|• Mayor||Mihail Liskov|
|Elevation||60 m (200 ft)|
|Population (December 2009)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Harmanli (Bulgarian: Харманли) is a town in Haskovo Province, South-central Bulgaria. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Harmanli Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 18,557 inhabitants.
Its territory spreads over some parts of the Upper Thracian Lowlands between the oblique south slopes of the Sredna Gora and precipitous north slopes of the Rhodope Mountains. The south boundary of the Thracian lowlands is outlined by the north Rhodope foot, along which it leans close on the north Rhodopes, between the lower end of the Momina Klisura defile (at 300 m elevation) and the beginning of the Harmanli defile (at 80 m elevation).
The Maritsa River flows near the city. The climate of the area is temperate continental, which determines the variety of the vegetative types, some of which pertain to the evergreen groups (south of Harmanli). The soils are mainly maroon and woody. It is located 270 km from the capital Sofia
The first historical records of it date back to 1530. They belong to the Slovene Benedit Kuripešič, who would sojourn there as an interpreter in his mission. Skilful masters built a solid caravansary on the right bank of the Harmanli river (then Oludere).
To facilitate travelers, caravaners and threshers a vaulted bridge over the river in Arabic style traditional in that epoch was built in 1585 by the order of the Turkish vizier Siviush Pasha. The marble inscription on the bridge reads as follows:
The world is a bridge, across which the way of the king and the poor man passes
The hunchbacked bridge has been saved almost intact till our day.
Bulgarian municipalities were charged with some fiscal, administrative and other functions in 1834. The written rules, called 'Instructions for mayors, masters and village criers,' which were a herald of the first Bulgarian Act of local self-government, are of interest.
The location of the town along the roadway gives reason to a writer Gencho Stoev to say that:
Harmanli does not need to travel because the world goes through it
Historic fountain was built at the White-legged Girl's Spring (Ak baldır çeşmesi), half an hour way from the bridge. The legend about Guergana, eternalized in the beautiful poem by Petko Slaveikov,
Another legend relating that boyar Valkashin or Vukasin, father of the legendary Krali Marko, was killed near this spring fighting the Ottoman sultan Murad. Although the fountain is an object of local lore disputes, even if it is a fiction story, it is an emblem of Harmanli.
The municipality area has highly remarkable and beautiful sights of nature - natural waterfalls in the regions of Kiumiurluka and Kuru Dere and the protected area of Defileto, as well as the historic spots the Karakoliuvata Kashta cave, Forest Hades and Haidushkata Dupka a small cave.
Two transcontinental roadways intersect the municipality. The first one is from West and Central Europe, through Sofia - Harmanli - Svilengrad and Istanbul (Е-80 or І-8), and the second one is from North Europe through Rousse - Haskovo - Harmanli and Mediterranean, on which basis corridor 9 will be developed in the future.
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