Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria

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Dimitrovgrad
Димитровград
Dimitrovgrad in July 2008
Dimitrovgrad in July 2008
Coat of arms of Dimitrovgrad
Coat of arms
Dimitrovgrad is located in Bulgaria
Dimitrovgrad
Dimitrovgrad
Location of Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°3′N 25°36′E / 42.050°N 25.600°E / 42.050; 25.600Coordinates: 42°3′N 25°36′E / 42.050°N 25.600°E / 42.050; 25.600
Country Bulgaria
Province
(Oblast)
Haskovo
Government
 • Mayor Ivo Dimov
Area
 • City 62.436 km2 (24.107 sq mi)
Elevation 125 m (410 ft)
Population (Census February 2011)[1]
 • City 38,015
 • Density 610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
 • Urban 52,541
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 6400
Area code(s) 0391
Website Official website

Dimitrovgrad (Bulgarian: Димитровград) is a town in Haskovo Province, Bulgaria. It is located along the Maritsa River in the Thrace region of the country, close to the provincial capital, Haskovo. Dimitrovgrad has a population of 38,015 (2011), and is the administrative centre of Dimitrovgrad Municipality.[1][2][3]

Founded in 1947, Dimitrovgrad is a planned city built by the People's Republic of Bulgaria following World War II. The recently established communist government designed the town as a socialist model city and a modern industrial center. Dimitrovgrad is named for the first communist leader of Bulgaria, Georgi Dimitrov.

History[edit]

Dimitrovgrad was planned by the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the communist state that came to power in Bulgaria following World War II. Construction of the city began on May 10, 1947, with most of the labor provided by youth volunteers who arrived from around Bulgaria. The establishment of Dimitrovgrad was officially announced on 2 September, 1947, by Georgi Dimitrov, the leader of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. The three villages of Rakovski, Mariyno and Chernokonyovo that existed on the site were merged to form Dimitrovgrad, and construction of the town continued intensively for several more years. The main practical reason behind the new city was to create a modern industrial centre for Bulgaria, however there was also an ideological foundation for building it. The widespread destruction in Eastern Europe caused by World War II and the rise of Soviet-backed communist states in the region (known as the Eastern Bloc) lead to numerous cities being built or rebuilt using new socialist planning styles. The original buildings in Dimitrovgrad were built in architectural styles popularly known as "Soviet Empire" or "Stalin Baroque", with facades of the earliest often monumental, with plinths, large columns and small decorative balconies. Over time as the town expanded buildings were built featuring less ornamentation in the newer Modernist architectural style.

In 1970, the celebration of the national poetry festival 'Penio Penev' took place for the first time, and that tradition continues to the present. In 1980, the biennial Bulgarian theatrical poster was held for the first time. In 1987, the museum  house Penio Penev was opened.

The Courts of Justice in Dimitrovgrad.
Penio Penev Park.

In 1992, shortly after the collapse of communism in Bulgaria, the monument to Georgi Dimitrov was removed by the authorities. This move, however, proved very unpopular with the local residents, and in 2012 a plan was adopted by Dimitrovgrad city council to restore the statue and re-mount it by 2013.[4] So far this has not happened.

Tourism[edit]

Architecture in Dimitrovgrad is similar to that of the Roman Empire: it has spacious streets and large parks. It is one of the greenest cities in Bulgaria. There are three large parks with about 15 lakes, dozens of species of rare trees, shrubs and flowers, sculptures, gazebos and fountains.


Population[edit]

The population of Dimitrovgrad during the first decade after its foundation averaged about 34,000.[3] In the following decades it started growing, mostly because of migrants arriving from rural areas, reaching its peak between 1985 and 1992, when it exceeded 50,000.[2] Since then, particularly during the 1990s, the population declined rapidly due to the poor economic situation in the region that lead to a new migration directed at the country's capital Sofia and abroad.

Dimitrovgrad
Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2005 2009 2011 2013
Population --- --- --- --- 34,162 41,816 45,595 53,804 50,677 45,918 42,840 41,810  ??  ??
Highest number ?? in ??
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[1] „citypopulation.de“,[2] „pop-stat.mashke.org“,[3] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[5]


Twinnings[edit]

References[edit]

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