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Kyustendil, Osogovo, Dupnitsa, Nevestino
Bankya, Slivnitsa
Pernik, Erma Gorge, Zemen Monastery

Blagoevgrad (80 000) is the biggest town in South-western Bulgaria, 100 km southern from Sofia. It is found in the foot of south-western Rila, of Blagoevgradska Bistrica river, which is infused in Struma. Here is found the South-western university “Neofit Rilski”, the American University, the Medicine College, the College of Electronic. There are 30 mineral springs, the temperature of the water 55oC.

The region has been inhabited from the Neo-stone epoch, near is found the village Cerovo. The Thracian settlement Skaptopara is known with one famous inscription from 238. With the name Pazarishte the town was mentioned in one Turkish document in 1502. In the past it was an important roadside stronghold. In XVII c. some monks from the Rila’s monastery made a school. In the end of XVIII c. the town is a big craft and commercial centre. After the Berlin’s congress (1878) it stayed in the borders of the Turkish empire and it is a center of the Bulgarian opposition. It was freed on 1912 in the time of the Balkan war.

The Historical museum is found in the quarter Vitosha. It is very interesting the house-musum of Georgi Izmirliev (The Macedonian), the art galleries, the church “Holy Virgin”, the revival quarter Varosha. The town is famous with its beautiful marble centre. There are a lot of memorial of the died people in the battles for the Bulgarian freedom.

In the valley of Blagoevgrad’s river it is found the park Bachinovo. Here in June is leaded the fest of the town. 30 km from the town, in the north-western Rila is the resort Bodrost in reserve with coniferous vegetation Parangalica. There is an ancient stronghold with necropolis. North-western is the village Stob, whish is famous with the Stob’s pyramids - very beautiful earth formations, which finish with round rock blocks.

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