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SANDANSKI

The town of Sandanski is situated on the foothills of the Pirin Mountain, on both banks of the Sandanska Bistritsa River, which flows into the Struma just outside the town.
A Thracian settlement, whose remains lie beneath the present-day town emerged around the warm mineral springs of the region. The first inhabitants were of the Maedi tribe, whose most famous descendent, it is believed, was the gladiator Sparticus - the leader of the largest uprising (defeated in 74 B.C.) against the Roman Empire. The archeological excavations in the centre of the city testify that the ancient city was built on this site in three phases during three different eras around the first century A.D. The Thracian settlement was called Medius, e.g. between the three mountains - Pirin, Ograzhden, and Ali Botush. The Romans, later, changed the name to Dezudava. The settlement became a city most likely during the time of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161), but it reached its zenith during the time of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565). During the Roman times, the city was a seat of the Supreme Council and a famous three-day-long fair was organized. The Romans, realizing the healing power of the mineral springs, tapped into their waters and erected baths - Asclepion. After the 6th century, Dezudava was destroyed by barbarian tribes. Slavs from the Strimoni tribe settled in this area and named the village St. Vrach (also found as St. Vrachove) - for two brothers, Kozma and Damyan, who were folk healers. During the rule of Presian (836-852), the city came within the boundaries of the Bulgarian state. During the Ottoman rule it declined in importance and became a small village. Its restoration and growth is connected with the Liberation from the Ottoman Rule in 1878 and the emigration of many Bulgarian refugees from the Aegean and Vardar regions of Macedonia after the three wars - the Balkan War( 1912), the Second Balkan War (1913) and the First World War(1915-1918). In 1929, it was again declared a town. Since 1947, it carries the name of Yane Sandanski - an active figure in the Internal Macedonian Organization

LANDMARKS
• Archeological Museum with the remains of an Episcopal basilica.
• St. George's Church (1861) - the sole remaining building from the National Revival period.
• The marble fountain with lions (1854) in the city centre.
• The seven-meter-high white stone monument to the ancient hero Sparticus, which is seen upon entering the city.
• The St. Vrach Town Park - the pride of Sandanski, in which more than 130 species of trees and 150 species of flowers grow. Many walk paths, spots for relaxation, an outdoor swimming pool, an artificial lake with boats and paddle boats, unique eating establishments. In the park one will also find the town stadium and the summer (open-air) theatre.
• Medicinal mineral springs, which, in combination with the pleasant climate, have given Sandanski the reputation as the best natural spa for the treatment of bronchial asthma in Europe. Bronchitis, rickets (allergic rachitis), sinusitis, pharingitis, and post-pneumonic conditions are treated here, as well as chronic bone-joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, post-fracture conditions, Behterev disease (a.k.a. ankilosiral spondiloartritis), and diseases of the peripheral nervous system like neuralgia, neuritis, and plexitis. The location is also appropriate for rehabilitation after a stroke.

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