Category: Rhodope Mountains

Zlatograd

ZlatogradThe city of Zlatograd is located in the heart of the Rhodope mountain. This is the most Southern Bulgarian city, only 3 kilometers from the state border with Greece. During the Middle Ages the village is called Belovidovo, and during the Ottoman Domination the Turks call it Darà Dere, which means millet gully.

From 1934 the village is renamed Zlatograd because of the golden tobacco grown in this region.

This is where the oldest church in the Rhodope Mountain was built, and also the first school which puts the foundation of the education activities in the whole area. Read more

Velingrad

VelingradThe city of Velingrad is situated in the Chepina valley, part of the beautiful Rhodope mountains. Legends tell that Orpheus used to live here.

The favorable natural conditions and the healing mineral springs of Velingrad played an important role for the foundation of the city.

The name of the city comes from the woman-partisan Vela Peeva. In 1948 the city was founded from the merger of the three villages Kamenitsa, Ladzhene and Chepino. Read more

Smolyan

SmolyanThe town of Smolyan is the most important place in the Central Rhodopes.

Smolyan  is 90 km from Plovdiv.

It borders the Republic of Greece to the south, the the towns of Roudozem, Madan and Banite to the east, Pamporovo, Laki and Chepelare to the north and Devin to the west. Read more

Kardzhali

KardzhaliKardzhali is situated in the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains on both banks of the Arda river. It is about 104 km from Plovdiv and 250 km from Sofia.

Two big and beautiful dam lakes surround the city: Studen Kladenets Dam Lake (the name means Cold Well) and Kardzhali Dam Lake.

Remnants of village life have been discovered which date back to 6000 B.C. Throughout the centuries the city passed through various cultural epics such as Byzantine, Roman, Slav, Bulgarian and Ottoman.

Today it is still one of the Bulgarian cities where the highest percentage of Turkish population lives. Each of these cultures has left certain elements which are present in the contemporary outlook of the city. Read more

Ivaylovgrad

IvaylovgradIvaylovgrad is situated in the southern part of Bulgaria, eastern Rhodope Mountain, very close to the Greek border 358 km from Sofia and 190 km from Plovdiv.

The first records about Ivaylovgrad  date back to IX-X century when a fortress called Liutitsa was located there.

During the Ottoman Domination the village is called Ortakkyoi which means Common Village or Friends’ Village.

During the Ottoman Domination there is almost no information about the city. In the 20th century the city is integrated at first in the Turkish territory and then in the Greek one. In 1934 the city receives its current name. Read more