Samokov

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Samokov
Самоков
Samokov Historical Museum with the statue of Zahari Zograf
Samokov Historical Museum with the statue of Zahari Zograf
Coat of arms of Samokov
Coat of arms
Samokov is located in Bulgaria
Samokov
Samokov
Location of Samokov
Coordinates: 42°20′N 23°33′E / 42.333°N 23.550°E / 42.333; 23.550Coordinates: 42°20′N 23°33′E / 42.333°N 23.550°E / 42.333; 23.550
Country Bulgaria
Province
(Oblast)
Sofia
Government
 • Mayor Vladimir Georgiev
Area
 • City 128.982 km2 (49.800 sq mi)
Elevation 948 m (3,110 ft)
Population (2015)[1]
 • City 27,193
 • Density 210/km2 (550/sq mi)
 • Urban 37,770
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 2000
Area code(s) (+359) 0722
Website http://www.samokov.net/

Samokov (Bulgarian: Самоков) is a town in Sofia Province in the southwest of Bulgaria. It is situated in a basin between the mountains Rila and Vitosha, 55 kilometres from the capital Sofia. Due to the suitable winter sports conditions, Samokov, together with the nearby resort Borovets, is a major tourist centre.

In the past, Samokov was a centre of handicrafts and art, with notable figures like Zahari Zograf, Hristo Dimitrov and Nikola Obrazopisov. The town's name is a compound word of "samo" and "kov", respectively meaning "self" and the root of the verb "forge, hammer", and comes from the samokov, a mechanical forge powered by water, since the town of Samokov was a major iron producing centre during the Middle Ages.

History[edit]

It is thought that Samokov was founded in the 14th century as a mining settlement with the assistance of "Saxon" miners. It was first mentioned in 1455 and in Ottoman registers of 1477 as Vlaychov Samokov. Some of the best craftsman, woodcarving masters and builders came from Samokov and were recognized for their skills in creating detailed and impressive woodcarvings, painting beautiful icons and building unique architecture. In fact Samokov was one of the then famous three woodcarving schools in the region, the other two being Debar and Bansko. Their work can be seen in many churches and cultural buildings throughout the Balkan Peninsula.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, it grew into the greatest iron extraction centre in the region, with western travellers describing it as 'a fairly large city'. In 1565-1566, Samokov had to produce and deliver to Belgrade 20,000 horseshoes and 30,000 nails. Samokov also produced anchors and other materials for the shipyards of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, particularly Pomorie. As the logging industry was also well developed, in 1573 the people of Samokov had to deliver 300 beams as far as Mecca.[2]

Sports[edit]

A large modern sports arena for basketball, volleyball, boxing, wrestling, judo and more was opened on 8 March 2008. Its cost is estimated to 16 mln lev. There is also a skiing centre in Samokov for Cross Country skiing, a small alpine hill and a snowboard park. Bulgaria's only ski jumping hill Chernia kos is located in Samokov. It's a fairly small hill, K-40 metres where you can jump down to 45 metres. The hill is very old and needs to be renovated.

Climate[edit]

Samokov has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with an average annual temperature of approximately 9 °C (48 °F). The altitude of 950 metres, in the skirts of Rila mountain, and the mitigating proximity to the continental mediterranean climate zone, are both strong factors in forming the climate.

Summers vary from very warm, sunny and dry to warm and humid, while winters can be relatively mild and wet with lots of snowfall, but also colder and drier. Springs can be cool and wet, while in autumns there can be numerous sunny and warm days.

Climate data for Samokov, Bulgaria
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.7
(60.3)
18.9
(66)
27.4
(81.3)
26.4
(79.5)
30.4
(86.7)
32.8
(91)
34.4
(93.9)
36.8
(98.2)
34.5
(94.1)
30.1
(86.2)
25.3
(77.5)
19.6
(67.3)
36.8
(98.2)
Average high °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
4.2
(39.6)
8.7
(47.7)
15.3
(59.5)
20.1
(68.2)
22.8
(73)
25.5
(77.9)
25.7
(78.3)
20.9
(69.6)
15.2
(59.4)
9.1
(48.4)
3.9
(39)
14.5
(58.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.5
(27.5)
−0.8
(30.6)
3.5
(38.3)
9.2
(48.6)
13.9
(57)
17.2
(63)
19.1
(66.4)
19.2
(66.6)
14.7
(58.5)
10.0
(50)
4.3
(39.7)
−0.9
(30.4)
8.9
(48)
Average low °C (°F) −6.1
(21)
−4.8
(23.4)
−1.8
(28.8)
3.1
(37.6)
7.6
(45.7)
10.5
(50.9)
11.7
(53.1)
11.5
(52.7)
8.5
(47.3)
4.6
(40.3)
−0.5
(31.1)
−4.6
(23.7)
3.3
(37.9)
Record low °C (°F) −28.3
(−18.9)
−24.8
(−12.6)
−19.2
(−2.6)
−10.4
(13.3)
−2.7
(27.1)
0.4
(32.7)
2.9
(37.2)
1.1
(34)
−4.7
(23.5)
−7.4
(18.7)
−14.7
(5.5)
−23.6
(−10.5)
−28.1
(−18.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45
(1.77)
37
(1.46)
43
(1.69)
61
(2.4)
82
(3.23)
89
(3.5)
67
(2.64)
46
(1.81)
48
(1.89)
52
(2.05)
52
(2.05)
48
(1.89)
670
(26.38)
Source #1: Stringmeteo.com[3]
Source #2: Meteo.BG[4]
Селско хоро от Самоковска околия; painting by Nikola Obrazopisov

Honour[edit]

Samokov Knoll on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Samokov.

Notable persons[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Untitled". Grao.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  2. ^ Karloukovski, Vassil. "Е. Грозданова, Ст. Андреев - Българите през XVI век - 4". Promacedonia.org. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Climatic data for selected stations Bulgarian (1961-1990., "Monthly Bulletin of NIMH")". Stringmeteo.com. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "National Institute of Meteorology and Biology". Meteo.bg. Retrieved 2012-10-30.