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The medieval church of the Zemen Monastery

Zemen (Bulgarian: Земен) is a town in Pernik Province, western Bulgaria. Located near the Pchelina Reservoir on the banks of the Struma River, it is the administrative centre of a municipality.

The old name of Zemen was Belovo, but it was renamed to Zemen in 1925. The new name was initially only given to the railway station nearby, but it was soon carried over to the village too. The new name commemorates the medieval castle of Zemlangrad which was located in the Struma gorge in the vicinity. The fortress was first mentioned in the 11th-century Tale of Isaiah as ЗЄМЛЬНЬ ГРАД and as ЗЄМЛЪНЬ in a 15th-16th century Serbian chronicle. The name is derived from the word for land and refers to the only arable land in this rocky area according to the locals.[1]

Proclaimed a town in 1974, Zemen is famous for the medieval Zemen Monastery. The population is mostly Bulgarian Orthodox.


Zemen Knoll on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Zemen.


  1. ^ Чолева-Димитрова, Анна М. (2002) (in Bulgarian). Селищни имена от Югозападна България: Изследване. Речник. София: Пенсофт. pp. p. 127. ISBN 9546421685. OCLC 57603720.  

Coordinates: 42°29′N 22°45′E / 42.483°N 22.75°E / 42.483; 22.75



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