Infobox Settlement
official_name = PAGENAME
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = BUL
subdivision_type1 = Provinces
map_caption = Location of Smolyan

pushpin_label_position =
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Smolyan
pushpin_mapsize =
leader_title =Mayor
postal_code_type =Postal Code
population_total=32 813
latd=41|latm=58|lats=|latNS=N|longd=24|longm=69|longs=|longEW=E|leader_name=Dora Yankova (BSP)

Smolyan ( _bg. 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. 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.

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 Theater Collective 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 has been playing in the A Professional Football Group since the 2002-2003 season.

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:


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

External links

Official websites

* [ Smolyan municipality website]
* [ Smolyan municipality at]
* [ Planetarium Smolyan]
* [ National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen"]

Tourism websites

* [ Smolyan at]
* [ Smolyan at]
* [ Location of Smolyan on MultiMap]

Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Smolyan
North = Asenovgrad
Northeast = Haskovo
East = Kardjali
Southeast = "Greece"
South = "Greece"
Southwest = "Greece"
West = Gotse Delchev
Northwest = Peshtera

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