Smolyan

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Smolyan
Skyline of Smolyan
Coat of arms of Smolyan
Coat of arms
Smolyan is located in Bulgaria
Smolyan
Smolyan
Location of Smolyan
Coordinates: 41°35′N 24°42′E / 41.583°N 24.700°E / 41.583; 24.700Coordinates: 41°35′N 24°42′E / 41.583°N 24.700°E / 41.583; 24.700
Country Bulgaria
Province
(Oblast)
Smolyan
Government
 • Mayor Dora Yankova (BSP)
Area
 • City 134.59 km2 (51.97 sq mi)
Elevation 1,002 m (3,287 ft)
Population (Census February 2011)
 • City 30,642
 • Density 230/km2 (590/sq mi)
 • Urban 41,452
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 4700
Area code(s) 0301
Website Official website

Smolyan (Bulgarian: Смолян) is a town and ski resort in the very south of Bulgaria not far from the border with Greece. It is the administrative and industrial centre of the homonymous Smolyan Province. The town is situated in the valley of the Cherna ("Black") and the Byala ("White") Rivers in the central Rhodopes at the foot of the mountains' highest part south of the popular ski resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare. As of February 2011, it has a population of 30,283 inhabitants.

History[edit]

According to archaeological evidence, the area around Smolyan was first settled in the 2nd-1st millennium BC. In the Middle Ages it acquired its name from the Slavic tribe, the Smolyani, who settled in the region in the 7th century. During the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the Part of the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. For a while during the 14th-century it came under the control of the Bulgarian feudal lord Momchil, alongside the whole Rhodope mountains, before eventually being subjugated by the Ottoman Empire. Smolyan remained under Ottoman rule for five centuries, a township of the Ottoman Sanjak of Gümülcine in the Adrianople Vilayet between 1867 and 1912. It was known in Ottoman Turkish as Paşmaklı or Ahiçelebi.

The area was liberated by the 21st Sredna Gora Regiment led by Vladimir Serafimov in 1912, during the First Balkan War. The modern town of Smolyan was formed by the merger of three existing villages — Ustovo, Raykovo and Ezerovo — in 1960.

Characteristic old architecture from Ottoman time
Smolyan's massive Cathedral of Saint Vissarion (2006)
View of Smolyan

Population[edit]

The population of Smolyan just after World War II was about 5,000.[1] Since then it started growing decade by decade, mostly because of the migrants from the rural areas and the surrounding smaller towns, reaching its peak in the beginning of the 1990s, exceeding 34,000.[2]

Smolyan
Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2011
Population no data no data no data 5,406 7,472 17,448 28,492 31,539 34,086 33,153 30,642
Highest number ?? in ??
Sources: National Statistical Institute,?? „citypopulation.de“,?? „pop-stat.mashke.org“,?? Bulgarian Academy of Sciences??

Ethnic linguistic and religious composition[edit]

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows:[3][4]

  • Bulgarians: 25,045 (97.0%)
  • Gypsies: 258 (1.0%)
  • Turks: 153 (0.6%)
  • Others: 120 (0.5%)
  • Indefinable: 248 (1.0%)
    • Undeclared: 4,818 (15.7%)

Total: 30,642

In Smolyan Municipality 32708 declared as Bulgarians, 301 as Gypsies and 170 as Turks and 9,000 did not declare their ethnic group.

In 1912, Aha Celebi said that 8,252 families already live, including 2,815 of Bulgarians Exarchists, 140 of Bulgarians Patriarchists and 5,297 of Bulgarian Muslims or Pomaks. (Lyubomir Miletich, "The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913") In 1912, in the town live 320 families of Bulgarians Muslims, 80 of Bulgarians Exarchists and 40 Patriarchists.[5] In Ustuvo live 420 families Bulgarians Exarchists, in Raykovo - a total of 700 families of Bulgarians Exarchists, 100 of Bulgarians Patriarchists и 70 of Bulgarian Muslims. Currently the religion of the vast majority is the Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the rest are mostly the Muslim minority.

Culture and sports[edit]

Due to its suitable location on top of Mount Rozhen, the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory is located nearby, with a planetarium in operation in the town. There is one theatre, the Rhodope Drama Theatre, and a gathering of theatre practitioners and scholars known as The Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory is held every summer. There is also a regional historical museum founded in 1935.

Smolyan has an elite division football team, PFC Rodopa Smolyan, that had been playing in the A Professional Football Group between 2003-2007.

The largest church in southern Bulgaria, the Cathedral of Saint Vissarion of Smolyan, was inaugurated in the city in July 2006.

Municipality[edit]

Smolyan is also the seat of Smolyan municipality (part of Smolyan Province), which includes the following 79 villages:

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Smolyan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.7
(36.9)
3.9
(39)
8.3
(46.9)
12.6
(54.7)
17.8
(64)
21.2
(70.2)
24.2
(75.6)
24.7
(76.5)
20.5
(68.9)
15.6
(60.1)
9.7
(49.5)
4.1
(39.4)
13.8
(56.8)
Average low °C (°F) −5.2
(22.6)
−3.4
(25.9)
−2.1
(28.2)
3.9
(39)
7.7
(45.9)
11.1
(52)
13.1
(55.6)
12.7
(54.9)
8.8
(47.8)
4.7
(40.5)
1.1
(34)
−3.8
(25.2)
4.0
(39.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 80
(3.15)
70
(2.76)
90
(3.54)
90
(3.54)
200
(7.87)
100
(3.94)
80
(3.15)
30
(1.18)
10
(0.39)
90
(3.54)
180
(7.09)
210
(8.27)
1,290
(50.79)
 % humidity 72 74 69 70 70 69 66 57 62 74 72 77 69
Source: [6]

Honour[edit]

Smolyan Point on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Smolyan.

Famous People[edit]

Victor Houteff, founder of the Davidian branch of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ „pop-stat.mashke.org“
  2. ^ (English) „WorldCityPopulation“
  3. ^ (Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
  4. ^ Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)
  5. ^ По данни от „Разорението на тракийските българи през 1913 г.“ от Любомир Милетич
  6. ^ "Weather Base". Weather Base. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Official websites[edit]

Tourism websites[edit]