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Smolyan Province (Област Смолян, Oblast Smolyan) is a province in southern Bulgariamarker. It borders Greecemarker and is situated in the Rhodope Mountains. The province has a sizable minority of Bulgarian Muslims, as Muslims constitute 58,758 people out of the province's total 140,066, some 41,599 being Eastern Orthodox and 39,003 deciding not to discuss their religion [63063].

Economy

The economy of the province is based on tourism, mining, timber and machine industries and livestock raising. The main crops of the region are potatoes (about 30% of the national production), rye and barley; but sheep, pigs and cattle are of greater importance for the agriculture. In the eastern parts of the province are located more than 20 lead and zinc mines, which form one of the most extensive ore deposits in the Balkans. The dense coniferous forests are prerequisite for well developed timber industry in Dospatmarker, Smolyanmarker, Devin. In Smolyanmarker there are big plants producing machine tools and other machinery, while textile industry is mainly developed to the east in Nedelinomarker, Zlatogradmarker, Madanmarker and Rudozemmarker. There is also a synthetic rubber plant in Madanmarker.

Nowadays, tourism is the backbone of the economy, especially in winter due to the excellent ski resorts of Pamporovomarker and Chepelaremarker; having been completely renovated and modernized. The only factory for skiing equipment is located in Chepelare and employs 400 people. The mineral springs in Devin and Beden are very popular among tourists. The beautiful, unspoilt nature and the spectacular gorges, rock bridges and caves attract many people from around the country as well as foreign tourists, while the numerous dams are popular with campers and fishermen.

Towns

Its main city is Smolyanmarker, and other municipalities are:
The Miraculous bridges


See also



External links




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