GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION. Smolyan municipality is located
in the South central part of Bulgaria in the middle of the Rhodope
mountains over a territory of 854 sq. km (329 sq. miles). |
The municipality comprises of 86 settlements predominantly villages
in 42 mayoralties. It also includes part of the national resort
Pamporovo - the internationally popular ski centre and ideal
locality for all the year round tourism and recreation activities.
The municipal and regional centre - the town of Smolyan is located
220 km away from the capital - Sofia city, 100 km away from
the second biggest city in Bulgaria - Plovdiv, with the closest
international airport and 40 km away from the border with Greece.
BOUNDARIES OF THE MUNICIPALITY, RELIEF, CLIMATE, SOILS, MINERAL
RESOURCES, TEMPERATURE. The boundaries of Smolyan municipality
to the North are - Chepelare and Lucky, to the East - Rudozem,
Madan and Banite municipalities, to the West - Devin municipality
and to the South - the Republic of Greece.
The relief of all the territory is mountainous with rolling
hilly silhouette and highlands with round forms, occasionally
broken with picturesque gorges. The average altitude is around
1300 m. The highest peak is Goliam Perelik - 2191 m. The average
altitude of the town of Smolyan is 987 m above the sea level.
The landscape provides for the development of winter sports,
all types of tourism, for the development of cattle breeding,
the valleys are suitable for building of settlements and road
network. There is no substantial intervention on nature from
human activities. The various rock formations, caves, waterfalls
and lakes, the protected bio-diversity create favourable conditions
for the development of hiking and eco-tourism.
The climate is cross continental with Mediterranean influence,
substantially varied by the influence of the relief, the altitude
and the inclination of slopes.
The average monthly maximum temperature is 22.7 °Ñ, and the
average monthly minimum is 5.2 °Ñ. The annual rainfalls quantity
is between 700 and 900 litres per sq.m.
Winter is mild and snowy, with no sharp and long frosts thanks
to the fencing hills rising around the town in western and northern
direction. There are no extreme minimums or avalanches. The
snow cover stays for 80-120 days. Summer is fresh and wet, and
autumn - long and warm.
Smolyan municipality is situated in the area of the brown forest
soils and their types. Their mechanical compound is sand-clay
and clay-sand, friable.
The raw materials available in the municipality are brown (bituminous)
coals, silver, lead-zinc ore, limestone, gneiss and clay; marble
and inert materials, most of the fields are not developed.
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE: ROAD, RAIL & AIR
Transport in Smolyan municipality and the region is entirely
automobile, the nearest railway station is in Assenovgrad -
85 km from Smolyan town.
The roads are II, III and IV class - the total length of the
republican and municipal road network is 614 km.
The nearest international motorway - Trakia Highway E-80, connecting
Europe with Istanbul is at a distance of 100 km from Smolyan.
The nearest international airport to Smolyan is Plovdiv Airport
- 85 km from Smolyan.
ECONOMY. The most developed branches of the economy
in the municipality are trade and repair services, industry
(processing, light industry, food and beverage), construction
Among the processing industries, light industry and food-processing
as a leading sectors are well-developed. The most typical enterprises
are textile, tailoring and leather companies, dairy farms, bakeries
and pastries. A large share of the active labour force is engaged
in the tailoring and textile industries.
In Smolyan there is a also production of metal-processing tools
and instruments, cables and isolated semi-conductors, as well
as a variety of electro-mechanical parts - micro-switches, network
switches, sockets, plugs, extension wires for households, contact
elements for the automobile and household industries. The plastics
details manufactured in Arexim cover a wide production line
of thermo-reactive and thermo-plastics components, injection
moulds, instrumental equipment and plastic components for the
electronics, automobile, food-processing industries, and the
The main competitive advantage of Smolyan region compared to
the other regions is forestry. Timber is the strategic reserve
for the economic development of the municipality economy. A
major principle in lumbering and wood-processing industries
is the use of the resources alongside with conservation and
maintaining of the ecological balance.
Construction is a branch with traditions in the municipality
- some of the largest companies in the municipality are operating
in the field of housing and road construction - "Viastroy-engineering"
Ltd., "Diulger" Ltd., "Drama-Vladimir Garbelov"
SP, "Konglomeratstroi - Manol Chernev" SP, "Perelik"
PLC, "Stiffstroy" Ltd., "Teracom".
Tourism - designated to be developed as priority sector of the
local economy. In the last few years the industry is characterized
by a steady rate of growth.
AGRICULTURE. The agriculture is mainly single-crop.
The primary crops are the potatoes and beans and some limited
areas of grains and cultivated herbs. There is a tendency of
increasing the areas for growing perennial plants, mainly strawberries,
close to Smolyan and Smilian.
The agricultural lands are small-sized, scattered and far from
the road network. The cultivable land is chiefly situated upon
the mountain slopes and the river valleys.
The region is well known as a producer of potatoes all over
- Transport - various categories
of roads. The total length of the republican road network is
181,414 êm, including 33,859 km - II class and 147,555 - III
class, 98 % of them paved.
The municipal road network is 482,6 km, including 209,50 km
ex- IV class roads, and 273,10 km - local roads.
-Water supply and sewerage pipelines. Water Supply
and Sewage" PLC - Smolyan manages and maintains the water
supply and sewage systems of 55 settlements in the municipality.
There are 3 Drinking Water Purification Plants. The total length
of the water pipeline in the municipality (including the resort
of Pamporovo) is 534 km in 2005.
The building of Waste Water Purification Plant in town is anticipated
under the ISPA project "Integrated Water cycle of Smolyan"
funded by the European Commission with total amount of the project
funds - 24 million euro. The construction of another Waste Water
Purification Plant is planned in the Ardashla area in the resort
of Pamporovo. The total length of the sewage pipelines maintained
by "Water Supply and Sewerage" PLC - Smolyan is 42
- Electricity distribution network; The sole supplier
of electricity in the town and municipality is "Elektrodistribution
- Plovdiv" PLC - Smolyan Branch. The company 336 transformer
stations and junctions, 338 km of sky cables with voltage -
20 êV, 62 km underground cables with voltage - 20 êV, 398 km
of sky cables and 219 underground cables with low voltage.
The energy transferability by both air and underground cables
is 20 êV - 20 ÌW.
There have been 5 new installations launched in Smolyan Municipality
in 2005. Due to the intensive construction works going on in
the resort of Pamporovo at the moment a new sub station is about
to be built there: 110/20 êV for 2006.
- Gas supply, telecommunications, internet, mobile operators
coverage. There is no natural gas supply mains to the
territory of the municipality.
The quality of telecommunications in the municipality is very
good - with telephone connections to all the communities, more
than 40 telephone automatic stations operating in the municipality
and 2 new digital stations. As a result the capacity and quality
of the phone connections has improved significantly.
The four national mobile operators - Mobiltel, Mobikom, Globul
and Vivatel - provide coverage of approximately 80% of the territory.
The internet access is good. There are 3 main suppliers, but
there are also other companies providing internet connection.
- Waste management. In 2004 the municipality launched
a joint project with the "Eco-Pack" company for separate
collecting and processing of various types of waste - paper,
paper, glass, plastics and metals.
The project is part of the Program for recycling of the waste.
The Waste management in the municipality is the responsibility
of the municipal specialized unit of for waste collection and
transport. Contacts details: +359-301-62298.
- Sports infrastructure. The sports infrastructure
of Smolyan comprises of two stadiums, Sports Centre, Tennis
Court, swimming pool, skateboard half-pipe, basketball playground
in the open and a few children playgrounds. The Sports Centre
houses a basketball and volleyball playground and a heavy lifting
Smolyan has long time traditions in the winter sports. The proximity
of the resort Pamporovo offers wonderful opportunities for skiing
and snowboard, for organizing national and international competitions
in skiing, snowboard and cross-country skiing. There are 35
km ski runs and 11 km chair lifts and ski drugs. The ski area
offers excellent conditions both for the advanced and beginner
skiers, who can hire equipment and instructors.
The snowboard is the other recognized winter sport in the Rhodope
mountain. The snowboard maniacs have an additional opportunity
for the sport in a snowboard park near the village of Momchilovtsi,
not only on the pistes of Pamporovo resorts.
Although Smolyan is a small municipality, it has a great sports
potential - there are 16 sports clubs in the municipality (for
more information see the municipality site www.smolyan.com).
HEALTHCARE. The healthcare system covers all the
territory of the municipality. Diagnostic, treatment and prevention
services provided by 2 Health Institutions: Regional Center
of Health Care and Regional Inspectorate for Prevention and
Monitoring of Public Health, 4 Hospitals and an Emergency Centre;
doctors registered by the Law and 9 medical laboratories. The
registered private medical experts are:
- 31 - General practitioners
- 46 - Doctors
- 53 - Dentists
- 3 Dentist-surgeons.
Children healthcare services are delivered in 19 schools and
kindergartens. There is a Medical and Social Care Home for children
under 3 years of age - Shiroka laka village.
Medicines and sanitary materials are delivered by 26 pharmacies.
EDUCATION. The town of Smolyan has
proven to be an educational centre providing secondary and higher
education in the Rhodopes. Smolyan municipality has a well developed
network of secondary schools, vocational schools and universities.
In the town of Smolyan there are 2 branches of universities
and 1 college.
In the Sientific and Educational Complex "Rodopa"
Smolyan of Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar"
the total number of the students is approximately 2000, taking
Master and Bachelor degree in:
International Economic Relations
Protection of National security
In Plovdiv University "Paisiy Hillendarski"
Smolyan Branch with a pedagogical faculty the following subjects
Elementary School Pedagogy with Foreign Language Teaching,
Bulgarian and English Languages, Bulgarian Language and History,
History and Geography, Mathematics and Computer Studies, Tourism,
Marketing, Ecology and environment protection.
The Technical College in Smolyan was founded in
1989 as a state higher educational institution and since 1997
it is part of Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarsky".
The subjects are:
Transport machinery and technologies, Electrical power engineering
and electrical equipment, Communication technologies, Computer
and communication systems, Machine engineering and technologies.
There is s well developed network of secondary and primary schools.
2 Profiled Secondary Schools ( with profiles -
English and German languages; and Natural Sciences and languages).
5 Vocational Schools in: Economics, Construction,
Tourism, Politechnics and technologies, Applied arts.
2 Secondary Comprehensive Schools
A National School of Folklore Arts
10 primary and 4 junior schools in town and in the villages
of Vievo, Cutela, Petkovo and Katranica
School for children with learning difficulties "Neofit
Rilsky" in the village of Chokmanovo.
Boarding school for socially disadvantaged children in the village
2 secondary comprehensive schools for children with health problems
in the villages of Petkovo and Slaveino.
20 kindergartens - 9 of them in the town of Smolyan and 11 in
Boarding school for children without parents in the village
of Shiroka Lucka.
All the schools, except for the Vocational ones and the schools
for children with special needs, are municipal property. The
number of school children is approximately 4600 students in
the municipal schools and with the government and private schools
- around 14000 students.
There is wide variety of extracurriculum activities for children
with talents and special interests:
State Youth Folklore Ensamble "Orfeus", Children Musical
School, Municipal Youth Home with 8 clubs, Municipal Youth Complex,
Europe schools for language teaching and computers.
TOURISM. The Rhodope mountains welcome the tourists
with beautiful panoramic views and crystal clear air. For thousands
of years people have lived in harmony with nature, preserving
in the foothills of the mountain uncultivated and intact places
of beauty and astonishing biodiversity of the flora and fauna.
The region is unique for the negative ionization of the air
and the thick ozon layer. The natural resources are important
factors for the development of tourism as a priority branch
of economy in all its contemporary forms.
The policy for the development of the tourist product is aimed
at making the municipality an attractive tourist destination
all the year round. There are multiple choices for active recreation
and tourism in Smolyan area, as it is the ideal place for rest
and relaxation. The visitors may choose from numerous opportunities
on offer: admiring the piece and calm of the mountain, releasing
stress by choosing one of the three localities in the municipality
- villages of Gela, Stoikite and Shiroka Luka, or the areas
of Momchilovtsi, Rozhen and Haidushki Poliani or the routes
in the area for hiking and cave tourism upstream Arda River
Valley. The municipality offers approximately 250 km of marked
routes for mountain hiking and cycling, adventure tourism options
like rock climbing, penetration in wild caves, alpine pendulum
and trolley, all activities may be safely practiced only with
a qualified mountain guide, who can be hired from the Tourist
There are 4 sites of interest included in the National network
of "100 Tourist Sites" in Smolyan municipality: The
History Museum in Smolyan, The Planetarium in Smolyan, The Uhlovitsa
Cave, the Architectural preserve in the village of Shiroka Laka.
The connoisseurs of the architecture may visit the architectural
complexes - Cheshitska Mahala in Raikovo district, Agushev Konak
in the village of Mogilitsa and Alibeev Konak in Smolyan, which
is now functioning as a lodging place with a traditional restaurant.
Smolyan offers an unique combination of astronomy places of
interest -the biggest Planetarium on the Balkan peninsula (in
town) and the National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen"-
30 km away from the town.
The old traditional crafts are alive in many of the villages
- apart from watching tourists can acquire skills in one of
the chosen crafts - weaving, woodcarving, embroidery, making
terlitsi (traditional slippers), etc.
The cultural traditions of the region attract
more and more tourists through various festivals and events
like the biannual Youth International Folklore Festival "Orpheus
Celebrations", the National Folklore Festival Rozhen, the
annual International Theatre Academy and photo-plenary; the
Mummers games in the village of Shiroka Luka, the Horse races
in the village of Momchilovtsi, the Bagpipe contest in the village
of Gela and Bagpipe Fest in Shiroka Luka, the Smilyan Beans
Fest and many get-togethers of the local communities.
The new investment projects for the development of tourism are
Building of the Perelik Tourist Sport Complex, three new resort
centres in the localities of Raikovski Livadi, Haidushki poliani
and Smolyan Lakes, the next project stage of the Momchilovtsi
Snowboard park. A snowboard piste has been built during the
first stage with 2 small drags.
A project for improving the tourist services has been launched
- "Establishment of a tourism training vocational centre"
in Smolyan in partnership with the MLSP and the German Association
for International Co-operation (GOPA).
At the moment another pilot project is implemented for the creation
of models to use the cultural and historical heritage of the
Smolyan and Zlatograd municipality as a factor for local development
through fostering the public private partnerships to preserve
and socialize significant cultural and historic sites, by including
them in the tourist offer and stimulating the "cultural"
entrepreneurship. The project is co-financed by the National
Fund "Culture" and the Swiss Agency for Development
CULTURAL-HISTORICAL HERITAGE OF SMOLYAN MUNICIPALITY.
The region of Smolyan municipality is the first Bulgarian mountain
region where residents settled down. The earliest archaeological
evidences of settlement in the region date back to the first
and the second millennium before Christ. The town obtained his
name by the Slavic tribe "Smolyani", which came to
this area during 17 -th century after Christ. The oldest location
of the town of Smolyan was near the today's residential district
"Ezerovo". During the centuries the town moved down
towards the valleys of the two Mountain Rivers - "Byala"
The first settlers in the region are the Thracians, which is
evident by documentary sources. For the antique authors the
Rhodopes are a sacred Thracian mountain, the birthplace of Orpheus
and the mountain, where the famous during the entire Hellenic
Antiquity Prophesy sanctuary of Dionysius was disposed.
Several Thracian sanctuaries are recorded on the territory of
Smolyan Municipality and a number of necropolises are explored.
During the 1-st century after Christ, the Thracians fell under
Roman domination. The earliest pieces of information about construction
of roads in the region dated from that time. Archeologists have
explored till the present moment the road-beds of two Roman
roads: the road starts from the south of Plovdiv, passes through
Persenk, west of Smolyan and reaches Aegean Sea. This road is
considered to be the connection between the two main Roman roads
through the Balkans - "Trayanoviya pat" and "Via
Egnacia". At the beginning of the 18-th century the French
traveler Paul Lukas has passed through the road. The other antique
road crosses the western parts of Smolyan District (Borino,
Chavdar, and Dospat). It is assumed to have been a part of the
permanent way of Roman road of local significance. Researches
of a third antique permanent road are being made now.
From 4-5 -th century the Rhodopes Thracians accept Christianity,
evidence for which are the many early Christian basilicas. To
the present moment three of those objects are explored. Two
of them are found on the territory of Smolyan Municipality -
the basilica near the village of Gela, dating back to the 5-th
century and a monastery complex, near the town of Smolyan, dating
back to 4-5 -th century.
There were about 12 Early Byzantine fortresses built in Rhodopa
Province (consisting of Rhodopes and Aegean Region from Mesta
/Nestos River to Maritsa River). The fortresses near the town
of Smolyan, the village of Mogilitsa, the village of Koshtnica,
and village of Podvis are partially explored.
The monuments of the Rhodope Renaissance Architecture are significant
elements of the cultural-historical heritage. There are 453
residential buildings and communication equipments recorded
in total, from which 8 are of national significance.
Authentic evidences revealing the wealthy cultural-historical
heritage of Smolyan Municipality are the movable monuments of
culture, preserved in History Museum "Stoiu Shihkov"
in the town of Smolyan and the museum collections in the villages
of Shiroka laka, Momcilovtsi and Slaveino.
DEMOGRAPHY. The population of Smolyan municipality according
to the latest official yearly data of the National Statistic
Institute by 31.12.2004 is 45,111 people, of which 21862 are
men and 23249 - women. 71% of the population - 32110 citizens
lived in the town of Smolyan.
The population under active age is - 15.04 %, in active age
- 63.75 % and over active age - 21.21 %.
SOME CURRENT PROJECTS IN THE MUNICIPALITY
"Local Economic Development - 5th Phase of technical
twinning between Bulgarian and American municipalities"
The programme is operating successfully for 7 years in Bulgaria
and is funded by the US Agency for International Development
(USAID). The partnership for Local Economic Development comprises
of 28 Bulgarian municipalities, the FLGR and the International
City/County Management Association in Washington D.C. The 5th
phase of the program is implemented in the period September
2004- September 2007 and it is in this phase that Smolyan municipality
joined the programme.
Work for our common future-stable partnership between
the local authorities for the development of the region Smolyan
- Rodopi-Euros small Projects Fund of PHARE CBC
The objective of the project is improving the interaction between
the Bulgarian and Greek local authorities from the border region,
stimulating the good practices and creating conditions for mutual
understanding and further development of the potential of the
region. The activities on the project are targeted at increasing
the efficiency of the work of the Municipality of Smolyan and
the Rodopi-Euros district in Greece in the process of using
of the structural funds of the EU by organizing seminars, building
of partner networks, research and preparation of concrete project
"Integrated Water cycle of Smolyan"
- in process of finalizing the procedure
Current partner projects:
"City Parking in Europe"(INTERREG IIIC) with
lead partner Humboldt University- Berlin
Pan-European project that includes partners from Germany, Belgium,
Spain, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria, who are collecting, analyzing
and evaluating information regarding problems of the stationary
traffic and parking. The idea is to be exchanged information
and practical experience among cities of different size, but
similar problems. It aims at forming a complete conception and
policy focused on the parking.
"Introducing the cluster approach and establishment
of pilot cluster model"
The pilot project is implemented by the municipalities Smolyan
and Chepelare, together with
The Regional Tourist Association "Rhodopes". It is
aimed at encouraging the partnership between the tourist business,
the associations in the tourist branch and the local authorities
in Smolyan region for fostering the competitiveness of the local
TWINNED TOWNS AND INTERNATIONAL CONTACTS
Smolyan municipality maintains cooperation and joint initiatives
with towns and municipalities from various places of the world:
Novi Sonch, Poland - since 1983
Beltsi, Moldova - since 1989
Eilat, Israel - since 1994
Xanthi, Greece - Cooperation Agreement since 1995
Pendik, Turkey - since 1997
Su Chang, Henan province, China - since 1997
Suhl, Germany - twinning since 1998
Kaluga, Russia - since 2004
Kispest, Hungary - Twinning contract since 2004
Martinsicuro and Contraguerra, Italy - Twinning agreement since
The implemented activities give the people from the two countries
the opportunity to get to know each other and to take part in
common projects and events.
Folklore groups from Xanthi took part in the International Youth
Folklore Orpheus Celebrations in Smolyan in 2003 and 2005. In
2004 a delegation from Smolyan took part in the City Carnival
and in the Thracian Folklore Celebrations in Xanthi.
Implemented joint projects: "Days of friendship"-
Smolyan- Xanthi, 2004
Kispest, Budapest - Hungary
Implemented joint projects: Youth exchange - "Smolyan and
Kispest - step towards building a common European zone"
After the floods in Smolyan municipality in the beginning of
August, the Municipal Council of Kispest voted for a grant of
1 000 000 Forints to help those who suffered from the calamity.
A delegation, lead by the Deputy Mayor of Kispest, were guests
to the celebrations on the occasion of 93 years from the liberation
of the Rhodopes. During this visit the future cooperation between
the two cities was discussed.
Since 2003 the relationship has intensified joint activities
have started, mainly within the field of the cultural exchange.
Every year, folklore groups from Smolyan participate in the
festival of the town on the 3rd of July in Pendik and Turkish
groups and delegations have been guests to the cultural celebrations
in Smolyan. The governments of the two municipalities also exchange
good practices on issues of the European integration.
In November 2005, a conference of the twinned towns took place
in Pendik. Each town presented its strategic plan for development
and ideas were exchanged for joint projects and activities.
Martinsicuro and Contraguerra, Italy
Smolyan Municipality is twinned with two Italian municipalities
- Martinsicuro and Contraguerra, Province Terramo. In August
2005 a group of representatives from Smolyan took part in archeological
camp in Martinsicuro. The international project, which the municipality
is a partner in is organized by European Forum of Heritage Associations.
A number of similar projects are planned for 2006 in Smolyan
and Italian municipalities.
12 Bulgaria Blvd.
Web page: www.smolyan.bg
Mayor: Nikolay MELEMOV