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Skyline of Yambol
Flag of Yambol
Coat of arms of Yambol
Coat of arms
 • MayorGeorgi Slavov (independent)
 • City90.724 km2 (35.029 sq mi)
114 m (374 ft)
 (Census February 2011)[1]
 • City74,132
 • Density820/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal Code
Area code(s)046
License plateY

Yàmbol (Bulgarian: Ямбол) is a city in southeastern Bulgaria, an administrative centre of Yambol Province. It lies on both banks of the Tundzha river in the historical region of Thrace. It is occasionally spelt 'Jambol'.

The administrative centres of two municipalities are situated in Yambol. One is of the rural area of Tundzha Municipality and the other is of the homonymous Yambol Municipality that embraces the city itself.

Yambol Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Yambol[citation needed].


Church of St Nicholas in the winter
Panoramic view of the city visible from Borovets
Municipality building

The surrounding area has been inhabited since the Neolithic and was the location of the ancient Thracian royal city of Kabyle. It was founded or refounded by Philip II of Macedon as an Ancient Greek polis.[2][3][4] Conquered by the Romans, but destroyed by the Avars in 583). Yambol was founded by Roman Emperor Diocletian in AD 293; though it was named Diospolis (Διόςπόλις in Greek 'city of Zeus'), the name also reflected the emperor's name. The name later evolved through Diampolis (Διάμπόλις), Hiambouli (Ηιάμβόυλι; in Byzantine chronicles), Dinibouli (دنبلي; Arabic chronicles), Dbilin (Дбилин; in Bulgarian inscriptions), and Diamboli (Диамбоюли) to become Yambol. As the Slavs and Bulgars arrived in the Balkans in the Middle Ages, the fortress was contested by the First Bulgarian Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire, becoming part of Bulgaria in 705 AD during the reign of Khan Tervel. It has been an important Bulgarian center ever since.

The town expanded during the reign of Khan Omurtag of the First Bulgarian Empire and a new fortress was build. Its significance as near the border point made it an important center for both trade and military purposes. During the reign of Boris I and Tsar Simeon the first literary centers were established, mostly as part of the church. Books were imported from Preslav and Ohrid literary schools and the were studied in the town's churches.

During the reign of Tsar Kaloyan, the town again raised in importance, manly due to the ongoing conflict between Bulgaria and the Crusaders. A major battle between Tsar Kaloyan and the crusaders happened in 1204, about 80 kilometers south-west of the town, where Bulgaria defeated the crusaders in the battle of Adrianopole on 14 April 1205.

The predominant religion is Orthodox Christianity with a number of churches being present (among them one of the Holy Trinity, one of St George; the largest one is the cathedral of St Nicholas) erected in 1888; there also exist Eastern Rite Catholic and Protestant religious buildings.

In modern times Yambol, was a center of the Yambol okolia since 1878, then Yambol okrug since 1948. In 1984 it became part of the newly formed Burgas Oblast where it remained for 10 years. Since the early 1990s Yambol is the center of Yambol oblast.

The city was affected by the turmoils of the early 20th century. I Some Bulgarian refugees from East Thrace, attacked by the Turkish Army in The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913, settled in the town. ts Greek population (around 20 families) left during the exchange of populations. It also hosted Bulgarian Macedonian refugees from the failed 1903 Ilinden Uprising. During World War I, Yambol hosted a base for Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) zeppelins used for missions in Romania, Russia, Sudan and Malta. The town was chosen by the Germans due to its favorable location and weather conditions.[1]

In the early 21st century, the city became the first one in Bulgaria to use natural gas for domestic purposes.


The population of Yambol during the first decade after the liberation of Bulgaria exceeded 10,000, being 11,241 in 1887.[5] 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 period 1985-1992 exceeding 90,000.[6] After this time, the population has started decreasing rapidly in consequence of the poor economic situation in the Bulgarian provinces during the 1990s that leaded to a new migration in the direction of the country capital Sofia and abroad. As of February 2011, the city has a population of 74,132 inhabitants, while along with Tundzha Municipality, of which the city is administrative center, the population is 98,287.[1]

Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2005 2009 2011 2013
Population 11,241 15,975 24,920 30,576 42,333 58,571 75,781 90,019 91,561 82,649 79,314 77,174 74,132 ??
Highest number 99,339 in 1991
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[7][8] citypopulation.de,[6] pop-stat.mashke.org,[9] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[5]

Ethnic linguistic and religious composition

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows:[10][11]

  • Bulgarians: 59,899 (87.1%)
  • Gypsies: 4,263 (6.2%)
  • Turks: 3,185 (4.6%)
  • Others: 296 (0.4%)
  • Indefinable: 1,101 (1.6%)
    • Undeclared: 11,718 (8.5%)

Total: 74,132


Arts and entertainment

The city has a Dramatic Theather as well as Muppet Theater


The most popular sport in the city is Basketball with Yambol being a champion in 2002.

Notable natives

Twin cities



  1. ^ a b (in Bulgarian)National Statistical Institute - Main Towns Census 2011
  2. ^ An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by The Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation by Mogens Herman Hansen,2005,Index - Founded by Phillip II
  3. ^ Fol, Aleksandar. The Thracian Royal city of Kabyle. - In: Settlement Life in Ancient Thrace. IIIrd International Symposium “Cabyle”, 17–21 May 1993 Jambol. Jambol, 53-55.
  4. ^ "The Thracian Royal City of Cabyle" in A. Poulter (ed.), Ancient Bulgaria: Papers presented to the International Symposium on the Ancient History and Archaeology of Bulgaria, University of Nottingham, 1983, pp. 233–238.
  5. ^ a b (in Bulgarian) Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  6. ^ a b ‹See Tfd›(in English) „WorldCityPopulation“
  7. ^ (in Bulgarian)National Statistical Institute - Towns population 1956-1992
  8. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - towns in 2009
  9. ^ „pop-stat.mashke.org“
  10. ^ (in Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
  11. ^ Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (in Bulgarian)
  12. ^ http://www.obshtinayambol.org/pobratpolsha.html (in Bulgarian)
  13. ^ http://www.obshtinayambol.org/pobratrusiq.html (in Bulgarian)
  14. ^ http://www.obshtinayambol.org/pobratukraina.html in Bulgarian)
  15. ^ http://www.yambol-edirne.org/main.php?lang=en

External links