Smolyan: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smolyan is located in Bulgaria
Location of Smolyan
Coordinates: 41°35′N 24°42′E / 41.583°N 24.7°E / 41.583; 24.7
Country  Bulgaria
 - Mayor Dora Yankova (BSP)
Elevation 999 m (3,278 ft)
Population (2005-09-13)
 - Total 32 813
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal Code 4700
Area code(s) 0301

Smolyan (Bulgarian: Смолян) is a town and ski resort in the very south of Bulgaria, the administrative center of Smolyan Province. It is situated in the valley of the Cherna ("Black") and the Byala ("White") Rivers in the central Rhodopes at the foot of the mountains' highest part south of the popular ski resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare.



According to archaeological evidence, the area around Smolyan was first settled in the 2nd-1st millennium BC. In the Middle Ages it acquired its name from the Slavic tribe, the Smolyani, who settled in the region in the 7th century. During the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the Part of the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. For a while during the 14th-century it came under the control of the Bulgarian feudal lord Momchil, alongside the whole Rhodope mountains, before eventually being subjugated by the Ottoman Empire. Smolyan remained under Ottoman rule for five centuries, a township of the Ottoman Gümülcine sanjak in Edirne vilayet between 1867 and 1912. It was known in Ottoman Turkish as Paşmaklı or Ahiçelebi.

The area was liberated by the 21st Sredna Gora Regiment led by Vladimir Serafimov in 1912, during the First Balkan War. The modern town of Smolyan was formed by the merger of three existing villages — Ustovo, Raykovo and Ezerovo — in 1960.

Characteristic old architecture from Ottoman time
Smolyan's massive Cathedral of Saint Vissarion (2006)
View of Smolyan

Culture and sports

Due to its suitable location on top of Mount Rozhen, the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory is located nearby, with a planetarium in operation in the town. There is one theatre, the Rhodope Drama Theatre, and a gathering of theatre practitioners and scholars known as the The Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory is held every summer. There is also a regional historical museum founded in 1935.

Smolyan has an elite division football team, PFC Rodopa Smolyan, that had been playing in the A Professional Football Group between 2003-2007.

The largest church in southern Bulgaria, the Cathedral of Saint Vissarion of Smolyan, was inaugurated in the city in July 2006.


Smolyan is also the seat of Smolyan municipality (part of Smolyan Province), which includes the following 79 villages:

  • Milkovo
  • Mogilitsa
  • Momchilovtsi
  • Mugla
  • Nadartsi
  • Oreshitsa
  • Ostri Pazlak
  • Petkovo
  • Peshtera
  • Pisanitsa
  • Podvis
  • Polkovnik Serafimovo
  • Poprelka
  • Potoka
  • Rechani
  • Reka
  • Rovina
  • Selishte
  • Shiroka Laka
  • Sivino
  • Slaveyno
  • Smilyan
  • Sokolovtsi
  • Solishta
  • Sredok
  • Stikal
  • Stoykite
  • Sarnino
  • Strazha
  • Taran
  • Tikale
  • Trebishte
  • Turyan
  • Uhlovitsa
  • Varbovo
  • Vievo
  • Vlahovo
  • Valchan
  • Zaevite
  • Zmievo


Smolyan Point on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Smolyan.

External links


Official websites

Tourism websites

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Bulgaria : Smolyan

Smolyan is a town in Bulgaria. It occupies the narrow gorge of the Cherna River in the East Rhodope Mountains, and has 34 000 residents. Once the Slavs' tribe of smolyani inhabited the area and gave the name of the settlement. The magnificent nature, mild climate, its closeness to the mountain and the Pamporovo resort attract tourists all year round.

Get in

It lies 12 km from the Pamporovo resort, 45 km from Devin, 102 km from Plovdiv and 260 km from the capital Sofia.

Get around

It became a town in 1960 after unifying three villages- Smolyan, Raykovo and Ustovo.


Numerous houses and churches from 17th-19th centuries have been preserved up to the present day. Some of them are: "Pangalov’s house" (1860), "Sgurov’s house" (1866), "Alibeev’s town- hall" (1751), "Kelev’s house" (1860), etc.

The architectural and ethnographic reserve called Cheshitska mahala is located in the district of Raykovo.


There is a planetarium, an ethnographic museum and an art gallery.

Every year you can to visic International ETHNO-JAZZ festival "JULY JAZZ Smolyan " - in JULY. The festival meeting diferent art and crafts. Famous artists, young musicians and interpretators come to Smolyan to join in the festival. Wotk-shops: music, thetre, drama, dance, painting, crafts and iconograpfi. CHILD ART CAMP - "Work-shop for little 'big' people" started in 2008 and art and social pratform for discus for young people. Don't hasitate - come here!


Tourists can be accommodated in two big and a great number of small private family ones.

Get out

Smolyan is a starting point for many mountain routes. The Smolyan lakes and the Smolyan waterfall are located not far from the town.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative spellings

  • Smoljan

Proper noun




  1. A town in southern Bulgaria.




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