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—  Town  —
Position of Parvomay in Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°6′N 25°13′E / 42.1°N 25.217°E / 42.1; 25.217
Country Bulgaria
Province Plovdiv
 - Mayor Angel Papazov
Elevation 134 m (440 ft)
Population (02.05.2006)
 - Total 16,698
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 4270
Area code(s) 0336

Parvomay (Bulgarian: Първомай) is a town and the name of a Municipality (Parvomay Municipality) in Southern Bulgaria. It is located in Plovdiv Province region close to the towns Sadovo and Chirpan. The English translation is sometimes given as Parvomai or Purvomai (which literally means "May Day"). Although as with many places in Bulgaria it has other names such as its old name (up until 1947), Borisograd (after Bulgaria's last Tsar, Boris), or Borisovgrad, or Borissograd, or Borissovgrade, or Borissowgrad, until 1894 it was known by its Turkish names Hadzi Ejles, Hadzi-Ele, Hadzi-Jeiles, or the Spanish, Khadzhi Eiles Khadzhi-Eles.


The Town

The municipal centre town Parvomay is situated at 134 meters above sea level, with geographic coordinates 25о13`30`` East longitude and 42о06`00`` North latitude. The population of the town in 2009 was 16,630. The town is 42km to the west of Plovdiv city, 60km to the southeast of Stara Zagora, 36km to the west of city of Haskovo. The topography of the Parvomay Municipality is predominantly a flat plain with the exception being the fields of the Voden and Bukovo villages and the rolling hills around Iskra, Bryagovo, Dragoinovo and Ezerovo which are form the foot hills of Dragoyna. The name of the ridge comes from a legend about Dragoy, prince of the Slavonic tribe that inhabited the region and his daughter Dragoyna, who built a white stone castle on the peak but the Byzantines conquered and destroyed her residence. This range is in turn the foothills of the Rhodopi mountains, passing to the South-West into the Novakovski Balkan mountain. In 1926 the population of the town was 4425 people, and in 1946 the town was 5050, by 1985 the population had risen to 17,136 but by 1992 it had dropped to 16,826.

The Municipality

The Parvomay Municipality with its administrative centre in the town of Parvomay, is situated in the most Eastern area of the Plovdiv Pazadjik plain– part of the Upper Thracian lowlands, with total area of 470 057 decares. The Municipality encompasses 17 settlements with population of 32 131 people. Villages in Parvomay Municipality in the Plovdiv Province are; Bryagovo (789 inhabitants to 02/05/2006), Bukovo, Byala Reka, Dalbok Izvor, Dobri Do, Dragoynovo, Ezerovo, Gradina, Iskra, Karadjalovo. Iskra being the largest in area with a population of 1829 (to 02/05/2006) in the Dragoyna foothills to the south of Parvomay.


Somewhere from the 5th century BC to the 3rd century BC this area became part of the Thracian Odrysian kingdom.In the quarters of Debar and LyubenovoDebar on the outskirts of Parvomay town, archeologists have found Thracian mounds. By the 1st century AD this part of Thrace was annexed by the Roman empire, and later it remained a part of its Eastern Roman Empire. Roman graves dating to the period of 1-4th c. have been also discovered around Parvomay. Through the history of Bulgaria the area has been Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantium, Slav, Bulgar and Ottoman. There were archaeological finds in 2004,5 & 6 relating to a Thracian cult complex of a collection of tribes known as the Odrysian kingdom in an area to the south of Dragoynovo at the Goliama Dragoyna peak. The peak of Goliama Dragoyna is the highest point in the area at 813,60m. The sub region of Dragoyna is believed to have been a local centre of the Thracian aristocracy within the Odryssian kingdom, possibly linked to Perperikon. A high concentration of Thracian tumulus (burial mounds) have been found in the area. A well known golden ring was found in Ezerovo[1], near to Dragoyna archaeological site. The ring has an inscription[2] in Thracian with Greek letters. It indicates that the relatives dedicate the ring to the deceased. Also found were numerous dice that resemble the modern dice used for playing. Playing dice has an ancient history and it seems that the inhabitants of Thrace were well acquainted with the game. A settlement, most probably related with the sanctuary, was located close to the village of Dragoynovo near to Iskra.This religious complex is one of the many sacred places, established by the Thracians on high mountain peaks. Sanctuaries of this type originated and developed as religious centres in the period between the Late Bronze Age and the end of the Roman Empire. The sanctuary complex on Dragoyna peak was first studied and recorded in the first half of the 20th century since when the site has suffered at the hands of numerous treasure hunters. No formal archaeological excavations were conducted until 2004. Two periods of occupation have been identified from the archaeological evidence:

  • 13th century BC5th century BC: the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, but also the Dark Ages in the Aegean and Anatolia. At this time the hill had no floral and soil cover. The archaeological finds from the period are fire places, which served as altars for various fire-related rituals.
  • 4th century BC3rd century BC: the Late Iron Age or the period of Classics and Hellenism. In this period the region of the Eastern Mediterranean had its cultural consolidation provoked by the military campaigns of the Macedonian rulers Philip II and Alexander the Great. This was also the period of the most active utilization of the sanctuary.

The oldest documented reference to the city Parvomay of 1576 it is in the register of dzhelepkeshanite in Bulgaria. Parvomay was for a time part of Eastern Rumelia an autonomous province within the Ottoman Empire after the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. After the revolution of September 6, 1885, the province was annexed by the Principality of Bulgaria. On 14 April 1928 a sequence of two earthquakes[3] of a magnitude of approx 7 hit central Bulgaria which resulted in 74,000 buildings being destroyed and 114 people were killed in the nearby city of Plovdiv, Chirpan (to the north) and Parvomay. A newspaper at the time reported 1000 buildings in Parvomay as collapsed.


Parvomay town has two secondary schools - the School of Professional (economy, ecology, machinery) agriculture called "Vasil Levski" and "School Prof. Dr. Zlatarov ". There are 2 main schools: the School "St. Cyril and Methodius" and "PS Georgi Karaslavov", 2 primary schools: "Hristo Botev" and "Vasil Levski" and four kindergartens (nurseries)- "Kindergarten 8th of March", "Kindergarten Maritsa", "Kindergarten Spring" and "Kindergarten Radost".


The are limited charter flights to the nearby Plovdiv International Airportjust to the east of the Plovdiv Asenovgrad highway (12 km SE of Plovdiv). The international European road Е-80 passes through the town and a branch of the as yet incomplete Trakia highway (A1) passes very near on the way to Turkey. The section branching off to the Southeast towards Turkey known as the Maritza motorway will be designated A3. The Current (2010) GERB government has promised the completion of the Trakiya and Maritza Highway by the end of its term in 2013. The railway line from Belovo to Dimitrovgrad officially opened in 1873. The municipal territory is crossed by a high-speed railway, run by the Bulgarian State Railways part of the line from Sofia to Istanbul.The upgrading of the Plovdiv-Svilengrad line was the biggest local project financed by EU's ISPA program at a cost of 340 mln euro. The European Investment Bank has lent 150 mln euro to the venture with 153 mln euro coming from ISPA and 37 mln euro from Bulgaria's state budget. The doubling of 150 km of track from Plovdiv to Parvomay is due for completion in November 2009.


The Maritsa river runs to the East through the Municipality with the Mechka and Kajalijka rivers running North into the Maritsa with thermal mineral springs in Dragoinovo, Biala Reka and Lenovo. The main crops in the region of Municipality Parvomay are grain production, with 75 000 decares of wheat, barley 7,500 decares, and sunflower 13,200 decares. Agriculture and especially vegetable growing are of great importance for the Parvomay region it is one of the biggest producers of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergine (egg-plant)in the Country. There are over 500 acres greenhouses and over 60% of the arable land is irrigated. There are considerable crops of commercially grown Oriential (often known as Turkish Tobacco) and Large Leaf Tobacco in the region. The soils are predominantly black humus. There are also vast areas of oak and conifer forests on higher ground. The lowland of the Maritsa river are mainly meadows with cinnamon soils.

Climate and weather

The territory of Municipality Parvomay belongs to the area of transitive Mediterranean climate. The average temperature in January is 1˚С, and about 25˚ С in July. The summer is dry and hot and the winter is comparatively mild. Unlike the near by winter resort of Pamporovo to the south in the Rhodope Mountains the snowfall in the north of the area is thin and does not last being a little heavier in the south. The total precipitation is below the average for the country, about 532 l/м2. The precipitation is highest in December and May and lowest in August and February-March. The relative humidity is particularly low– up to 60%.The strongest wind comes from the North-West, mainly in May and June, when it blows for weeks with average velocity of about 3 м/s. Short thunderstorms and hailstorms are quite common in summer and you may get some fogs along the Maritsa river but this is quite uncommon.

Culture, Events and Tourism

Parvomay town contains G. Karaslavov museum house and St. Dimiter Church (built in the period 1841-43) displays iconostasis and the mural paintings which are masterpieces of the Debar school. In the churchyard is one of the first secular schools in the country. Both are monitored by UNESCO. On the northern edge of the town Parvomay has an impressive stadium and swimming complex with a capacity to seat 5,000.

Preserved ancient relics are displayed in a museum in the town the Primary School St. Cyril and Methodius and also the House of Culture in the village of Iskra.

Wine Fair in Parvomai

For the second year in February 2006 the Municipality of Parvomai and Exemplary People Community Center “St. St. Kiril and Metodii” have organized a Wine and Wine-Production Fair “Parvomai 2006” together with a concurs for best home-made wine. The wine factory of Asenovgrad, wine-cellar of Iskra, Haskovo and Zagrei Co. have taken main part in the Fair.

May Cultural Festival

During the month of May the May Cultural Festival is held in the town of Parvomay, where the people of Parvomay and their guests gather at the halls of the People Community Centre to meet the art of the visiting theatres, the local dramatic and music-folklore teams, national favorite and local artists and a lot more interesting additional events.

Folklore Music and Song Festival

As well as the Iskra Festival in August, the city of Parvomay Festival takes place in September which is a celebration of Thracian Music and Songs. Many national orchestras, folklore groups and single artists take part in the centre of Parvomay town.

Tourism in the Municipality is somewhat underdeveloped but growing and has a large potential for example the thermal mineral springs in Dragoinovo, Biala Reka and Lenovo. The surroundings of Vinitsa village is the unique place in Bulgaria as it is where the rare summer snowflake can be found, Latin name Leucojum aestivum. The picturesque Village of Iskra is the home in August to the фестивал Искра (Iskra Festival), which is a celebration of Folk Music, dancing, food and wine drawing as many as 2000 from afar a field as Plovdiv. A dam of the river Kajalijka between Iskra and Bryagovo forms Briagovo Lake. Briagovo Lake is the location for local hunting clubs pre hunting season, clay pigeon shooting competition every September. There as been recent development of water-motor sports and fishing tourism at this lake and others nearby and on Mechka River. Growning from vine-cultivation and wine production in Iskra and Tatarevo villages there has been the development of business tourism related to production and tasting of local wines.

Famous people from Parvomay

Dragoynovo (also known as Dragoinovo)a village in Parvomay municipality was the birthplace of Angel Stoyanov Kariotov in 1812.

The tenor, Tosko Iliev, was born 1 September 1895 in Parvomay (then called Borisovgrad). His first performances were with the school choir. In 1922 he graduated from the Sofia University of Law. Towards the end of 1923 he left for private voice lessons in Vienna. Before his stage debut he worked as a choirmaster. His debut was in 1934 at the Stara Zagora Opera singing the role of Nikola in the Bulgarian opera Gergana by Atanasov. From 1933 to 1943 he was engaged as a leading tenor and administrator at Stara Zagora. In 1940 he performed Alfredo with the Sofia Opera. Major roles in his career included the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo, Faust, Don Jose, Canio and Turridu. Iliev was a founder and a main figure in the professional development of the Stara Zagora Opera. He was elected as director and worked there from 1946 until 1954

Georgi Karaslavov, writer born 1904 died 1980.

Dimitar Gochev, film director born 1943-

Konstantin Videv (Dr. Bartolo) Opera star, was born in 1957 in Parvomay.

Bulgarian Politician and current Minister of Transport, Petar Mutafchiev, was born in Parvomay in 1961.

The film director Radoy Mihaylov was born in Parvomay in 1967.

The athletics sportswoman Tezdzhan Naimova was born in Parvomay in 1987.


  1. ^ Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction by Robert S. P. Beekes,1995,Back matter,"... Thracian - The gold ring with inscription from Ezerovo, ..."
  2. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 1: The Prehistory of the Balkans, the Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC by John Boardman, I. E. S. Edwards, N. G. L. Hammond, and E. Sollberger, 1982),page 878
  3. ^ 1928 article in the "Canberra Times"

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