Avars delivered the final blow to Greco-Roman culture in the region. The Slavs who settled later in the area called the town Kutlovitsa. During the time of the First and Second Bulgarian Empires, the settlement recovered and became the centre of an eparchy.

Ottoman rule[edit]

After Kutlovitsa was seized by the Ottomans, the settlement was destroyed and became deserted. It was renamed "Kutlofça" by the Ottomans, which was derived from Kutlovitsa. Between 1450 and 1688, the town was resettled by Turks because of its strategic location, and went through another period of blossoming as a typically Oriental town. A mosque, fountains, and other new buildings were erected. There was also a Roman Bath left over the Middle Ages.

Modern history[edit]

After the Liberation began a massive wave of migration towards Kutlovitsa and a period of economic blossoming. An electricity station, a railway station, a post office and a hospital were built, a fair and a community centre emerged. The football team, PFC Montana, was founded in 1921 and played in the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group between 1994–1997 and 2009–present day.

Born in Montana[edit]

Twin towns (sister cities)[edit]

Montana is twinned with:

Honour[edit]

Montana Bluff on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after the city of Montana.

Districts[edit]

  • Central
  • Mladost 1 and 2 - large residential district in the northwestern part of the town composed of about 40, built in the 80's, blocks of flats.
  • Pliska
  • Pastrina
  • Mala Kutlovitsa - suburban district composed mainly of residential houses
  • Izgrev
  • Kosharnik - rundown neighbourhood on the outskirts of the town populated mainly with Roma Gypsies.
  • Ogosta
  • Zhivovtsi
  • Industrial Zone
  • Bodur Mahala (unofficial name)
  • Barcelon mahala (unofficial name)

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]