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Sandanski


     Blessed by sacred, most ancient healers, this town of health is situated on both sides of Banska Bistritsa River. It is amphiteatrically situated on the southeast slope of Pirin Mountain and has a thousand-year-old history. Thracians abode it, as well as Romans and Slavs in later times. So it was given different names: Medius, Dizodava, and Holy Healers. Since 1949 it took the name of a Bulgarian revolutionary, a fighter for the liberation of Macedonia from the Turkish yoke - Yane Sandanski. The town has a railway station, which is on the way from Sofia to Thessaloniki. Sandanski is one of the towns through which the international highway Sofia - Athens passes.
     Sandanski is located at an altitude of 224 m, in the foothills of Pirin Mountain, along Sandanska Bistritsa River. The resort climate is indeed unique. The mineral springs turn it into a resort of international significance. Throughout the year, local temperatures are higher than inland temperatures - the annual average being 14.7°C. Winters are mild and short, autumns long and warm. The town of Sandanski is famous for the best natural public health places for bronchial asthma in Europe and the multitude of mineral springs. The resort is recommended for the healing of chronic non-specific pulmonary diseases, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, neurological complaints, allergic skin diseases, some kidney and urological diseases. The temperature of the mineral springs varies between 33°C and 83°C. The town hosts the annual Pirin Folk Festival in the beginning of September. The population of the town is 31 451 citizens.

 


     A five-hundred-year-old plane-tree grows at the central square and next to it there is an ancient marble fountain. The balneosanatorium is nearby where respiratory, kidney, gynaecological, dermatological, nervous diseases are treated.
     Grapes, tobacco, figs, peanuts, sesame, poppy, etc. marvelously grow here. On the left side of Sandanska Bistritza is situated a park with an alpineum.

 


     The town museum preserves monuments of Thracian material and intellectual culture, as well as of the culture of Romans and Greeks. The park of the town is decorated with sculptures belonging to contemporary Bulgarian masters of plastic art. More and more famous throughout Europe, the mineral springs of Sandanski spurt out for everybody's health - for all guests and tourists, for old and young people. Eight of the spas are situated in the town-park, while three of them are on the right side of Sandanska Bistritsa River. Perfect for bathing, the mineral water is pleasant for drinking, as well - clear, without any smell and delicious.


     Beside the contemporary town the ruins of an ancient town lay. The settlement near the mineral springs has originated in the 2nd millennium BC. Spartacus - the leader of the biggest riot (74 BC) of the Roman Empire comes from the Thracian tribe "medi" which has inhabited its surroundings. Up to the 6th century the town is one of the first Christian bishop centers in Bulgaria. In the end of the 6th century Barbarian tribes have destroyed it. Since those days it is named Saint Vrach to the memory of the two brothers Kozma and Damyan - doctors of folk medicine. This is the name of the town till 1947, when it has been renamed to Sandanski.
     There is an architectural and sculptural complex in the town, behind which a white seven-meter high stone statue of Spartacus rises up.

     In the centre of the town is the Museum of Archaeology which treasures material evidence of more than 27 centuries. 

     Particular attention should be paid to St. George Church from 1861 and St. St. Kozma and Damyan Monastery.