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Coordinates: 41°40′N 24°35′E / 41.667°N 24.583°E / 41.667; 24.583

Smolyan Province
Област Смолян
Map of Bulgaria indicating Smolyan Province
Capital Smolyan
Municipalities 10
License plate province code CM
Time zone
- Summer (DST)
Governor Stefan Staykov

Smolyan Province (Област Смолян, Oblast Smolyan) is a province in southern Bulgaria. It borders Greece and is situated in the Rhodope Mountains.



The Smolyan province had a population of 140,066[1][2][3] according to the 2001 census, of which 48.8% were male and 51.2% were female.[4]



In the 2001 census, 100,647 people from the Smolyan province identified one of the following as their religion (with percentage of total population): 58,758 Muslim (42%), 41,599 Eastern Orthodox (25.6%), 100 Protestant (0.1%), 93 Catholic (0.07%), and 97 other (0.1%).[1]. The Smolyan province is one of three Bulgarian provinces (along with the Kardzhali and Razgrad provinces) where the majority religion is not Eastern Orthodoxy but Islam. However, unlike Kardzhali and Razgrad where the majority of the population is Turkish, the Muslim population of the Smolyan province is made up almost entirely of Muslim Bulgarians.


In the 2001 census, 135,761 people from the Smolyan province identified one of the following as their mother tongue (with percentage of total population): 129,181 Bulgarian (92.2%), 5,782 Turkish (4.1%), 532 Roma (Gypsy) (0.4%) and 266 other (0.2%).[2]

Ethnic groups

In the 2001 census, 132,654 people from the Smolyan province identified themselves as belonging to one of the following ethnic groups (with percentage of total population):[3]

Ethnic group Population Percentage
Bulgarian 122,806 87.677%
Turkish 6,212 4.435%
Roma (Gypsy) 686 0.49%
Russian 111 0.079%
Armenian 42 0.03%
Greek 13 0.009%
Ukrainian 27 0.019%
Jewish 1 0.001%
Romanian 1 0.001%
Other 55 0.039%


The economy of the province is based on tourism, mining, timber and machine industries and livestock raising. The main crops of the region are potatoes (about 30% of the national production), rye and barley; but sheep, pigs and cattle are of greater importance for the agriculture. In the eastern parts of the province are located more than 20 lead and zinc mines, which form one of the most extensive ore deposits in the Balkans. The dense coniferous forests are prerequisite for well developed timber industry in Dospat, Smolyan, Devin. In Smolyan there are big plants producing machine tools and other machinery, while textile industry is mainly developed to the east in Nedelino, Zlatograd, Madan and Rudozem. There is also a synthetic rubber plant in Madan.

Nowadays, tourism is the backbone of the economy, especially in winter due to the excellent ski resorts of Pamporovo and Chepelare; having been completely renovated and modernized. The only factory for skiing equipment is located in Chepelare and employs 400 people. The mineral springs in Devin and Beden are very popular among tourists. The beautiful, unspoilt nature and the spectacular gorges, rock bridges and caves attract many people from around the country as well as foreign tourists, while the numerous dams are popular with campers and fishermen.


The main city of the Smolyan province is Smolyan; other municipalities include:

The Miraculous bridges

See also


  1. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Region and Religion from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  2. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Mother Tongue from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  3. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
  4. ^ (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Area and Sex from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001

External links


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