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The medieval church of the Zemen Monastery
The medieval church of the Zemen Monastery
Zemen is located in Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°28′1″N 22°45′0″E / 42.46694°N 22.75000°E / 42.46694; 22.75000Coordinates: 42°28′1″N 22°45′0″E / 42.46694°N 22.75000°E / 42.46694; 22.75000
Country  Bulgaria
 • Mayor Dimitar Sotirov
Elevation 593 m (1,946 ft)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 1,891
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal Code 2440
Area code(s) 07741

Zemen (Bulgarian: Земен) is a town in Pernik Province, western Bulgaria. Located near the Pchelina Reservoir on the banks of the Struma River, it is the administrative centre of Zemen Municipality.

The old name of Zemen was Belovo; it was renamed to Zemen in 1925. The new name was initially only given to the railway station nearby, but it was soon carried over to the village itself. The present name commemorates the medieval castle of Zemlangrad, which was located in the Struma gorge in the vicinity of Zemen. The fortress was first mentioned in the 11th-century Tale of Isaiah as ЗЄМЛЬНЬ ГРАД and as ЗЄМЛЪНЬ in a 15th-16th century Serbian chronicle. The toponym is derived from the Bulgarian word for "land" (земя, zemya) and refers, according to the locals, to the only arable land in the rocky surrounding area.[1]

Proclaimed a town in 1974, Zemen is famous for the medieval Zemen Monastery located on its outskirts. The population of the town is mostly Bulgarian Orthodox.


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


  1. ^ Чолева-Димитрова, Анна М. (2002). Селищни имена от Югозападна България: Изследване. Речник (in Bulgarian). София: Пенсофт. p. 127. ISBN 954-642-168-5. OCLC 57603720.