Gotse Delchev municipality encompasses an area of 315.8 sq,
km in the southwest part of Bulgaria. It borders the municipalities
of Hajidimovo, Garmen, Bansko and Sandanski.
The town of Gotse Delchev is situated in the Gotse Delchev Hollow,
at the southwest foot of the Middle Pirin Mountain, along both banks
of the Nevrokopska (Gradska) River - a tributary to the Mesta River,
which flows 3 km west of the town.
Gotse Delchev Hollow and the low-mountain hilly places were inhabited
even as early as the prehistoric age because of their favourable
climate. There are numerous remains of the material culture of the
prehistoric man from the Stone and the Stone-Copper Age; of the
Thracians - from the first millennium BC; of the period of the Roman
rule and late antiquity; and of the Slavonic tribe Smolyani. The
region was annexed to the Bulgarian kingdom in 837 AD. During the
Ottoman rule, especially in c. 16 and 17, as a result of the assimilation
policy of the conquerors, part of the local Christian population
was forcibly converted to the Islam, but preserved its national
consciousness and traditions.
The economic progress during the National Revival period was expressed
in the development of stock-breeding, agriculture, bee-keeping,
silkworm-breeding and the flourishing of the crafts and commerce.
The town, which was then called Nevrokop, become known for being
the only producer of a famous brand of sheep bells. Skilful builders
were building residential and public buildings of remarkable architectural
merits; the town and the villages were renewing, developing and
enlarging themselves. The export and commerce took a southward direction
- towards the towns of Aegean Macedonia and other parts of present-day
Greece, and a westward one - towards Serbia and Austro-Hungary.
The annually conducted Nevrokop Fair was of great importance to
the economic life of the region.
During the National Revival, the Bulgarian population waged long
and dramatic struggles for education in Bulgarian and a Bulgarian
Church, and also took an active part in the struggles for national
relief in the region of the Gotse Delchev municipality is very varied.
The highest point is at an altitude of 2 709 m above sea level in
the Pirin Mountain, and the lowest point - at about 430 m in the
Gotse Delchev Hollow. The most impressive land shapes are the alpine
southern parts of the Northern Pirin with the three southernmost
cirques -The Kamenitsa Cirque with its six lakes, the Breznitsa
Cirque with three lakes and the Kornitsa Cirque with two lakes.
Summits with a pronounced alpine character rise over them - the
Chengel Chal, the Kadiev Rid, the Demir Chal, the Hleven and the
Boikov Vrah. The lonely rising summit Orelyak - the highest in the
Middle Pirin -also has an alpine character. The medium-height parts
of the Southern Pirin, grown over with beautiful forest, are of
special interest. An important tourist object for the region is
the Ali Botoush Mountain.
The Rhodope Mountains close the Gotse Delchev Hollow from the east.
The western part of the mountain has a high-mountain relief, which
is a combination of comparatively high rounded summits and a deep
and complicated network of beautiful canyons and well-shaped valleys.
The largest part of the mountain is densely forested with coniferous
and deciduous forest areas, whose slanting slopes form beautiful
natural pastures and meadows.
The canyon of the Kabina River and the canyon-like shape of the
Delchevska River near the town of Gotse Delchev are especially interesting.
The Momina Klisoura Defile and the defile of the Bistritsa River
bring additional variety to the landscape.
The very pronounced mountain parts serve as a background to the
extremely beautiful Gotse Delchev Hollow with attractive failures,
from which numerous mineral springs start. The tributaries to the
Mesta River have furrowed the mountain slopes with narrow defiles,
which are of tourist value.
The numerous rock formations, summits, glacial lakes, canyon valleys
and separate isolated elevations together with the other surface
and subsurface formations are the great natural tourist potential
of the Gotse Delchev municipality.
Pirin Mountain and the valley of the Mesta River belong to the Transitional
Mediterranean Climatic Area. In the Pirin Mountain itself, the Mediterranean
influences change with the altitudinal belts, which outline three
The valley of the Mesta River up to 1000 m above sea level
Middle-mountain sub-area from 1000 to 2000 m
High-mountain sub-area above 2000 m
The varying relief forms influence the temperature regime and the
air humidity, the wind velocity and the amounts of precipitation.
The average wind velocity in the town's region is about 0.8 m/sec,
and the hollow character of the area predetermines the very great
number of windless days, which constitute averagely 72 % of the
days in a year.
The average annual temperature is 11.3 degrees Centigrade, the average
January temperature - 0 degrees, and the average July temperature
- 21.6 degrees.
The average annual precipitation is between 620 and 780 mm, with
a maximum in winter and a secondary maximum in autumn. The month
with minimum precipitation is November, and the month with maximum
precipitation is August.
There are averagely 100-110 days per year in the period from May
to September inclusive that are suitable for explorative tourism.
The Gotse Delchev region is one of the richest in water in Bulgaria.
The main water source are the surface and the subsurface waters.
The whole Gotse Delchev region is situated in the valley of the
Mesta River and its tributaries. The Mesta springs from the southern
slopes of the Rila Mountain and its upper part flows between the
Rila Mountain and the Rhodope Mountains, then cuts into the western
slope of the Rhodope elevation Dabrash and forms the deep and picturesque
defile Momina Klisoura, and after that its middle part enters the
Gotse Delchev Hollow. Its lower part flows through Greece and flows
into the Aegean Sea. The total length of the river is 273 km, 126
of which are in Bulgaria. It has 13 main tributaries, one of which
is the Kanina River.
The lakes in the region are situated on the northeastern slopes
of the Pirin Mountain and pour their water into the Mesta River
through its tributaries. Most of them occupy the bottoms of cirques,
which were formed by glaciers' activities, and usually form groups.
The more attractive of them are the group of three lakes in the
Breznitsa Cirque and another three comparatively small lakes in
the Kornitsa Cirque. The average size of the lakes is about 15 decares.
Of the dam lakes, we should mention here the larger water reservoirs
near the settlements in the region. There are three water reservoirs
above the town of Gotse Delchev at the foot of the Pirin Mountain.
There is a deposit of nitric thermal waters in the Gotse Delchev
region, which generates springs in the region of the villages of
Ognyanovo, Garmen, Marchevo and Zagrade, which are about 10 km away
from the town of Gotse Delchev. The springs are about 16 in number
with an approximate total flow rate of 120 l/sec. The mineral water
of the Ognyanovo springs is pure, without a smell and with a pleasant
taste; its temperature is about 39-43 degrees Centigrade.
The mineral springs in the Toplika area are about 4 km away from
the town of Gotse Delchev. They are about 10 in number. The water
has a constant temperature of 22 degrees Centigrade and never freezes
even in the coldest winter days. The flow rate is about 40 l/sec.
The springs are situated in a picturesque area with a beautiful
acacia forest around them and a panorama view of the summit Lyaskovski
Vrah opposite. The remains of an ancient fortress are situated near
Southwest Bulgaria is known for its rich and varied vegetation.
The Pirin Mountain Zone
The 600-700-metre altitudinal belt, known as the belt of the oak
forests, is well-manifested along the western, the southern and
partly the eastern and northern slopes of the mountain. It is covered
mostly with oak and hornbeam forests. The Austrian pine communities
occupy substantial areas of the belt. There is a compact belt of
beech forests at an altitude of 900-1000 è 1500 m, and even
of 1800 m along the eastern slopes of the Orelyak Summit. There
is also a wide and compact belt of coniferous forests in all parts
of the Pirin mountain. It begins at an altitude of about 1500-1600
m above sea level and reaches up to 2000-2200 m. The largest territories
in it are occupied by the communities of the common spruce and the
white fir. The belt above 2000 m is covered with dwarf pine and
There are about 70 endemic species in the Pirin Mountain.
The Slavyanka Mountain Zone
The vegetation of the Slavyanka Mountain is similar to that of the
Pirin Mountain. 30 Bulgarian endemic species grow here, 10 of which
are unique to the mountain.
The Rhodope Mountain Zone
The belt from 600 to 800 m is mostly covered with a birch-poplar-and-alder
forest. The belt from 800 to 1300 m is mostly covered with durmast
oak, beech and spruce forests. The highest belt - from 1300 to 1900-2000
m - is covered with beech, fir and spruce forests
There is an optimal ratio of the forest, grass and farming areas
in the region of the Gotse Delchev municipality, which is an important
prerequisite for the development of the animal populations.
The wild boar - one of the most important representatives of the
useful wild animals in the region. The number of its population
has stabilized in recent years.
The red deer - another important representative of the useful wild
animals. Its population used to be much more numerous in the past..
The roe inhabits the whole region and its population is in a comparatively
The wild goat - its hunting is forbidden. It lives in the high rocky
parts of the Pirin, the Slavyanka and the Rhodope mountains.
The bear is a protected species. Separate animals live in the Rhodopes
and the Pirin.
The wolf inhabits the whole region separately or in packs.
The hare inhabits mostly the low-mountain parts of the region.
The squirrel inhabits all forest parts of the region.
The woodcock - a few individuals inhabit the Mourata area.
The rock partridge - separate flocks inhabit the rocky low-mountain
The partridge inhabits mostly the cultivable lands in the region's
open-air farming areas.
The wood pigeon inhabits the whole region.
Other animal species inhabiting the region: the fox, the badger,
the jackal, the tortoise, the wild cat, the alpine rook, the wild
dove, the mountain trout.
The region of the Gotse Delchev municipality includes part of the
territory of the Pirin National Park. It was granted that statute
for the preservation of the unique ecosystems and landscapes of
the Pirin mountain. The park's territory encompasses the catchment
areas of many rivers and lakes. The vegetation resources are also
great - about 2 000 higher plant species, 110 of which are entered
in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Bulgaria. The animal world
is also very varied - wild goats, bears, wolves, roes, etc.
The reserves are of special importance in the system of protected
objects. All activities which violate the original character of
nature are forbidden there. Even the entry into them is not allowed
without a special permit. The following reserves are situated on
the territory of the Gotse Delchev municipality:
THE ORELYAK - situated in the Pirin Mountain upon
an area of 850 hectares. It is a typical forest reserve of age-old
beech forests. About 15 hectares of it are occupied by mountain
pastures, where the famous Pirin tea-herb grows.
THE ALI BOTOUSH - situated in the Pirin Mountain
upon a total area of 1628 hectares. The most widespread tree species
here is the Austrian pine. Above the Austrian pine forests grows
the black fir - one of the rare representatives of the Bulgarian
TAMNATA GORA (THE DARK FOREST) - situated in the
Western Rhodopes upon an area of 30.2 hectares. The reserve was
founded for the preservation of the age-old spruce,-beech-and-fir
THE KONSKI DOL -situated in the Western Rhodopes upon an area of
32 hectares. The reserve was founded for the preservation of the
age-old fir, spruce and beech forests.
THE SLAVYANKA BIOSPHERIC RESERVE - preserves the
largest habitat of the black fir in Bulgaria. The reserve is a natural
An ecological police section was founded in the Gotse Delchev municipality
The total population of the eleven settlements in the municipality
numbers 37 138 people, 23 573 of whom live in the town of Gotse
There were 2 235 registered unemployed in the municipality by the
beginning of 2000. That number constitutes 13.96 per cent of the
municipality's economically active population.
The second-class road Simitli - Razlog - Gotse Delchev, which connects
the town of Gotse Delchev with the capital (200 km), and the third-class
road Gotse Delchev - Dospat pass through the municipality. Both
roads are in a good condition.
Great expectations about the development of tourism and the region's
economy as a whole are set on the construction of a new checkpoint,
which is to connect Gotse Delchev with Northern Greece and provide
access to the Greek harbour Kavala (90 km).
There are not any railway lines on the municipality's territory.
The nearest railway station is Dobrinishte.
The military airport near the town, which could be restructured
into a civil airport, is also a potential for the development of
settlements in the region are centrally supplied with water, but many
of the pipes of the water-supply system are too old and have to be
The town's sewerage system is over 98%; the construction of a waste
water purification plant is planned.
communications system is at a comparatively high level. The analogue
devices are being gradually replaced with digital.
The municipality is within the range of the mobile telecommunications
- All settlements in the municipality are supplied with electricity
The climatic conditions and the Mediterranean influence favour the
development of farming. The wide valley of the Mesta River offers
suitable cultivable areas. The main crops grown in the region are
the tobacco and the cereals. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers,
grapes, watermelons, strawberries, apples, cherries, plums, pears,
etc. are also grown.
Gotse Delchev municipality offers all kinds of places for the lovers
of nature. The natural sight Chinarbey (a 500-year-old plane-tree
with a height of 24 m) is near the bank of the Delchevska River.
The age-old chestnut-trees Bliznatsite (the Twins) grow 1.5 km away
from the town of Gotse Delchev. The fishpond by the Mesta River
(3km along a highway and 2 km along a dirt road northeastwards)
offers tourist attractions and a specialized fish restaurant.
The picturesque 25-km-long defile of the Mesta River called Momina
Klisoura is situated on the municipality's territory. It connects
the Razlog Hollow with the Gotse Delchev Hollow and separates the
Pirin Mountain from the Western Rhodopes. A very beautiful part
of the Pirin National Park - the Kornitsa, Breznitsa and Kamenitsa
cirques - occupies 1487.2 hectares of the municipality's area. The
Orelyak reserve (758.1 hectares - 751.5 hectares of forest areas
and 6.6 hectares of pasture areas), known for its primeval beech
forests, is also situated here. The Popovi Livadi area (a climatic
mountain resort at an altitude1 430 m above sea level) is a convenient
starting point for the Orelyak (2.30 h northwards along a marked
track) and the crest of the Debeli Rid elevation, surrounding the
three cirques. The International Tourist Route E4 (the Pyrenees
- Peloponnese) also passes here.
Tours to the famous national and international tourist centre Bansko
(32 km) can be undertaken from the town of Gotse Delchev. Picturesque
mountain roads lead from the Popovi Livadi area to the interesting
village of Pirin (44 km), the Pirin Chalet (61 km), the famous Rozhen
Monastery (79 km) and the cultural and historical reserve Melnik
The Historical Museum is situated in the old central part of the town.
It is housed in the Prokopovata Kashta (a house, which is an architectural
monument of national importance). The archaeological materials, the
traditional craft products, the unique collection of traditional local
costumes and pieces of home-made fabric, the numismatic collection,
the photographs and the documents show the rich and varied historical
heritage of the region.
Near the museum, in a house built in 1894 (a cultural monument), the
richest private ethnographic collection in the Pirin region, which
was collected with decades by Mr. Zafir Kanchev, can be seen.
of the Municipality
St. Archangel Michael Church (1811) is remarkable for its old holy
gates, included in the iconostasis composition, for its richly decorated
with fretwork ceilings, and 70 icons from 1881 by Sergi Georgiev.
The Ouspenie Bogorodichno (the Assumption) Church (1838) has an
extremely interesting painted iconostasis, masterpieces of fretwork,
and icons by eminent representatives of the Bansko Painting School.
The architectural complex of Rifat Bey (a local Ottoman ruler) in
the Bulgarian National Revival style, the ensembles of post-National
Liberation houses in the old central part along the Hristo Botev,
Targovska and Ivan Vazov streets, and the artisans' workshops along
the Zvancharska Street also contribute to the town's atmosphere.
The Sveta Bogoroditsa (the Holy Virgin) Monastery, built in 1888,
and the remains of the Momina Koula medieval fortress are situated
3 km away from the town.
The folklore, the local customs and the traditional holidays are
an inseparable part of the spiritual culture of the inhabitants
of the Gotse Delchev municipality. The clearest idea of the folk
traditions can be acquired from the performance of the Ensemble
for Folk Songs and Dances of the town of Gotse Delchev, from the
Easter and Christmas ritual tables organized by the Historical Museum
in the town of Gotse Delchev, from the church holidays of the Holy
Virgin, celebrated with a solemn liturgy, a ritual meal of boiled
mutton and common tables by the monastery of the same name, and
from many other cultural events in the whole municipality.
Ognian Lazarov firstname.lastname@example.org
Municipality Goze Delchev
Address: BG-2900 Goze Delchev,
District of Blagoevgrad
2, Zariza Joanna
Phone: +359 (0751) 600 70 (Exch)
+359 (0751) 600 60, 600 61
Fax: +359 (0751) 600 66