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Bulgarian Regions

Blagoevgrad region

BlagoevgradMunicipalities - 14: Bansko, Belitza, Blagoevgrad, Gotze Delchev, Garmen, Kresna, Petrich, Razlog, Sandanski, Satovcha, Simitli, Skrumyani, Hadzhidimovo, Yakoruda.

Blagoevgrad Region is situated in the southeastern part of Bulgaria and covers the region of Pirin Macedonia. It is bounded by Kyustendil, Sofia, Pazardzhik and Smolyan regions and it reaches out to the state border with Greece in the south and to the Republic of Macedonia in the west. Its location favors the development of friendly trans-border relations. The relief is predominantly mountainous, the highest parts being alpine. The exceptions are the river valleys of the Struma and Mesta and their tributaries where the majority of the population resides. The region covers the area of the mountains of Pirin, Ograzhden, Vlahina and Maleshevska, Belasitza, Slavyanska, parts of the Rhodopes and the Rila Mountains. The beautiful and wild nature of the region kept untouched in the national parks and reserves is considered to be one of the greatest treasures of the region. The Pirin National Park is of worldwide importance and is on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage.

An international highway and the Belgrad-Sofia-Athens railroad pass through the region. The numerous mineral springs (40 °Io of all mineral springs in Bulgaria), the beautiful nature and the rich cultural heritage determine the successful development of winter sports and resorts as well, as ecotourism, balneological and cultural tourism.

The region hBlagoevgradas had eventful history, traces of which can be found in the archeological, architectural and ethnological heritage. There are remains from Thracian mounds and antique settlements, The mountainous roads had been once guarded by majestic medieval fortresses. Exquisite examples of architecture from the National Revival period created by gifted masters can be enjoyed in the reserve villages of Kovachevikza, Pletena, Dolen as well as in the towns of Bansko and Melnik. After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, the Treaty of Berlin Contract bestowed Pirin Macedonia to Turkey. The unhappy destiny of the population and its fight for freedom found a vent in the folk songs in the region sad and melancholic or pugnacious and militant. The region was liberated as late as 1913 following the Balkan Wars. A lot of areas in the region have preserved authentic customs and traditions.