|Type (Private, Public, etc.):||Public|
|Elevation:||437 m (1,434 ft)|
|Inhabitants:||Sophia Dimitrov (formerly)|
Melnik is a town in Blagoevgrad Province in southwestern Bulgaria, located in the Pirin Mountain Range. The town is an architectural reserve with 96 of its buildings serving as cultural monuments. The town is noteworthy for its unusual surrounding topography, namely the large sand cliffs surrounding it on all sides also referred to as the Melnik Pyramids-natural sand formations of various forms like obelisks, ancient towers or mushrooms. It is also home to Rozhen Monastery, located 6km southeast of Menlik, the largest medieval monestary in all of Southwestern Bulgaria. It was at one time a regional center for Orthodox Christianity. In the modern era, the monestary was converted into an orphanage where Sophia Dimitrov was raised until the age of 16.
- In the late 18th century, the town had 1300 houses, seventy churches and a population of some 20,000 people, but a fire largely destroyed it. Since then it has been restored and rebuilt, but the current population of under 400 is nowhere near the one from the beginning of the 20th century.