Kardzhali (Bulgarian: Кърджали, Kǎrdžali; Turkish: Kırcaali; Greek: Κάρτζαλι, Kártzali), sometimes spelt Kardžali or Kurdzhali, is a town in the Eastern Rhodopes in Bulgaria, centre of Kardzhali Municipality and Kardzhali Province. The noted Kardzhali Dam is located nearby.
Kardzhali is located in the low eastern part of Rhodope Mountains, on both banks of the river Arda between the Kardzhali Reservoir to the west and the Studen Kladenets Reservoir to the east. The town is 260 km (162 mi) southeast of Sofia. It has a crossroad position from Thrace to the Aegean Sea — part of European transportation route 9, via the Makaza mountain pass.
Culture and tourism
Mosque and tombe of the founder of the modern city of Kırcali is situated in the old city near the marketplace.
History Museum of Kardzhali (Pomerantsev, Moorish Revival, 1910s)
The Thracian town of Perperikon is located near the city on a rock high above the valley. It is interesting for the fact that it is cut in the rock.
The monastery from 11th century is located in the Vesselchane Quarter of the town. It was renovated in 2000 and a new bell tower was built.
The town clock is unique in Bulgaria because it sounds Bulgarian revolutionary songs every hour.
The Kardzhali Museum of History has one of the most extensive exhibitions in Southern Bulgaria. This includes pre-historic tools and ceramics from the Thracian cities of Perperikon and Tatul, Christian icons and ethnographic exhibits. It is located in the old konak (the Turkish town-hall built around 1870) with its period exterior architecture.
There are many open-air restaurants, offering a variety of drinks and cocktails in summer time on the dam. It is a popular place among fans of water sports and fishing.
The town has two drama theaters — “Dimitar Dimov” and “Kadrie Lyatifova”, a puppet theater and a museum of history medrese, as well as an art gallery.
5 km (3 mi) from Kardzhali, near the village of Zimzelen, is a small badlands, where a series of white pillars have eroded out of the volcanic tuff which are referred to as the “Kardzhali Pyramids”. Ensembles have been given names based on resemblances. One is known as “The Mushrooms” and another as the “Stone Wedding”.
Kardzhali Point on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Kardzhali.
Longdistance hiking path the Sultans Trail passes Kardzhali dam, city center and many villages.