Page update: 01 January 2000

Gotse Delchev

Gotse DelchevThe 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.

The Goce 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 total population of the eleven settlements in the municipality numbers 37 138 people, 23 573 of whom live in the town of Gotse Delchev.

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 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 (80 km).