The geographical location of the region of Belasitsa determines its long, rich and often tragic history. On one hand, the valley of the Strumeshnitsa River, sheltered between two mountains has always offered a stable means of livelihood as the hidden mountain villages offered shelter and protection. On the other hand, since antiquity, this has been one of the busiest transport and trade routes on the Balkans. Its importance became the reason for different wars and conflicts.
Because of its favourable climate and landscape, as well as the abundance of water the region of Belasitsa has been inhabited for thousands of years. Its history is closely-related to the Struma River, which was the main communication channel between the Aegean Sea and Europe. The first evidence of agriculture and stock-breeding along the Struma River is dated from in 7000 B.C. This is the place where the first metallurgy appeared.
Тhe earliest evidences of local population found so far are the pre-historic villages near Topolnitsa and Kolarovo. The village near Topolnitsa dates back to the late Neolithic period (7000 B.C.) which makes it one of the earliest in Southwest bulgaria. As for the village near Kolarovo, it dates back to the late Chalcolithic period and the early Bronze period. A remarkable culture flourished in the ancient times. This is the place where one of the big and important Roman cities was located. This was the ancient city of Herculaneum Sintica near the village of Rupite which had a great influence on life in the region for almost nine centuries.
The Middle Ages are a period of flourishing but also a period of tragic turning points. One of the most devastating events, which still echoes through the centuries is the battle of Belasitsa in 1014 when the Byzantine Emperor Basil II defeated the army of Tsar Samuil near the village of Klyuch and ordered all the 14000 captured soldiers to be blinded.
The period of the Revival (XVII – XIX century) is not less shaking for the region of Belasitsa. The development of trade, agriculture and crafts is followed by constant century long battles for liberation of the region free from the Ottoman Empire. This finally happens in 1912. The years of Socialism (1945 - 1989) also left a mark on this place. The presence of two state borders - with Greece and Yugoslavia ( present-day FYR Macedonia) led to isolation especially the mountain villages, because of the restrictions imposed in the border zones. Only in recent years Belasitsa has started to “reveal” its secrets to all the mountain and nature lovers. One thing can be said for sure - the future of this region will not be less exciting than its past.