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Smolyan is a town and ski resort in the very south of Bulgaria not far from the border withGreece. It is the administrative and industrial centre of the homonymous Smolyan Province. The town is situated in the valley of the Cherna ("Black") and the Byala ("White") Rivers in the central Rhodopes at the foot of the mountains highest part south of the popular ski resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare According to archaeological evidence, the area around Smolyan was first settled in the 2nd-1st millennium BC. In the Middle Ages it acquired its name from the Slavic tribe, the Smolyani, who settled in the region in the 7th century. During the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the Part of the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. For a while during the 14th-century it came under the control of the Bulgarian feudal lord Momchil, alongside the whole Rhodope mountains, before eventually being subjugated by the Ottoman Empire. Smolyan remained under Ottoman rule for five centuries, a township of the Ottoman Sanjak of Gumulcine in the Adrianople Vilayet between 1867 and 1912. It was known in Ottoman Turkish as Pasmakl or Ahicelebi. The area was liberated by the 21st Sredna Gora Regiment led by Vladimir Serafimov in 1912, during the First Balkan War. The modern town of Smolyan was formed by the merger of three existing villages Ustovo, Raykovo and Ezerovo in 1960.

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