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Information on the city of Elhovo

The Elhovo municipality is situated in the southeast part of the Republic of Bulgaria and is included in the administrative unit of the District of Yambol. It borders the Topolovgrad municipality, District of Haskovo, to the southwest, the Bolyarovo municipality to the east, the Republic of Turkey to the southeast, and the Tounja municipality to the north.The total territory of the Elhovo municipality is 708 sq. km and encompasses 22 settlements – Boianovo, Jrebino, Izgrev, Kirilovo, Pchela, Malak Manastir, Granitovo, Melnitsa, Lesovo, Malomirovo, Razdel, Borisovo, Valcha Poliana, Goliam Dervent, Dobrich, Lalkovo, Trankovo, Chernozem (19 Municipalities).The Elhovo settlement encompasses part of the lowland-hilly and low-mountain Tundja Area -a region of the middle valley of the Tundja River and part of the Dervent elevations.The Elhovo Field has a central position. Its even surface spreads along both sides of the flowing from the north Tounja River. The altitude above sea level is 100 - 150 m. In its peripheral parts, the field gradually merges with the slanting slopes of the Manastir and Dervent Elevations.The plain relief in the north parts gradually turns to low-mountain - here is included a part of the Dervent Elevations, which are very similar to The Stranja Mountain in their geographical characteristics. A conditional boundary between them is the flat saddle from which the Popovska River springs. The state boundary with Turkey passes along their crest. The altitude above sea level of the part of the Dervent Elevations included in the settlement system reaches 450 m. The right tributaries to the Tundja River - the rivers Popovska and Arapliiska - take their waters from the elevations' south slopes.The depth of segmentation of the region is very small, and the soil erosion is low.The Tounja River passes through the low-mountain range in the south part, separating the Dervent Elevations from the Sakar Mountain. The river forms a picturesque canyon between them. Its steep valleys and numerous windings make the region picturesque and attractive.The Elhovo municipality falls into the range of two climatic areas - the North- Tounja Area (transitional continental) and the Sakar-Stranja Area (transitional Mediterranean, with soft winters, warm springs and dry and hot summers).The north part of the region is characterized by a temperately continental climate. These peculiarities reflect the lowland-hilly character of the relief. The average January temperature is about 0°С, the average July temperature is about 23оС, and the average annual temperature is 11-13°С.The lack of high fencing mountains and the proximity of the sea determine northeast winds.The average annual wind velocity is 3.3 m/sec.The south wind which blows along the valley of the Tounja River is characterized by high velocities. in the beginning of spring, this wind manifests itself in rapid warm gusts.In spring and autumn, when the winds bring Black Sea air, fogs and low clouds are often formed.The average number of the fogs is 71, the maximum being in January - 20, and the minimum in September - 4 days.The water reserves are contained in the passing rivers, the constructed dams, in Karst springs and the Pliocene water-bearing strata.In hydrogeological respect, the municipality's territory is drained by the Tounja River and its tributaries - the rivers Popovska and Arapliiska.The irrigation areas on the municipality's territory amount to 50 712 decares.The favourable natural conditions made human presence possible in the region as early as the Neolithic (6000-4000 BC). Evidence for that are the discovered stone and copper tools and the hand-made pottery with carved ornaments.The Bronze Age culture was that of the Thracians. There are preserved remains of Thracian fortresses, settlements and burial mounds. Most of the artifacts discovered in them are fragments of pottery, weapons, tools and votive tablets with the image of the Thracian Horseman. The Thracians also left interestingly built megalithic tombs called dolmens. It was the Thracians that built the first settlement near the present-day town, which was known as Orouditsa.The region fell under Roman rule in 72 BC. They fortified the settlement and called it Orudica ad Burgum - a road station between Cabile and Adrianopolis. The Romans left many traces of their material culture, mostly fragments of pottery and structural ceramics, coins and bronze sculptures.The town was known as Yoanitsa during the early Middle Ages. The Slavs settled permanently on the Balkan Peninsula in c. 7 AD. They pronounced the name of the town as Yanitsa.The Elhovo region was annexed to the Bulgarian state, which was officially founded in 681, during the rule of Khan Kroum (802-814). A proof to that is the famous Hambarlii Inscription, which was found in the near the present-day village of Malomirovo.The town was conquered by the troops of Timourtash Bey in 1373. That event was the start of the hardest period in the historical development of Elhovo - the five-century Ottoman rule.The Elhovo region gave its modest contribution to the struggles for new Bulgarian education, an authonomous Church (from the Greek Patriarchate) and national liberation. The town's first school was opened in 1833; and the townspeople drove out of town the hated Greek metropolitan Dionysius in the spring of 1874. The construction of a new church with a nave and two isles was finished in 1877/1878 to replace the small and half-built into the ground chapel.The first form of resistance against the Ottoman oppressors was the haidout movement (more or less chaotic struggle by small groups of rebels) - especially popular among its leaders were Indzhe Voivoda and Kara Kolyu. An organized revolutionary movement was started in1872 with the foundation of a Secret Revolutionary Committee headed by the tailor Dzhenko Dimitrov. The town welcomed its liberation on 21 January 1878 at a great sacrifice of life.The years at the end of 19 th century and the beginning of  20 th century were marked by the struggles of the Bulgarian people for the realization of its national ideal - a free and united Bulgarian state. The soldiers from the Elhovo region fought bravely and many of them died with the name of Bulgaria on their last breath. 103 inhabitants of the town were killed in the wars of 1912-1918.The town gradually established itself as an administrative and economic centre in the following years. Its Turkish name Kazalagach of the Ottoman rule was replaced with the Bulgarian name Elhovo and it was legally acknowledged as a town with Decree № 86 of 18 march 1925.A new stage in the historical development of Elhovo started in the 1940's. The Fatherland Front came to power on 10 September 1944 and active preparation for participation in the Fatherland War started at once. The fallen in the war were 16 inhabitants of Elhovo, and over 100 inhabitants of the whole municipality.The town changed radically in the second half of  20 th century, affirming itself as a leading administrative and economic centre.Overcoming the latest difficult period in its historical destiny, the Elhovo region today strives for a better future.In May 2005 was opened check point Lesovo (15 km away from Elhovo)-Hamzabeili (Turkey), revealing new opportunities for the economic development of the town of  Elhovo and its inhabitants.The town of Elhovo benefits from its strategic location – the main roads from Svilengrad (custom-house), Haskovo-Burgas and Stara Zagora-Burgas pass through the town. The south Black sea coastal towns of Burgas (where an International Airport is located), Pomorie, Sunny Beach, Nesebar... are within an hour driving away.Despite its strategic location the town of Elhovo remains a quiet and peaceful haven featuring unspoilt pure nature.Along the valley of Tundja river are located two forest reserves with interesting longose vegetation – 'Dolna Topchiya', where pheasants are kept and and 'Balabana' differend kinds of herons. Another interesting tourist places are: 'Studenoto Kladenche' suitable for camping and fishing; 'Dranchi Dupka' – a place of historic importance; 'Gyol Bunaar' – a luxirious holiday base, where holidaymakers have at their disposal tennis courts, tennis tables, and a sport and hunting shooting range. The town of Elhovo offers a lot of opportunities as leisure activities; there is a stadium – maintained and actively used by the "Stefan Karadzha" Sports Club in the park of the town, volley-ball and basketball playgrounds, swimming pool.The town is provided with Hospital, Police station, Fire station, Lawcourt, 4-5 banks, shops, cafes, restaurants...

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