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Pazardzhik - Provinces of Bulgaria
 

PAZARDZHIK

Pazardzhik is a province located in southern Bulgaria and covers 4,458 km². Ranging from 190 to 370 m above sea level, Pazardzhik is home to 319,358 people (1998).

The province is abundant with water resources, its main waterway is the river Maritsa and its catchment basin includes the Topolnitsa River and Luda Yana River.



Economy

The backbone of the economy in the region is industry. The "Batashki Vodnosilov Pat" is an important hydrocomplex consisting of three hydro power plants- "Batak", "Peshtera" and "Aleko" with combined capacity of around 250 MW. Copper extracting industry is of national and European importance with major mines located around Panagyurishte (Asarel and Medet), Elshitsa, Tsar Asen and Mina Radka. Machine building industry is developed in Pazardzhik (lead acid batteries), Panagyurishte (optical), Velingrad. There is flourishing pharmaceutical industry in Peshtera with more than 1 000 employees in the plant. Paper industry is developed in Belovo. Timber industry is very important in the southern part of the region (the Rhodopes)- Batak, Peshtera, Rakitovo and Velingrad. The manufacturing of textiles in well developed in Pazardzhik, Panagyurishte and Velingrad. There is a huge footware plant in Peshtera. Food processing industry is developed in most of the towns. Agriculture is also important, especially in the fertile central parts of the region. The most important crops are orchards (apples, plums and strawberries), grapes, wheat, barley, rye and rice. Livestock breeding is relatively well developed in the mountainous areas.


The province has considerable opportunities to develop mountain and rural tourism, especially in the southern parts where the Rhodope mountains are located. The area is covered with dense coniferous and deciduous forests, dotted with numerous artificial lakes. The largest one is the Batak Dam, on whose shores are built two resorts: Tsigov Chark and Sv Konstantin as well as many villas and shrines. Fish is abundant in the dams, including carps, rudds, barbels, perchpikes and many others; the mountain streams are rich in trout. There are spa resorts in Velingrad, Strelcha, Banya, Varvara. The most famous landmarks are located in Panagyurishte, Pazardzhik, Batak, Velingrad.

Impressive ruins of an ancient basilica rise in the hilly country, close to the town of Belovo. Numerous ruined fortresses are scattered around the province, the most famous of these are Tsepina, and the ramparts near Bata and Strelcha.


Transportation and communications

The road network is not dense. The Trakiya motorway runs through the middle of the region. The main railway between Sofia and Plovdiv also runs through it. There are two other railways: to Panagyurishte and to Peshtera. There are several military airports. As everywhere in Bulgaria, every town and village in the region is provided with electricity, drinking water and telephone network. Each town and some villages are provided with Internet connection, and the cellular phone coverage is almost 100%, as most people own GSMs.


Major towns

Its principle city is Pazardzhik, and other muncipalities are Batak, Belovo, Bratsigovo, Kostandovo, Lesichovo, Panagyurishte, Peshtera, Rakitovo, Septemvri, Strelcha, and Velingrad.

Towns in the Pazardzhik Province by population :

  • Pazardzhik- 76 161
  • Velingrad- 23 960
  • Panagyurishte- 22 252
  • Peshtera- 20 020
  • Septemvri- 8 631
  • Rakitovo- 8 304
  • Bratsigovo- 4 577
  • Strelcha- 4 515
  • Kostandovo- 4 356
  • Belovo- 4 095
  • Batak- 3 782
  • Sarnitsa- 3 607
  • Vetren- 3 562


Batak Dam