DUPNITSA: [Dupnica, Stanke Dimitrov, Stanke Dimitrovo, Marek, Dupniza, Dupnica, Dubnica, Doupnitza, Dupnica Stanke Dimitrovo, Marek, Dupniza, Dupnica, Dubnica, Doupnitza, Dupnica] in Kyustendill Province Print

Coat of arms of Dupnitsa Alternate name:Dupnitsa Дупница [Bulg], Stanke Dimitrov [Bulg, 1948-89], Stanke Dimitrovo, Marek, Dupniza, Dupnica, Dubnica, Doupnitza, Dupnica] (previously Дубница))   42°16' N, 23°07' E, in W Bulgaria, 31 miles SSW of Sofiya. The town in SW Bulgaria at the foot of the highest mountain in the Balkan Peninsula, the Rila Mountain is the second largest city in Kyustendil Province and in the first half of the 20th century was bigger than the current administrative center, Kyustendil. A Jewish community existed in Dupnitza since the 16th century. A synagogue was present as early as 1578. During WW II, no deportation of Bulgarian Jews of the former Bulgarian territories occurred.However, over 4,000 Jews from portions of Greece and Yugoslavia annexed by Bulgaria were arrested on 4 March 1943 and deported to an internment camp in Dupnitza. After ten days in the Dupnitza camp, on 18-19 March, they were transferred by train to Lom on the Danube. [Sept 2014]

Sephardi Jews came from Thessaloniki (Salonika) in 1536.1910 Jewish popuation: 1,150 out of 8,000. Until 1907 most of the community lived around the town's Jewish spa. Dupnitsa has had a synagogue since the late sixteenth century but the current building dates from 1859. Its main gate faces the interior courtyard. The exterior has decorative stonework and a beautiful dome with six windows in rows.


Address: 143, St. Ivan Rilski Str.  The cemetery was established sometime in the 16th century with the last known Jewish burial in 1979. The granite and sandstone gravestones are inscribed in Bulgarian and Hebrew. The 13.5 hectares cemetery on a hillside has no fence or gate. The reduced cemetery boundaries result from a surrounding housing development and a paved path that now cuts through the center of the site (maybe over some of the graves). The moderately overgrown site has water drainage problems. Vandalized with several gravestones stolen or toppled over the years, the local Jewish community owns the cemetery, but lacks funds to care for it.

Images at US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage abroad. [Sept 2014]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 18:11