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Smolyan is a town and ski resort in the far south of Bulgaria near the border with Greece. It is the administrative and industrial centre of the homonymous Smolyan Province. The town is situated in the valley of the Cherna and the Byala Rivers in the central Rhodopes at the foot of the mountains' highest part south of the popular ski resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare. As of February 2011, it has a population of 30,283 inhabitants.NameThe town comes from the local Slavic tribe of the Smolyani, probably cognate to the Slavic word smola ("resin").HistoryAccording to archaeological evidence, the area around Smolyan was first settled in the 2nd-1st millennium BC. In the Middle Ages 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 Sanjak of Gümülcine in the Adrianople Vilayet between 1867 and 1912. It was known in Ottoman Turkish as Paşmaklı or Ahiçelebi.Use our Bulgaria trip planner to arrange the details of your trip to Smolyan and other destinations.
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