Sofia Province

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Sofia Province
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}}| native_name = Софийска област| native_name_lang = bulProvinces of Bulgaria>Province| image_skyline = | imagesize = | image_alt = | image_caption = | image_flag = | image_seal = | image_map = Sofia (province) in Bulgaria.svg| mapsize = | map_alt = | map_caption = Location of {{PAGENAMEBASE}} in Bulgaria| pushpin_map = | pushpin_label_position = | pushpin_map_alt = | pushpin_mapsize = | pushpin_map_caption = | coordinates = | coor_pinpoint = | coordinates_footnotes = | subdivision_type = Country| subdivision_name = Bulgaria| established_title = | established_date = | seat_type = Capital| seat = SofiaMunicipalities of Bulgaria>Municipalities| parts_style = para| p1 = 22| leader_party = Governor}}| leader_name = Krasimir Zhivkov| area_footnotes = | area_total_km2 = 7059| area_note = | elevation_footnotes = | elevation_m = | population_footnotes = | population_total = 247,489| population_as_of = 2011| population_est = | pop_est_as_of = 247,489auto}}| population_demonym = | population_note = Eastern European Time>EET| utc_offset1 = +2Eastern European Summer Time>EEST| utc_offset1_DST = +3| postal_code_type = | postal_code = | area_code_type = | area_code = License plate}}| blank_info_sec1 = CO| website = | footnotes = }}Sofia Province (, Sofiyska oblast) is a province (oblast) of Bulgaria. The province does not include Sofia in its territories, but Sofia remains its administrative center. The province borders on the provinces of Pernik, Kyustendil, Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Lovech, Vratsa, Montana and "Sofia-Capital" (which is in a separate oblast, see Sofia Administration), to the northwest there is border with Serbia.


Prehistory and antiquity

(File:Bulgaria 6200BC neolithic Chavdar culture.jpg|thumb|alt=Neolithic pottery discovered near Chavdar|Neolithic pottery discovered near Chavdar)Archaeological excavations near Chavdar suggest that the region has been settled by humans as early as 7,000 years ago.WEB,weblink Topolnitsa Archeological Park: a glimpse into the Neolithic world, Bulgarian National Radio, 20 June 2018, The earliest evidence of a mass settlement dates back to Thracian times, including tumuli (burial mounds) which remain poorly studied. According to Thucydides, the areas north of Vitosha were inhabited by the Tilataei and the Treri. The Triballi were also known to have inhabited the region around Serdica. The Serdi, a Celtic tribe that appeared in place of the vanished Treri and Tilataei,The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC by John Boardman, I. E. S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N. G. L. Hammond, {{ISBN|0-521-22717-8}}, 1992, page 600: "In the place of the vanished Treres and Tilataei we find the Serdi for whom there is no evidence before the first century BC. It has for long being supposed on convincing linguistic and archeological grounds that this tribe was of Celtic origin" were first mentioned in 29 BC. Roman General Marcus Licinius Crassus began his campaign against the Triballi in that year, and in 27 BC his troops captured Serdica. Felix Philipp Kanitz, the first person to study the Iskar Gorge area thoroughly, identified eight Roman castella, which he considered proof of the great strategic importance the Romans placed on the gorge. The road passing through it connected Roman lands from Thessaloniki all the way to Dacia.WEB,weblink Исторически контекст, Svoge Heritage Program, 29 June 2018, However, up until modern times, the gorge was poorly accessible because of its rugged terrain. As a result, the inhabitants were partially isolated from the rest of the world, self-reliant, but also safe from wars and invasions. Some of the population of Moesia thus found the Iskar river area an appealing safe haven later in the 5th century, when the province was threatened by Hunnic and Gothic raids.

Middle Ages

Gothic assaults were followed by large-scale settlement of South Slavs in territories south of the Danube in the early 580s AD.{{sfn|Fine|1991|p=31}} The Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was incapable of defending these territories at the time. With most Byzantine troops protecting the rich Asian provinces from Arab and Persian raids, even small and disorganised Slavic attacks caused much disruption throughout Moesia.{{sfn|Fine|1991|p=29}} The numerous Slavs gradually mixed with and assimilated the native population.{{sfn|Fine|1991|pp=38, 41}} The area remained under Byzantine control until 809 AD, when Krum captured Serdica and massacred some 6,000 soldiers and civilians.{{sfn|Duychev|2017}} Sometime in the 10th century, construction of the Boyana Church began as well.WEB,weblink Boyana Church, UNESCO, 29 June 2018, Churches and monasteries in the area flourished during the Second Bulgarian Empire. Tsar Ivan Alexander established a ring of 14 monasteries around Sredets (formerly Serdica), with rules and organisation similar to the monastery cluster on Mount Athos, known as Sveta Gora in Bulgarian.WEB,weblink About Sofia Sveta Gora, Credo Bonum Foundation, 29 June 2018, The Sveta Gora of Sofia includes temples and monasteries throughout today's Sofia Province, spanning from Plana and Vitosha Mountains in the south to Dragoman and the slopes of Stara Planina in the north. Some of these were established during the First Bulgarian Empire or generally before Ivan Alexander's rule. Apart from these monasteries, a number of other, smaller temples can be traced back to the Second Empire. This includes the Saint Nicholas church in Bukovets, built by Crusaders in the 12th century.WEB,weblink Църквата св. Никола, село Буковец, Svoge Heritage Foundation, 29 June 2018, Crusader presence was also attested around Bov, which is believed to have been established by an eponymous Fourth Crusade knight who became a vassal of Tsar Kaloyan.BOOK,weblink По река Искър, Minkov, E., Dinkov, M., Georgiev, M., 1961, 64,

Ottoman rule

The modern territory of Sofia Province has been part of three of the four revolutionary districts during the April Uprising.

Under the Third Bulgarian State

File:Battle of Slivnitsa.jpg|thumb|alt=Painting of Bulgarian Prince Alexander I observing the battle of Dragoman|Bulgarian Prince Alexander of Battenberg observing the battles against Serb forces near Dragoman ]]A few years after Bulgaria's liberation in 1878, Bulgarian nationalists organised a coup in the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia and declared its unification with the Principality of Bulgaria.WEB,weblink Serbo-Bulgarian War, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 30 June 2018, The Kingdom of Serbia opposed the strengthening of its rival. Serbian king Milan I declared war on Bulgaria on 14 November 1885, but the Serbian forces were decisively defeated at the Battle of Slivnitsa between 17 and 19 November. Another decisive Bulgarian victory occurred at Gurgulyat, where Bulgarian soldiers and civilian volunteers fought the Serb Moravian division and prevented it from reinforcing the main Serbian force at Slivnitsa.WEB,weblink Pantheon of the Immortals, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of History, 30 June 2018, During World War II, a number of resistance fighters were based in the area. The mainly Soviet-oriented resistance - the People's Liberation Rebel Army, PLRA - organised locally under the 1st Sofia Rebellion Operations Zone, particularly in the areas around Botevgrad and Ihtiman.BOOK, История на антифашистката борба в България, II 1943/1944 г., 1976, 39, Bulgarian, Anti-partisan operations by the Bulgarian government military, then part of the Axis powers, had become fierce by 1944. In January 1944, Special Operations Executive Major William Frank Thompson and another British officer, Sergeant Kenneth Scott, were parachuted with radio equipment in southern Yugoslavia; their mission was to provide liaison between the British Army and the PLRA.WEB,weblink Thompson, William Frank, Winchester College, 20 June 2018, The two joined a group of 100 ill-equipped Bulgarian partisans and entered Bulgaria in May 1944. After some initial success, the group was ambushed, and Thompson was captured near Eleshnitsa along with a dozen Bulgarian partisans. After being shown the severed heads of other partisans on pikes, they were tortured by government troops and their paramilitary aides, the Gendarmerie.WEB,weblink Кой е майор Томпсън и какво научи за смъртта му неговият брат проф. Томпсън, e-vestnik, 20 June 2018, Because of his Communist sympathies and fluent Bulgarian and Russian, Thompson and the other resistance fighters were executed by a firing squad.WEB,weblink A Very English Hero: The Making of Frank Thompson by Peter J Conradi – review, The Guardian, 20 June 2018, Several villages in the area were merged after the war into what is now a single village, Thompson, named after the British officer.WEB,weblink Who was Frank Thompson?, Vagabond, 20 June 2018,


(File:Гледката от село Рельово.jpg|thumb|upright|150px|Rila Mountain as seen from Relyovo, Samokov Municipality) With a territory of 7 020 km², Sofia Province is the second-largest in Bulgaria.WEB,weblink Geography, Sofia Province Government, 21 June 2018, It also has the highest number of municipalities, 22, and borders nine other provinces as well as Serbia to the northwest. The lowest areas stand at 350 metres above sea level, whereas the highest rise above 2,900 metres, resulting in diverse terrain, soil and climatic factors.A temperate climate with cold winters, cool springs and mild summers hampers the agricultural use of the otherwise fertile mountain valleys. Stara Planina, Sredna Gora and Rila are the principal mountain ranges that the province straddles, while Plana and Vitosha lie entirely within its territory. The highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, Musala, rises 2,925 metres above sea level in Rila at the southern end of the province.WEB,weblink Колко е висок връх Мусала?, Geography '21, 20 June 2018, The precise height of Musala was only measured in 1932 by an expedition of the State Geographic Institute of the Ministry of War. Previously, Vihren in southwest Bulgaria was imprecisely measured and proclaimed to be the country's highest peak. This made Mytikas on Mount Olympus in Greece, which rose only three metres higher than Vihren, the highest on the Balkan Peninsula. Locals in Bulgaria supposedly began piling up rocks on Vihren over time to restore its status, but the 1932 military expedition measured both Vihren and Musala with a margin of error of only 15 centimetres and thus put an end to the rivalry.Rila is also the source of the Iskar,{{harvnb|Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria|1980|p=537}} the longest river that runs entirely within Bulgarian territory.{{harvnb|Donchev|Karakashev|2004|p=68}} It is a tributary to the Danube and forms part of the Black Sea river basin. The 23 km long Cherni (black) Iskar is considered the main stem of the river,{{harvnb|Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria|1980|p=537}} taking its source from the Chamovsko Lake (2,500 m) to the north-east of Damga Peak (2,669 m) and from there the river flows in north-eastern direction through the Govedartsi Valley, filled by the waters of the Chanakgyolski, Malyovishki and Urdini Lakes. The river enters the Balkan Mountains at the town of Novi Iskar and forms a long and spectacular gorge, whose slopes reach a height of 200 m up to 500 m at some points.{{harvnb|Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria|1980|p=225}} The Iskar Gorge reaches a length of 70 km between its beginning at Kurilo, a neighbourhood of Novi Iskar, and the village of Lyutibrod where it ends. Other rivers flowing through the provinces territory are Topolnitsa, Nishava and Maritsa, and larger bodies of water include 60 barrages and dams.File:Panoramic view of Iskar gorge.jpg|thumb|700px|center|alt=Panoramic view of the Iskar Gorge|Panoramic view of the Iskar Gorge near ZaseleZasele


missing image!
- Sofia Oblast map.png -
Municipalities of Sofia province
Sofia Province has 247,489 inhabitants according to the 2011 Bulgarian Census. The Sofia province (Област, oblast) contains 22 municipalities (singular: община, obshtina - plural: Общини, obshtini). The following table shows the names of each municipality in English and Cyrillic, the main town (in bold) or village, and the population of each as of 2009.{{clearleft}}{| class="wikitable sortable"! Municipality! Cyrillic! Pop.{{bg icon}} Population Chart as of 15 March 2009 from Directorate General: Civil Registration and Administrative Services! Town/Village! Pop.Anton Municipality>AntonАнтон) 1,650Anton, Bulgaria>Anton 1,650Botevgrad Municipality>BotevgradБотевград) 36,183| Botevgrad 23,694Bozhurishte Municipality>BozhurishteБожурище) 6,735| Bozhurishte 4,829Chavdar Municipality>ChavdarЧавдар) 1,252Chavdar, Sofia Province>Chavdar 1,252Chelopech Municipality>ChelopechЧелопеч) 1,571| Chelopech 1,571Dolna Banya Municipality>Dolna BanyaДолна баня) 4,917| Dolna Banya 4,917Dragoman Municipality>DragomanДрагоман) 5,373Dragoman, Bulgaria>Dragoman 3,541Elin Pelin Municipality>Elin PelinЕлин Пелин) 22,015Elin Pelin (town)>Elin Pelin 7,293Etropole Municipality>EtropoleЕтрополе) 13,773| Etropole 12,078Godech Municipality>GodechГодеч) 5,670| Godech 4,783Gorna Malina Municipality>Gorna MalinaГорна Малина) 5,668| Gorna Malina 1,357Ihtiman Municipality>IhtimanИхтиман) 18,903| Ihtiman 14,571Koprivshtitsa Municipality>KoprivshtitsaКопривщица) 2,547| Koprivshtitsa 2,547Kostenets Municipality>KostenetsКостенец) 14,154| Kostenets 7,762Kostinbrod Municipality>KostinbrodКостинброд) 16,145| Kostinbrod 11,523Mirkovo Municipality>MirkovoМирково) 2,534| Mirkovo 1,707Pirdop Municipality>PirdopПирдоп) 9,217| Pirdop 8,361Pravets Municipality>PravetsПравец) 7,919| Pravets 4,440Samokov Municipality>SamokovСамоков) 41,544| Samokov 30,085Slivnitsa Municipality>SlivnitsaСливница) 9,511| Slivnitsa 7,790Svoge Municipality>SvogeСвоге) 22,557| Svoge 8,741Zlatitsa Municipality>ZlatitsaЗлатица) 6,274| Zlatitsa 5,529


The following table represents the change of the population in the province after World War II:{{Table BG Province population| province = Sofia| 1946 = 319,045| 1956 = 313,906| 1965 = 306,913| 1975 = 310,975| 1985 = 305,358| 1992 = 289,962| 2001 = 273,240| 2005 = 262,032| 2007 = 258,397| 2009 = 253,010| 2011 = 247,489| ref 1 = {{en icon}} Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian provinces and municipalities in 2009| ref 2 = {{en icon}} „WorldCityPopulation“| ref 3 = „“}}The province had a population of 273 252 (also given as 273,240) according to a 2001 census, of which {{pct|134503|273241|1}} were male and {{pct|138738|273241|1}} were female.{{bg icon}} Population to 01.03.2001 by Area and Sex from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001

Ethnic groups

{{bar box| title=Ethnic groups in Sofia Province (2011 census)| titlebar=#ddd| left1=Ethnic group| right1=Percentage| float=right| bars={{bar percent|Bulgarians|#00966E|91.4}}{{bar percent|Romani|brown|7.4}}{{bar percent|others and indefinable|purple|1.2}}}}Total population (2011 census): 247 489Ethnic groups (2011 census):Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute {{bg icon}}Identified themselves: 230 781 persons:
  • Bulgarians: 210 974 (91,42%)
  • Romani: 17 079 (7,40%)
  • Others and indefinable: 2 728 (1,18%)
Ethnic groups in the province according to 2001 census:{{bg icon}} Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001253 536 Bulgarians ({{pct|253536|273240|1}}),16 748 Romani ({{pct|16748|273240|1}})and 2956 others and unspecified ({{pct|2956|273240|1}}).


{{bar boxPUBLISHER=POP-STAT.MASHKE.ORG, 29 June 2018, | titlebar=#ddd| left1=Religious group| right1=Percentage| float=right| bars={{bar percent|Orthodox Christian|#D4AF37|67.72}}{{bar percent|Protestant Christian|orange|1.2}}{{bar percent|Catholic Christian|blue|0.26}}{{bar percent|Muslim|black|0.2}}{{bar percent|others and indefinable|purple|30.58}}}}Religious adherence in the province according to 2001 census:{{bg icon}} Religious adherence in Bulgaria - census 2001{| class="wikitable"! colspan=3| Census 2001! religious adherence! population! %Orthodox Church>Orthodox Christians 261 996 {{pct273240|1}}| Muslims 3 368 {{pct273240|1}}Protestantism>Protestants 2 320 {{pct273240|1}}Roman Catholicism>Roman Catholics 186 {{pct273240|1}}| Other 1027 {{pct273240|1}}| Religion not mentioned 4 343 {{pct273240|1}}| total 273,240100%


(File:Pirdop-Aurubis.jpg|thumb|alt=Copper smelter at Pirdop|The copper smelter in Pirdop)Sofia Province's Gross regional product (GRP) was 3.11 billion leva ($1.84 billion) in 2016, with a per capita value of 13,203 leva ($7810), the third-highest nationally.WEB,weblink БВП - регионално ниво, National Statistical Institute, 20 June 2018, That year, some 9,000 companies produced 8.12 billion leva ($4.8 billion) worth of goods and services. Nearly two-thirds of businesses are in the processing sector and operate at a profit.WEB,weblink Activity of non-financial enterprises in Sofia Province in 2016, National Statistical Institute, 20 June 2018, Mining has been developed on a large scale since the 1950s. The Chelopech copper mine opened in 1954 and has since produced 19.7 million tonnes of ore, peaking at 512,000 tonnes annually in 1988.WEB,weblink Current Operations - Chelopech, Bulgaria Overview, Dundee Precious Metals Inc, 20 June 2018, In 1958, a copper smelter and refinery near Pirdop began operations and blended concentrates from Chelopech and two other mines in the area, Elatsite and Assarel. Since its privatisation in 1997,WEB,weblink Aurubis Bulgaria, Kapital, 20 June 2018, the smelter has become Bulgaria's second-largest company as a subsidiary of Aurubis.WEB,weblink Kapital 100 - Bulgaria's largest companies in 2017, Kapital, 20 June 2018, Canadian company Dundee Precious Metals Inc. has acquired the Chelopech mine, where gold concentrate is currently extracted alongside copper.WEB,weblink Dundee Precious Metals gets permit for metals exploration in Bulgaria, SEENews, 2 March 2016, 20 June 2018, Mondelez Bulgaria (formerly Kraft Foods Bulgaria) is the largest confectionery producer nationally,WEB,weblink "Монделийз" е новото име на "Крафт фуудс България", Kapital, 29 May 2018, 20 June 2018, largely owing to the production capacity of its chocolate factory in Svoge. The factory was established in 1901, privatised in 1993,WEB,weblink Десет компании на върха на хранителната верига, Banker, 20 June 2018, and upgraded in 2008 to produce up to 365,000,000 chocolate bars annually.WEB,weblink Kraft Foods Opens Expanded BGN 40 M Chocolate Factory in Bulgaria's Svoge, Novinite, 2 October 2009, 20 June 2018, Beverages are manufactured near Kostinbrod, where the largest instant coffee factory in Southeast Europe, as well as the main Coca-Cola bottling facility in Bulgaria, are located.WEB,weblink "Кока-Кола ХБК" разширява производствения си център в Костинброд, Kapital, 10 December 2017, 20 June 2018, (File:Боровец, 01.01.2016 - panoramio (13).jpg|thumb|alt=Borovets resort slopes|Ski slopes at the Borovets resort)Botevgrad is a major microelectronics R&D and manufacturing centre.WEB,weblink Най-динамичните/ В родния град на микроелектрониката, Kapital, 30 June 2014, 20 June 2018, Microchips, integrated circuits, sensors and automotive electronics are all produced by private companies on the grounds of the former "Mikroelektronika" state-owned factories.WEB,weblink Презареждане за бившия завод Микроелектроника в Ботевград, Mediapool, 4 October 2016, 20 June 2018, Computer manufacturing was also thriving in Pravets during the Socialist era and by 1988 Bulgaria seemed set to become a major exporter of computers to the West.JOURNAL,weblink Perestroika and Personal Computers, New Scientist, 11 February 1988, 29, 20 June 2018, Information, Reed Business, Pravetz models manufactured in the town accounted for 40% of all computers used in the Eastern Bloc in the 1980s.WEB,weblink First Bulgarian laptop: the Pravetz legend braces for a comeback, Bulgarian National Radio, 20 June 2018, The Pravets manufacturing plant became defunct after the collapse of Communism,WEB,weblink Bulgarian PC Brand Pravetz to Start Selling Laptops in January, Novinite, 29 December 2014, 20 June 2018, but a high-voltage electronics factory owned by Siemens has taken its place.WEB,weblink Произведено в Правец. Oт Siemens, Manager, 20 June 2018, Bulgaria's oldest ski resort, Borovets, is located near Samokov.WEB,weblink Bulgaria keen to impress ski world, Reuters, 20 June 2018, Its high annual influx of tourists has given a boost to the local property marketWEB,weblink The Villages Around the Resorts in Bulgaria Attract with Cheap Properties, Novinite, 30 May 2018, 20 June 2018, and has drawn foreign investment in hospitality and recreation.WEB,weblink British entrepreneurs invest in Bulgaria, BBC News, 20 June 2018,



  • BOOK, {{harvid, Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria, 1980, | title = Географски речник на България| trans-title = Geographic Dictionary of Bulgaria| last1 = Мичев (Michev)| first1 = Николай (Nikolay)| last2 = Михайлов (Mihaylov)| first2 = Цветко (Tsvetko)| last3 = Вапцаров (Vaptsarov)| first3 = Иван (Ivan)| last4 = Кираджиев (Kiradzhiev)| first4 = Светлин (Svetlin)| chapter =| year = 1980| language = Bulgarian| publisher = Наука и култура (Nauka i kultura)| location = София (Sofia)| isbn = }}
  • BOOK, harv, Fine, John Van Antwerp Jr., John Van Antwerp Fine Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, 1991, 1983, Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan Press,weblink 0472081497,
  • BOOK, harv, ( link), Duychev, Ivan, Greek Sources on Bulgarian History, III,weblink Sofia, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2017, 1960, 2018-06-29,

See also

{{Provinces of Bulgaria}}{{Bulgaria topics}}{{commons category|Sofia Province}}

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