Blagoevgrad stad i Bulgarien med operahus
Blagoevgrad är en stad i sydvästra Bulgarien med omkring 76 000 invånare. Staden är administrativt centrum i regionen B . Trakerna grundade staden Skaptopara på platsen omkring 300 f.Kr
The city is the economic and cultural centre of southwestern Bulgaria. It is located in the valley of the Struma River at the foot of the Rila and Pirin Mountains, 101 kilometres (63 miles) south of Sofia, close to Republic of Macedonia border. Blagoevgrad features a pedestrian downtown with preserved 19th-century architecture and numerous restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques.
Blagoevgrad is home to two universities, the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” and the American University in Bulgaria. The city hosts also the “Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Humanitarian High School”, the former Bulgarian Men’s High School of Thessaloniki moved from Thessaloniki to Blagoevgrad (then Gorna Dzhumaya) in 1913. Attractions in the surrounding area include the resort Bodrost.
An ancient Thracian settlement called Scaptopara (market town in Thracian, Σκαπτοπαρα in Greek) emerged on the site around 300 BC and was later conquered by the Roman Empire. The settlement was known for the hot springs in the vicinity. Although the history of the settlement in the Middle Ages is unknown, during the Ottoman rule of the Balkans it became a Muslim-majority town called Cuma-ı Bala, meaning Upper Juma in Persian and Ottoman Turkish. A Bulgarian quarter called Varosha was formed during the Bulgarian National Revival, with many of its typical houses and the Church of the Presentation of the Mother of God from 1844 being preserved to this day. A chitalishte was founded in 1866 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 saw the liberation of the area from Ottoman rule and its integration in the Bulgarian state. Before the Balkan Wars, Cuma-ı Bala was bounded as kaza to Serez sandjak in Selanik vilayet.
The town was renamed Blagoevgrad in 1950.