The city of Pazardjik was founded in 1485. It’s located in the south of Bulgaria in the central part of the Tracia Lowland to the north of the Rhodopi Mountains. It’s situated more than 200 meters above the sea level between two large cities – Sofia and Plovdiv. The city is divided into two parts by the river Maritza.
Pazardzhik is the administrative center of the Pazardzhik region, which includes the Community of the same name with a population of over 127 thousand people. The Community has one big city Pazardzhik and 31 rural settlements. The population of the city is 85 thousand people.
The city's economy is developing dynamically. There is a plant for the production of spare parts for Audi cars of the German company “Kostal”. Factory floors were built in the Industrial Zone on an area of 10,000 sq. m. Investment costs amounted to about 30 million Euros. In the structure of the city's production, a significant share is occupied by small industrial enterprises specializing mainly in the processing of agricultural products and the production of garments for export.
The main areas of agriculture in the Pazardzhik Community include the cultivation of vegetables, sunflowers and tobacco, as well as the cultivation of orchards and grapes for wine production.
Close location to the ancient Rhodopi and Sredna mountains, mild climate and natural resources affluence present splendid opportunities for having rest and promote tourist business development.
A lot of attention is paid to the education and social sphere development. In the city of Pazardjik an educational system includes university, secondary schools, specialized technical and language schools which provide competitiveness of school-leavers in local business community.
More than 330 architectural and historical monuments are being carefully preserved on the territory of the region. They are: an art gallery “Stanislav Dospevsky”. It has a rich collection of painting, graphic arts and sculpture. The paintings of Bulgarian artists fr om the end of the XIX century up to nowadays are presented in the gallery;
a museum-house by Konstantin Velichkov wh ere a famous writer, painter and interpreter lived; he was an active member of the struggle for national liberation movement; a church “Assumption of Saint Mother of God”, a monument of culture of national importance which was built in 1836-1837 years.
The mayor of the Pazardzhik Community is Todor Popov, who was re-elected for a fourth term in 2019.
Additional information about the city of Pazardjik can be found on the website: www.pazardjik.bg.
Cooperation between the cities of Stavropol and Pazardzhik has been going on for over fifty years. The Agreement between Stavropol city administration (Russian Federation) and Pazardzhik Community (Republic of Bulgaria) on establishment sister cities relations was signed in 1969.
70-80th years of the XX century were marked with active partners relations. Annual exchange of official delegations was carried out, business contacts between industrial enterprises were fruitful. New industrial and housing buildings, a shop “Pazardjik”, a restaurant “Trakia” were built in Stavropol with participation of Bulgarian builders. Stavropol architects took part in an open competition for the best administrative building and a residential area “Stavropol” in Pazardjik.
“Friendship trains” were organized, so the residents of Stavropol and Pazardjik got the opportunity to learn about the sister cities traditions and customs. A lot of delegations of teachers, doctors, students, pupils, artistic groups visited each other.
Cultural relations of the sister cities were active. An exchange of Stavropol and Pazardzhik creative teams, performing with bright programs at numerous venues was organized. Sister cities newspapers, radio and TV informed about the most important and interesting events of cities social and cultural life.
Changes in the beginning of the 90-th years in Russia influenced further development of friendly relations between our cities which were characterized by a certain decline. Since 1996, the multifaceted cooperation between Stavropol and Pazardzhik has been restored. Sister cities relations developed in different fields: exchange of experience in local self-government issues, city management, education and culture.
Joint participation in the implementation of large-scale Russian-Bulgarian humanitarian actions was organized. The leadership of the sister cities several times participated in international forums – the Meetings of the Sister Cities of Bulgaria and Russia, organized by the Twin Cities International Association and the National Association of Communities of the Republic of Bulgaria. Within the framework of the Meetings, the issues of developing partnership between local governments of two countries were discussed, an exchange of experience on the problems of developing inter-municipal ties between cities of Russia and Bulgaria took place.
A program of events dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the victory in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke was implemented by the International and interregional relations department in cooperation with sectoral (functional) bodies of Stavropol city administration. A solemn expanded meeting of the members of Stavropol branch of the All-Russian public organization "Union of Friends of Bulgaria" with the participation of representatives of Stavropol city administration, veterans of the Great Patriotic War and the citizens was held. “Memory lessons”, thematic class hours and conversations, an essays contest dedicated to this significant date were organized in educational institutions and secondary specialized educational institutions of the city. Exhibitions of information material about the events of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 were organized in the libraries of the city.
During numerous mutual visits, the official delegations got acquainted with an innovative solutions aimed at sustainable development of cities and improving citizens life quality, exchanged experience in developing the sister cities economy, urban improvement as well as providing social support to the population.
During a visit to the facilities under construction, the main principles of design and planning of urban development facilities, the use of the latest technologies in construction and improvement were discussed.
Members of the sister city of Pazardzhik official delegation participated in the celebrations of the city of Stavropol dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
Cooperation in the field of culture was actively developing. Representatives of the sister cities several times participated in the celebrations, dedicated to the
Day of Stavropol city and the Day of Pazardzhik city. The Bulgarian delegation also attended the opening ceremony of the House of Friendship of the city of Stavropol, got acquainted with the expositions representing the national-cultural autonomies and diasporas of Stavropol.
It has become traditional to hold the Days of Culture of Stavropol and Pazardzhik, to celebrate the Day of the city with the participation of creative teams from the sister cities. The exemplary children's dance ensemble "Raduga" of the municipal children's choreographic school several times participated in the Days of Stavropol Culture in the city of Pazardzhik. The state ensemble of folk songs and dances "Pazardzhik" presented an interesting concert program within the framework of the Days of Pazardzhik culture, organized during the celebration of the Day of Stavropol city. Visiting exhibitions of works of applied art and fine arts, as well as photo exhibitions became popular among the residents of Stavropol.
Within the framework of the Days of Slavic Literature and Culture, which became traditional in the city of Stavropol, press tournaments and quizzes, theatrical performances and literary and musical programs were organized in memory of the creators of the Slavic alphabet. A literary event "Days of Slavic Literature and Culture in the Stavropol Territory" was held. Meetings with representatives of the Writers' Union of Russia, translators of poems by Bulgarian author were held in the city's libraries. Concerts of Cossack song and dance ensembles, as well as children's folklore groups took place in cultural institutions, parks.
Citizens had an opportunity to learn about the present, history, and perspectives of friendly relations development at the exhibition “Stavropol-Pazardjik – sister cities”, opened in the Stavropol State museum preserve named after G. Prozritelev and G. Prave with the assistance of the International and interregional relations department.
A Plan of events devoted to the Year of Bulgaria in Russia was implemented in order to raise awareness of residents about the history of Russian-Bulgarian relations development as well as Bulgarian customs and traditions. An international theoretical and practical conference “Russian-Bulgarian Friendship and Cooperation: Traditions, Modernity, Perspectives” was held. A collection of scientific articles was published.
Within the Plan implementation research and practice conferences “Ethnic Culture of the Slavs and Contemporary Life” and “Yermolov’s Readings” as well as thematic class hours and talks devoted to the history of cooperation between Russia and Bulgaria were held at the educational institutions of the city. “130-anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Russia and Bulgaria” presentation-lessons competition was held. Days of Bulgarian book were held at school libraries. Exhibitions of contemporary Bulgarian writers were opened. “Our countrymen in the Bulgarian side” multimedia show was presented.
Photo and children’s picture show at the Children’s Art School were devoted to the joint action of two countries. Bulgarian pupils from the sister city of Pazardjik sent their drawings for “In the friendship network” children’s picture exhibition. A concert-lecture devoted to Bulgarian folk and contemporary music was performed at the children’s music school.
Events, dedicated to the Year of Bulgaria in Russia were important for development of friendly relations between Stavropol and Pazardjik, promoted inter-municipal cooperation. The organized cultural event was highly appreciated by Twin-Cities International Association.
One of the priority areas of interaction between the sister cities of Stavropol and Pazardzhik is a cooperation in the field of education, the formation of public diplomacy in the youth environment. The partnerships between Stavropol gymnasium № 25 and secondary school named after Georgy Bregov of the city of Pazardzhik have been developing for over 15 years.
In the course of exchanges of groups of students and teachers, meetings were held with the sister cities leaders. The prospects of interaction between Stavropol and Pazardzhik educational organizations were discussed. The schoolchildren got acquainted with the organization of the system of secondary and additional education as well as cultural and historical heritage of Russia and Bulgaria, attended open lessons in various subjects. The issues of educational work organization, as well as interaction between teachers on the implementation of innovations in the educational process were discussed. Round tables and master classes on the application new educational technologies, improving the teaching methodology of certain subjects, as well as conducting the final certification of students were organized.
An online meetings of teachers from Stavropol gymnasium No. 25 and the secondary general education school "G. Bregov" of the city of Pazardzhik as well as master classes for students were organized with the assistance of the international and interregional relations department.
For the purpose of mutual enrichment of cultures, familiarization of the residents of the sister city with the history and traditions of the city of Stavropol, the Days of Stavropol were held in Pazardzhik in 2017. Students of a gymnasium № 25 presented the musical and creative program "From Stavropol with Love". They gave 5 concerts at various city platforms. Songs about Russia and a friendship were heard, students performed popular compositions on musical instruments and shown choreographic compositions. The photo presentation about Stavropol city, as well as the film were welcomed with great interest by residents and guests of the sister city of Pazardzhik.
Stavropol students and teachers took part in the celebrations dedicated to the 155th anniversary of the secondary school named after Georgy Bregov of the city of Pazardzhik. Stavropol students presented an interesting concert program.
Joint Friendship concerts and creative festivals are systematically organized for sister cities schoolchildren. With big enthusiasm the group of pupils and teachers of school "Georgy Bregov" took part in the Festival of sister cities "Our friendship is boundless", which was held in Stavropol for the first time, and submitted the colorful creative program in national suits. On the thematic venue devoted to Pazardzhik, the Bulgarian school students played national instrument, danced and sang songs, recited poems of the Bulgarian poets on Russia. Together with the Stavropol peers they participated in master classes in national creativity and the interactive program. They also got acquainted with other thematic platforms devoted to the sister cities of Stavropol, cultural traditions of different people of the world, attended exhibitions of national suits and household items, products of national trade. The best art numbers of sister city pupils were performed at the festival gala concert.
A significant event of 2019 year was the participation in the "round table" "Role of children's diplomacy in the formation of a harmoniously developed and socially responsible person". The event was attended by the head of international and interregional relations department of Stavropol city administration, the head of the education committee of Stavropol city administration, teachers of the sister city of Pazardzhik, as well as representatives of the pedagogical community of Stavropol. The purpose of the meeting was the formation of intercultural communication in the establishment of friendly relations between Russian and Bulgarian students. Two platforms worked within the framework of the round table. During the first platform the issues of children's diplomacy development, education of language personality were discussed, as well as a creative presentation of a joint intercultural project prepared by Russian and Bulgarian schoolchildren was shown. During the second communicative and educational platform, students of the sister city of Pazardzhik gave interviews to young journalists from the children's public association "TV Company 45-parallel", a master class on souvenirs making was held.
Participation in international youth exchange promotes the formation of skills of intercultural dialogue, tolerance, the ability to adapt in society. Great importance is attached to the patriotic education of the younger generation. The laying of flowers at the "Fire of Eternal Glory" memorial, a visit to the museum and exhibition complex "My Country. My history" were organized. The most important event was a visit to the memorial to Russian soldiers on the Shipka Pass, which allowed to get acquainted with the significant events of Russia and Bulgaria history, to feel pride in native country. Students of Stavropol and Pazardzhik performed the song "Alyosha".
Interaction with representatives of the municipality of the city of Pazardzhik on the participation in the international action "Sister cities congratulate on the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory" was carried out. As a result of the negotiations, several banners with congratulations in Russian and Bulgarian were posted on the territories of Stavropol and Pazardzhik, which received numerous positive reviews from the residents. The participation in the action "Immortal Regiment", as well as the laying of flowers at the monument to Russian and Soviet soldiers, who died in Bulgaria, were organized in Pazardzhik. The events were attended by representatives of the Municipality of Pazardzhik Community, residents of the city.