Botevgrad (Bulgarian: Ботевград [ˈbɔtevɡrat]) is a town in western Bulgaria. It is located in Sofia Province and is close to Pravets. Botevgrad lies 47 km from Sofia.
History and name
The village was called Samundzhievo (Самунджиево) until it was elevated to town status at the end of 1865 under the name of Orhanie (Орхание). On 1 December 1934 the city was named Botevgrad (Ботевград) after Hristo Botev.
Botevgrad and its hinterland are located in an elliptical valley with a total area of 5,066 km². The municipality covers parts of the Western Stara Planina mountain — Razhana, Murgash, Bilo and Golyama Planina and some parts of the Northern Balkan. Vitinya Pass connecting Northern Bulgaria with Southern Bulgaria and the proximity of the capital contribute to its strategic location. Botevgrad municipality borders the following municipalities: Pravets, Etropole, Gorna Malina, Elin Pelin, Svoge, Mezdra and Roman.
The region of Botevgrad municipality is quite rich in natural resources. The relief is remarkable for its variety. The municipality covers the following geographic parts: a part of Botevgradska Kotlovina (the valley of Botevgrad), some parts of Botevgradski Predbalkan and four of the Balkan shoulders — Razhana, Golyama Planina, Murgash and Bilo. Kotlovinata Zhleba (Fillet Hollow) is situated between the main Balkan Range and the Northern Balkan.
The bottom of the hollow is the accumulative river terrace of Bebresh river and its tributaries. The low oval hills inside the hollow contribute to the countryside variety. Mount Murgash — 1687 m tall is the highest point of the highest mountain range to the south and south-west. Many rivulets run down the slopes of the heights. Prohoda Vitinya or Vitinya Pass connecting South Bulgaria with North Bulgaria is located on the territory of Botevgrad municipality.
Sensata Technologies group, which specialises in the design and production of added value electronics and electromechanical systems used in the automotive and consumer electronics industry, operates one large production plant in the town.
GE Pharmaceuticals operates a drugs factory and in 2006 Siemens opened a plant for the production of high voltage transformers.
Botevgrad has one of the leading basketball teams in the country, BC Balkan Botevgrad, who play at the Arena Botevgrad and have won 4 national championships and 4 national cups. The local football club is called PFC Balkan Botevgrad and plays at the Hristo Botev Stadium. The city has many sport fields - both for football and basketball. Other sports are also very popular - volleyball, swimming, chess, acrobatics and tennis.
The religious buildings in Botevgrad are:
Church of the Ascension of Christ
Dormition of the Mother of God Church
Monastery "Nativity of the Mother of God" in the Zelin village zone
United Methodist Church
Botevgrad is twinned with: