The Elin Pelin municipality is situated on an area of 408 sq. km in the central part of the District of Sofia. It occupies the eastern part of the Sofia Field, the slopes of the Balkan on the north and slopes of the Sredna Gora Mountain on the south-southwest. The municipal centre - the town of Elin Pelin - is situated 24 km east of the capital Sofia. The Elin Pelin municipality borders with the municipalities of Sofia, Botevgrad, Gorna Malina, Ihtiman, Samokov and Svoge.
The Elin Pelin municipality encompasses 20 settlements, including an exurb with a railway station -the Pobit Kamak - under the administration of the village of Novi Han.
The relief of the Elin Pelin municipality is high-plain, hilly and mountainous. The lowland bottom, which is situated at an altitude between 539 m and 600 m above sea level. The mountain foot at an altitude between 600 m and 800 m above sea level occupies a large territory. The highest peak on the municipality's territory is the Mourgash - 1687 m.
According to the climatic division of Bulgaria, the Elin Pelin municipality belongs to the Temperate Continental Area.
The distribution of the precipitation is typical of that climatic area - with a winter minimum and a secondary minimum at the end of summer, and with a maximum at the beginning of summer. The quantity of the precipitation is the lowest in the plain - 547 mm/sq. m, and the highest in the mountain parts - 832 mm/sq. m. The snowfalls are in the period from November to April
The soil formation processes developed mostly upon carbonate rocks of the middle Triassic. That geological formation covers most of the municipality's territory. There is lignite coal in the Choukourovo Basin; iron ores, copper-pyrite manifestations and manganese mineralizations in the region of Golyama Rakovitsa; fireproof and ceramic clays in the regions of Novi Han, Pobit Kamak and Gabra; uranium deposits in the region of Gabra; quartz sand in the region of Pobit Kamak. The coal deposit and the uranium by the village of Gabra, which are exploited by the Choukourovo Mine and the Redki Metali (Rare Metals), are best researched. There is a quartz -sand quarry of the Vatia EOOD in the region of Pobit Kamak.
The territory of the Elin Pelin municipality is rich in water resources. The Lesnovska River, which flows into the Iskar River before the village of Gorni Bogrov, and the Matitsa River, which springs from the Mourgash part of the Balkan and flows into the Lesnovska River by the town of Elin Pelin, flow through it. The Ognyanovo Dam with a capacity of 40 million cub. m and the Taratorskoto Dam over the village of Gabra with a capacity of about 5 million cub. m. are situated on the municipality's territory. There are three geothermal springs in the municipality. The spring in the village of Ravno Pole, where the mineral composition and the flow rate of the water permit the construction of a balneological centre is of national importance. The other two springs are in the village of Eleshnitsa- the Toplika - and in the town of Elin Pelin, where the drilling has stopped for now. The average annual precipitation is about 550 mm/sq. m. There are high subsurface waters in the plain part.
The Sofia Field was the habitat of various peoples and cultures, since it was crossed by important roads connecting Asia with Western Europe. There are numerous remains of ancient fortresses and settlements built along those roads. The so-called Trajanus' Road of c. 2 passes through the municipality's centre. The Thracian settlements and burial mounds and the findings in them testify to a rich spiritual and material culture. The Roman and the Byzantine culture also left noteworthy traces. There was a large road station called Buragara or Buraraca by the Roman road of c. 3 near the village of Lesnovo. The remains of a road watch-tower with a small adjoining settlement (c. 4) were discovered and researched by archaeologists southwest of the town of Elin Pelin. Remains of a later Slavonic settlement, which existed up to the initial period of the Ottoman rule, were discovered in the same area. There are ruins of Thracian fortified settlement 3 kilometres south of the village of Novi Han. There are also remains of Roman settlements at several places west of the village.
Some of the municipality's settlements have existed at almost the same place since the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. St. Nicolas the Wonder-Doer's Church in the village of Stolnik has survived since that period. There was a Bulgarian fortress by the village of Eleshnitsa, which was destroyed during the Ottoman invasion. The Eleshnitsa Monastery, built in c. 15, is 4 km away from the same village. It was a thriving literary centre in c. 16-18. Valuable murals from c. 16 and 19 are preserved in the Holy Godmother' Church belonging to the monastery. A school was opened in the monastery in c. 18. The oldest school within a settlement of the municipality (founded in 1835) is in the village of Doganovo. Because of the plain relief and the large ottoman garrison in Sofia, the local population took little part in the April Uprising in 1876. The village of Golyama Rakovitsa was plundered and burnt down after the crushing of the uprising, and the rebel leaders were exiled into the fortified prison-town of Diarbekir in Asia minor.
The Elin Pelin region is one of the best-preserved centres of the local Shop folklore and culture - the dialect, the regional costumes, the folk dances, songs and humour. The local traditions are shown each year at the Shop Holiday in the town of Elin Pelin, which started in 1970.
The village of Novoseltsi, which was later to become the town of Elin Pelin, gradually became the cultural and commercial centre of the region. It was proclaimed the centre of a province of the Bulgarian Principality in 1881. The construction of the railway line Sofia - Saranbey (now Septemvri) and the foundation of the Izida Factory - the first ceramic factory in the country - played an important role in its development. The village's economy strengthened over the years. A secondary school and a cultural club were founded in the middle of c. 19. The village of Novoseltsi was renamed to Elin Pelin in 1950. It was proclaimed a town in 1960.
The presence of the Hemus and Trakia Motorways, Main Road N 6 and roads from the first to the third class are a prerequisite for a well-developed transport.
There are two basic railway stations on the municipality's territory - the Elin Pelin Station along the line Sofia - Plovdiv - Svilengrad and the Stolnik Station along the line Sofia - Karlovo - Bourgas. They both have very good engineering infrastructure.
The main road artery of the municipality is First-Class Road N 105. The passenger transport services are performed by the municipal firm Avtogara EOOD (Bus Station Ltd.), the Avtobousi EOOD (Buses Ltd.) - the town of Elin Pelin, the Iliana Sole Proprietor - the village of Apriltsi, and other private companies.
The transport scheme of the bus transport is coordinated with the railway schedules.
The farmland reserve of he Elin Pelin municipality amounts to 241 881 decares of pastures, 17 504 decares of natural meadows, 807 decares of perennial plantations, etc. About 60% of the cultivable land is in hilly and mountainous areas. The category of the lands varies from the third to the tenth.
The various crops typical of the region are classified into the following groups (areas):
Lands for growing all kinds of crops.
Lands fit for growing cereals, leguminous plants, etc. without vegetables - mostly in the mountain settlements. The soils in those areas are suitable for growing berries and orchards.
Lands for growing industrial crops, cereals and leguminous plants.
The natural and climatic conditions and the local traditions are very much in favour of the development of this branch in the municipality. Stock-breeding is practiced by private farmers, who keep mostly dairy cows, sheep, goats and pigs. The concentrated growing of cattle and sheep is only preserved in the Progress Cooperative in the village of Lesnovo. There are numerous negative factors predetermining a tendency towards decreasing the number of the animals and the yield of milk and meat.
Holiday-Making and Tourism
The Elin Pelin municipality has excellent natural conditions for the development of holiday-making and tourism, but the material base is extremely insufficient. Only international hunting tourism is practiced in the Aramliets Hunting Preserve. There are excellent possibilities for the development of country tourism and the construction of holiday bases, which are regrettably still unused.
There are football playgrounds in all of the municipality's settlements, and stadiums in the town of Elin Pelin and the Elin Pelin Station. The sporting equipment as a whole is insufficient and outdated. The municipality does not have a sports hall, swimming pools and playgrounds for various sports.
The Ognyanovo Dam offers excellent conditions for the development of water and water-motoring sports.
There are men's and children's football teams participating in district and republican competitions in the town of Elin Pelin and the Elin Pelin Station. There is also a cycling section for children and youths in the municipality. Eastern marital arts are trained in the Olympia Club in the town of Elin Pelin.
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