|• Mayor||Vasil Edrev|
|Elevation||95 m (312 ft)|
|Population (December 2009)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Aytos (Bulgarian: Айтос), sometimes written Aitos and Ajtos, is a town located in eastern Bulgaria some 30 kilometers from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and belonging to the administrative boundaries of Burgas Province. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Aytos Municipality. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 21,067 inhabitants.
Aytos has a rich and long history dating back to antiquity. An old settlement founded by Thracian tribes, archaeological finds near the town testify that its existence dates back to the 5th century BC. Throughout the centuries, the town has been known under different names including Aetos (Αετος), Astos, Eidos, Aquilia, Tchengis, etc.
During the reign of Khan Tervel, the region was incorporated in the Bulgarian Empire for the first time. The fortress Aetos took an important part in the defensive system of the Bulgarian lands against the sudden attacks of the Tatars, the Avars and the Crusaders.
In 1378 the town was conquered by the armies of the Ottoman Empire under Murad I. During the Russian-Turkish War (1828–1829), General Hans Karl von Diebitsch turned the town into a strategic strong point. After the Treaty of Edirne in 1829, many of the town's citizens fled to Bessarabia to join the Bessarabian Bulgarians.
After the Liberation, Aytos became a vivid commercial center, reputedly more important than Burgas. The first girls' agricultural school in the country was established in Aytos during the period.
The geographic location determines the special significance of the municipality as a transport junction, where the road networks between Northern Bulgaria and Southern Bulgaria in this part of the country join. Important highways and the railway from Sofia to Burgas pass through it. Its good transport characteristics are also determined by the fact that it is only 28 km from Burgas, a key Black Sea port.
|Average high °C (°F)||4.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.8
|Rainfall mm (inches)||40
The town hosts the annual folk festival and competition Slaveevi Noshti, which takes place every Spring during the months of May and June. The festival is held at the "Slaveeva Reka" Recreational Park and it celebrates traditional dance and folk music from across Bulgaria.
Established in the early '50s, the famous Aytos Sports Academy “Vihar” has produced many national and international gymnastics champions including three-time international champion Silviya Kostova. The Academy has a popular soccer team as well -- "Vihar Aytos".
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