Yambol (Bulgarian: Ямбол) is a city in Southeastern Bulgaria and administrative centre of Yambol Province. It lies on both banks of the Tundzha river in the historical region of Thrace. It is occasionally spelled Jambol.


Top left: Statue of George Sheytanov, Top middle: Tundzha River, Top right: Georgi Rakovski Library in Osvobozhdenie Square, Center: Saglasie Community Hall, Bottom left: Yambol Saint George Orthodox Church, Bottom middle: Ormana Park, Bottom right: Saint Nikolay Church of Yambol


Coat of arms
Location of Yambol
Coordinates: 42°29′N 26°30′E
  MayorValentin Revanski (Direct Democracy)
114 m (374 ft)
 (Census February 2011)[1]
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal Code
Area code(s)046
License plateY

The administrative centres of two municipalities are situated in Yambol. One is of the rural area of Tundzha Municipality and the other is of the homonymous Yambol Municipality that embraces the city itself.

Yambol Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Yambol .


The area surrounding Yambol has been inhabited since the Neolithic. The ancient Thracian royal city of Kabile or Kabyle, dating from the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, was located 10 km from current-day Yambol. It was one of their most important cities and contained one of the kings' palaces. The city was conquered by King Philip II of Macedon in 341 BCE and was re-established as an Ancient Greek polis.[2][3][4] After the collapse of Alexander the Great’s empire in the 3rd century BCE, Kabile was ruled by the Ancient Thracians once again. It was conquered by the Romans in 71 BCE, and later incorporated into the Roman province of Thrace. By 136 CE, Kabile was one of the largest Roman military camps in the region housing at least 600 soldiers. A large military officers' residence has recently been excavated in the archaeological park.[5]

Kabile was expanded by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293 CE; though it was named Diospolis (Διόςπόλις in Greek 'city of Zeus'), the name also reflected the emperor's name. The name later evolved through Diampolis (Διάμπόλις), Hiambouli (Ηιάμβόυλι; in Byzantine chronicles), Dinibouli (دنبلي; Arabic chronicles), Dbilin (Дбилин; in Bulgarian inscriptions), and Diamboli or Jamboli (Диамбоюли) to become Yambol.

Kabile was conquered by the Goths in the 4th century CE and was destroyed by the Avars in 583. As the Slavs and Bulgars arrived in the Balkans in the Middle Ages, the fortress was contested by the First Bulgarian Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire, becoming part of Bulgaria in 705 CE during the reign of Khan Tervel. It has been an important Bulgarian center ever since.

The city expanded during the reign of Khan Omurtag of the First Bulgarian Empire, and a new fortress was built. Its proximity to the border made it an important center for both trade and military purposes. During the reign of Boris I and Tsar Simeon, the first literary centers were established, mostly as part of the church. Books were imported from Preslav and Ohrid literary schools and were studied in the city's churches.

During the reign of Tsar Kaloyan, the city again increased in importance, mainly due to the ongoing conflict between Bulgaria and the crusaders. A major battle between Tsar Kaloyan and the crusaders happened in 1204 CE, about 80 kilometers south-west of the town, where Bulgaria defeated the crusaders in the battle of Adrianopole on 14 April 1205.

During the Ottoman period, the city had a very large muslim population as well. Ottomans conquered it in 1373 CE, but a militarized, semi-independent Bulgarian population remained as voyinuks in the southern part of the city.[6] It was renamed to "Yanbolu". It was kaza center, which was bound successively to Çirmen Sanjak (Its center was Edirne) of Rumelia Eyalet (1364–1420), Silistre Sanjak of Rumelia Eyalet (1420-1593),[7] Silistre Sanjak of Silistre Eyalet (1593–1830), İslimye Sanjak of Edirne Vilayet (1830-1878),[8] and the department of Sliven in Eastern Rumelia before joining the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885.

The predominant religion in Yambol is Orthodox Christianity, with a number of churches having been erected in 1888. These include the Holy Trinity church, the St George church, and the St Nicholas cathedral, with the cathedral of St Nicholas being the largest. Eastern Rite Catholic and Protestant religious buildings also exist in Yambol.

In modern times, Yambol was the center of Yambol Okolia starting in 1878, then Yambol Okrug starting in 1948. In 1984 it became part of the newly formed Burgas Oblast where it remained for 10 years. Since the early 1990s Yambol has been the center of Yambol Oblast.

The city was affected by the turmoils of the early 20th century. Some Bulgarian refugees from East Thrace, attacked by the Turkish Army in their 1913 ethnic cleansing campaign against Thracian Bulgarians, settled in the town. Its Greek population (around 20 families) left during the exchange of populations. It also hosted Bulgarian Macedonian refugees from the failed 1903 Ilinden Uprising. During World War I, Yambol hosted a base for Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) zeppelins used for missions in Romania, Russia, Sudan and Malta. The city was chosen by the Germans due to its favorable location and weather conditions.[9] During the Balkan Wars, Yambol was the headquarters of the First Bulgarian Army, which played a vital role in the defeat of the Turks in Trace.[10]

In the early 21st century, the city became the first one in Bulgaria to use natural gas for domestic purposes.


The population of Yambol during the first decade after the liberation of Bulgaria exceeded 10,000. It was 11,241 in 1887.[11] Since then it started growing decade by decade, mostly because of migrants from rural areas and the surrounding smaller towns. Yambol's population reached its peak in the period of 1985-1992, exceeding 90,000.[12] After this time, the population started decreasing rapidly. This was due to the poor economic situation in the Bulgarian provinces during the 1990s, which led to migration to the capital, Sofia, and abroad. As of February 2011, the city had a population of 74,132 inhabitants. The population of Tundzha Municipality, of which the city is the administrative center, was 98,287.[1]


Local industry has declined since the 1990s with many factories closing down. The city is the centre of its thriving agricultural surroundings.

Year 1887 1910 1934 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2005 2009 2011 2013
Population 11,241 15,975 24,920 30,576 42,333 58,571 75,781 90,019 91,561 82,649 79,314 77,174 74,132 ??
Highest number 99,339 in 1991
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[13][14] citypopulation.de,[12] pop-stat.mashke.org,[15] Bulgarian Academy of Sciences[11]

Ethnic linguistic and religious composition

According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows:[16][17]

  • Bulgarians: 59,899 (87.1%)
  • Gypsies: 4,263 (6.2%)
  • Turks: 3,185 (4.6%)
  • Others: 296 (0.4%)
  • Indefinable: 1,101 (1.6%)
    • Undeclared: 11,718 (8.5%)

Total: 74,132


Climate data for Yambol
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.3
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 106 132 181 203 274 303 339 329 242 181 133 101 2,525
Source: weatheronline.co.uk[18]



Yambol houses the Regional History Museum and has a military museum, the Battle Glory Museum.

Arts and entertainment

The city has a Dramatic Theatre, as well as a puppet theatre. The Dramatic theatre hosts actors from all over the country throughout the year. There is also a cinema which shows the latest films.


The most popular sport in the city is Basketball, with Yambol being a champion in 2002.

Notable natives

Twin towns - sister cities

Yambol is twinned with:[19]


  1. "National Statistical Institute - Main Towns Census 2011". Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  2. An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by The Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation by Mogens Herman Hansen,2005,Index - Founded by Phillip II
  3. Fol, Aleksandar. The Thracian Royal city of Kabyle. - In: Settlement Life in Ancient Thrace. IIIrd International Symposium "Cabyle", 17–21 May 1993 Jambol. Jambol, 53-55.
  4. "The Thracian Royal City of Cabyle" in A. Poulter (ed.), Ancient Bulgaria: Papers presented to the International Symposium on the Ancient History and Archaeology of Bulgaria, University of Nottingham, 1983, pp. 233–238.
  5. Archaeologists Find Roman Military Officers’ Residence (Tribunorium) in Ancient Thracian City Kabile near Bulgaria’s Yambol: http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2017/11/14/archaeologists-find-roman-military-officers-residence-tribunorium-ancient-thracian-city-kabile-near-bulgarias-yambol/
  6. Дългата обсада на Ямболската крепост, стр. 24
  7. "Data" (PDF). firat.edu.tr.
  8. Hacisalihoglu, Mehmet. "Doğu Rumeli'de Kayıp Köyler. İslimye Sancağı'nda 1878'den Günümüze Göçler, İsim Değişiklikleri ve Harabeler [Lost Villages in Eastern Rumelia. Migration, Place Name Changes and Lost Villages in the Province of İslimye/Sliven (Southeast Bulgaria) since 1878]". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-02-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "БЪЛГАРИЯ ПРЕЗ БАЛКАНСКИТЕ ВОЙНИ (1912 – 1913 Г.)". history.kabinata.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  11. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Bulgaria". Citypopulation.de.
  13. "National Statistical Institute - Towns population 1956-1992". Statlib.nsi.bg:8181. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  14. "Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - towns in 2009". Nis.bg.
  15. "pop-stat.mashke.org". Pop-stat.mashke.org. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  16. "Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute". Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  17. "Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute". Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  18. "weatheronline.co.uk: Historical Weather for Yambol, Bulgaria". weatheronline.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved on May 9, 2013.
  19. "Побратимени градове". yambol.bg (in Bulgarian). Yambol. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
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