Smolian - In the central Rhodopes and famous for the Smolian lakes.
The town of Smolian is the most important location in the Central Rhodopes, lying in a scenic valley about 1000 m above sea level.
The town boasts a fascinating combination of old and new architecture. The experts say that the best of the typical folk houses, from the time of Bulgarian national revival in the 19th century, are to be found in the Rhodopes. An excellent example is Pangalova's house (built in 1860).
Other notable buildings include the palace of Ali Bey in the Raikovo quarter, whose oldest part was constructed in 1780, and the old houses in the neighborhood of Cheshitev.
The construction of the new town centre was completed in 1983. Buildings, like the Planetarium, Post Office, Municipality, and the Rhodopean Dramatic Theatre make up the core of the town.
The famous Smolian lakes, "the emerald eyes of the Rhodopes", line up in the close proximity of Smolian. Once there were about twenty but only seven of them still remain now. The highest lake, called "The Muddy Lake", is the deepest and the most beautiful. On a small plateau, near the two lakes, there is the chapel of the Holy Spirit which is still in use.