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Coordinates: 42°15′N 23°0′E / 42.25°N 23°E / 42.25; 23

Kyustendil Province
Oblast Kyustendil

Област Кюстендил
Map of Bulgaria indicating Kyustendil ProvinceOblast Kyustendil
Capital Kyustendil
Area 3,084 km²
Population 162,622 (2001)[1]
161,728 (2009 est.)[2]
Population density 52.7/km² (2001)
52.4/km² (2009 est.)
Municipalities 9
License plate province code KH
Time zone
- Summer (DST)
Governor Lyubomir Dermanski
The Rila monastery

Kyustendil Province (Bulgarian: Област Кюстендил, transliterated Oblast Kyustendil) is a province in southwestern Bulgaria, extending over an area of 3084.3 km² (constituting 2.7% of the total territory of the Republic of Bulgaria), and has a population of 163,889. It borders on the provinces of Sofia, Pernik and Blagoevgrad, while to the west, its limits coincide with the state borders between Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, and Bulgaria and the Republic of Serbia. The administrative center of the Province is Kyustendil.



The region features diverse surface relief - fertile valleys and canyons, separated by hillocks and mountains. The northern and western parts of the territory form the so-called "Kyustendilsko kraishte" (Kyustendil Cornerland), and include parts of the cross-border Milevska, Chudinska, Zemenska and - to the east - Konyavska mountains. To the south, the Kyustendilsko kraishte reaches as far as the valleys of the Dragovishtitsa and Bistritsa rivers, as well as the Lisets mountain. The southern part of the region includes massifs of the Osogovo, Vlahina and North-Western Rila mountains, embracing the Kamenitsa, Kyustendil and Dupnitsa lowerlands. The region is divided in two under-districts - Kyustendil in west and Dupnitsa in east. In Dupnitsa region there are the geographic areas: Gorno pole (Upper field), Dolno pole (Lower field)and the area Razmetanitsa where the Emperor Samuil of Bulgaria killed his brother Aaron and his family.

The region abounds with granites, clays, fossils, and ores. Polymetal ores are excavated in Osogovo; brown coals in the Bobov dol mines. Clays deposits are located at the villages of Chetirtsi, Yahinovo and Dragovishtitsa. The region, however, is most famous for its numerous mineral water springs: hot mineral water springs in Kyustendil, Sapareva banya, the villages of Nevestino and Chetirtsi. A marvel of nature, found in the region are the Stobski piramidi (Stob pyramids).

For the most part, the climate is trans-continental, but at higher altitudes it is mountainous. The main drainage river is Struma whose subsidiaries are the Treklyanska, Dragovishtitsa, Bistritsa, Slokoshtitsa, Novoselska, Dzherman and Rila rivers. Subterranean water levels are relatively high. Near the village of Kamenichka Skakavitsa, the Golemi dol river forms a 70-meter-high waterfall. The Dyakovo, Bersin, Drenov dol and Bagrentsi artificial lakes (dams) are chiefly used for irrigation purposes. Soil composition is most favorable for the traditionally-developed fruit-growing.

Forest vegetation is mostly deciduous, although coniferous forests are also present. In the Gabra natural reservation (area: 89,5 metric hektars) houses the last remaining black-pine trees.

The Region of Kyustendil includes 9 municipalities with a total of 182 settlements. The regional administrative center is the town of Kyustendil situated in its Southwestern part: the Kyustendil lowerland. The town also serves as the administrative center of the municipality of Kyustendil (with an area of 923 km²., this Municipality represents 30,2% of the total territory of the Region), with a population of 73 346, of whom 51 300 are residents of the town area. Four main transport routes pass through Kyustendil: from Republic of Macedonia on the Skopie-Sofia high-way; from Serbia on the Nish-Bosilegrad-Kyustendil high-way; through Dupnitsa and Kyustendil passes the oldest commercial road that for centuries has linked Constantinople and the Adriatic Sea. Kyustendil has managed to preserve is historical, ecological and cultural heritage. It is a contemporary Bulgarian administrative center, whose future is mostly seen in the development of cultural tourism, and modern rehabilitation resort centers by the hot mineral water springs.

The surrounding region is like an untapped National Park. Wander through green lanes past medieval houses and barns and discover stunning landscapes. Plenty of fishing, walking, treking, 4*4 country, hunting, with clear air and a fantastic climate.


Municipalities in Kyustendil province

The Kyustendil province (област, oblast) contains nine municipalities (singular: oбщина, obshtina - plural: общини, obshtini). The following table shows the names of each municipality in English and Cyrillic, the main town (in bold) or village, and the population as of 2009.

Municipality Cyrillic Pop.[2] Town/Village Pop.[2]
Boboshevo Бобошево 3,016 Boboshevo 1,383
Bobov dol Бобов дол 10,266 Bobov dol 6,664
Dupnitsa Дупница 54,671 Dupnitsa 42,800
Kocherinovo Кочериново 4,506 Kocherinovo 2,190
Kyustendil Кюстендил 74,395 Kyustendil 58,774
Nevestino Невестино 2,738 Nevestino 629
Rila Рила 3,424 Rila 2,937
Sapareva banya Сапарева баня 8,165 Sapareva banya 4,326
Treklyano Трекляно 547 Treklyano 226


The Kyustendil province had a population of 162,622 (also given as 162,534[3][4][5]) according to a 2001 census, of which 48.8% were male and 51.2% were female.[1]



In the 2001 census, 156,359 people from Kyustendil province identified one of the following as their religion (with percentage of total population): 154,637 Eastern Orthodox (95.1%), 928 Protestant (0.6%), 231 Muslim (0.1%), 76 Catholic (0.05%), and 487 other (0.3%).[3]


In the 2001 census, 161,691 people from Kyustendil province identified one of the following as their mother tongue (with percentage of total population): 153,242 Bulgarian (94.3%), 7,929 Roma (Gypsy) (4.9%), 117 Turkish (0.1%), and 403 other (0.2%).[4]

Ethnic groups

In the 2001 census, 161,500 people from Kyustendil province identified themselves as belonging to one of the following ethnic groups (with percentage of total population):[5]

Ethnic group Population Percentage
Bulgarian 152,644 93.915%
Turkish 146 0.09%
Roma (Gypsy) 8,294 5.103%
Russian 160 0.098%
Armenian 11 0.007%
Vlachs 5 0.003%
Macedonian 21 0.013%
Greek 36 0.022%
Ukrainian 34 0.021%
Jewish 29 0.018%
Romanian 4 0.002%
Other 116 0.071%


  1. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Area and Sex from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  2. ^ a b c (Bulgarian) Population Chart, 15.03.2009 from Bulgarian Directorate General: Civil Registration and Administrative Services
  3. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Region and Religion from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  4. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Mother Tongue from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  5. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001

See also


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