About Sofia region in Bulgaria

Sofia Province borders on three sides to the city of Sofia, but does not include it. Because of the large area and population of Bulgaria’s capital, the city has been marked as a separate province. The district has a territory of 7 059 sq.km and has 273 240 inhabitants. It includes 22 municipalities: Anton, Botevgrad, Bozhurishte, Chavdar, Chelopech, Dolna Banya, Dragoman, Elin Pelin, Etropole, Ihtiman, Godech, Gorna Malina, Koprivshtitsa, Kostenets, Kostinbrod, Mirkovo, Pirdop, Pravets, Samokov, Slivnitsa, Svoge and Zlatitsa.

The landscape has mainly mountainous features. To the north are the southern slopes of the Balkan Mountains and to the south rises Rila with the highest mount on the Balkan peninsula – Mount Musala. There are also several smaller mountains and spacious valleys. One of the most prominent ski resorts in Bulgaria, Borovets, is located just a few kilometers from Samokov, in the heart of Rila Mountain.

The region is a well-developed industrial area. Mining and metallurgy are the backbone of the economy with the largest copper refinery in South Eastern Europe in Pirdop and important copper mines at Chelopech and Etropole. Machinery is well developed in Botevgrad (buses, car components, electronics), Pravets (computers), Etropole, Samokov, Elin Pelin, Ihtiman, Slivnitsa, Godech. The centre of food, sugar & chocolate industry is Svoge. This is also the birthplace of bass/baritone opera singer and musician Boris Damianov.

Elin Pelin, known previously as Novoseltsi, is situated in in the Sofia Valley, with the slopes of the Balkan Mountains to the north and Sredna Gora to the south-southeast, 24 km southeast of the capital. The area has been inhabited since antiquity. A Slavic settlement was founded in the Middle Ages and existed until the early Ottoman rule of Bulgaria.

The town of Elin Pelin (then Novoseltsi) became a local cultural and trade centre during the Bulgarian National Revival. Its importance continued to grow with the construction of the Sofia–Septemvri) railway line and the establishment of the Izida ceramic factory, the first in the country. Despite everything, Elin Pelin is most popular for being the birth place of the noted Bulgarian writer Elin Pelin. It was renamed in his honor in 1950 and was proclaimed a town in 1960.

Koprivshtitsa is one of the most popular historic town in Bulgaria. It lies on the Topolnitsa River among the Sredna Gora mountain. It was one of the centres of the April Uprising in 1876 and is known for the well-preserved authentic Bulgarian architecture and for its folk music festivals, making it a very popular tourist destination.

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