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Montana - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria
Montana - City and District Information
Montana - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria

Montana Basic Data

City Population: 49,401
District Population: 182,130
Area size: 3,635.5 square km.
Places of interest: Berkovitza, Varshetz, Lom

Montana General Information
Montana region is located in north-west Bulgaria. It is bordered by 3 other regions - Vratza, Sofia and Vidin. The region is not very well developed economically but the geographical location gives it certain advantages compared to the other regions. It is a crossroad for two European transport corridors - No 4 (connection with Western Europe), and No 7 (Danube river). The north border of the district, Danube River, allows direct connection with Romania. The port of Lom is the second biggest port on Danube River and one of the shortest routes between Western Europe and Russia.

The density of the population in Montana district is 46 people per square km, which is from the lowest indices for the country. 60% of the population of the district lives in the urban areas, while 40 % of the people live in the rural areas - a very low degree of urbanization. In terms of the age of the population, the common tendency for the country is that the portion of people 65 years old or more is growing up, while the portion of children 15 years old or less is going down - a proof of the fact that the nation is getting old.

The region is well water supplied; there are three rivers (Ogosta, Tzibritza, Lom) and 56 small dams. There are premises for balneological tourism because of the mineral water springs near Varshetz village. The forest area in the district is 85,000 ha.

There are small fields of iron, silver, lead and copper ores, near Lom there is a coal field. The soils in the plain are humus, fertile soils, suitable for wheat, corn, vines, lucerne, sugar beet, barley, potatoes. The climate is favorable for the development of farming and agriculture. The temperatures are averaging -2 C in January and 26 C in July.

The town originates from the old Roman stronghold Castra ad Montanezium (a stronghold in the mountain), known also as Montana. The labor tools, ornaments, coins etc. found there reveal a long life of the village that was initially established on Calebair Hill on the left side of the river. It is from here that a blazing spring started and is now an integral factor for the town. The passing roads played a great role in the development of the town. Throughout the centuries, Montana had many different names: Kutlovitza, Ferdinand (after King Ferdinand), Mihailovgrad (after the communist activist Hristo Mihailov). The town received its present name in 1993 with a decree by the Bulgarian president of that time - Zheliu Zhelev.

Montana Economy
The District is yet to be developed; it contributes only 1.5 % of the national GDP. The main economic indicators are slightly rising but they are still under the average for the country. Unemployment has been very high over the last years keeping its rate at 30% - the highest level for the country. One of the main reasons for this is the downsizing of the state enterprises. 95% of the unemployed people are with high school education or lower education.

The agricultural lands are almost 70% of all the land in the district. 20% of the agricultural land in Montana is not cultivated, which is obvious waste of resources provided the soils are fertile humus soils. Almost all of the land that is not cultivated is private and around 40% of the land owners are 65 years old or more. Fruit-growing has traditions in the district, there are proven sorts of apples, pears, peaches, plums and cherries. The production of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries) has been increased over the last couple of years due to the introduction of new technological equipment and the favorable climate condition. Stock-breeding is another traditional branch of the agricultural industry in Montana; poultry-farming is well developed, because high technologies have been introduced to the farms.

Region of Montana has developed various industries. Traditionally evoked branches are - machine building, metalworking, production of electrical machines and equipment, extraction of pit materials and mineral raw materials, tailoring, food and beverage industry. The big industrial plants are situated in the regional center Montana. The rest of the working enterprises are situated in Lom, Berkovitza and Varshetz. For the textile industry, sport shoes, clothes and carpets are made in the region. The carpeting has been developed since 17th century in Montana. For the food and beverage industry the following goods are being produced: wild mushrooms, fruits and herbs, production of mayonnaise, milk and dairy products, vegetable oils, sunflower, frozen products, canned vegetables, brewery, wine, meat production. Other products that are being made in the district are: tiles, pigments for terracotta and faience tiles, metal articles, aluminum casts, plastic wrapping and casing, wood processing, lighting fittings, air-conditioners, batteries.

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