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town, southern Bulgaria. It lies in the northeastern foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. Founded about 1385 at the outset of the Ottoman period, it is located on the Sofia-Istanbul road and is connected by rail with the Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul trunk rail line. Its populace includes many refugees from Macedonia and Aegean Thrace. Industries include the production of silk and cotton textiles, tobacco processing, vegetable packaging, and metalworking. A mineral spa with warm curative springs is located a few miles west of the town.