he town of Pernik (86 133 inhabitants, 710 metres above sea level) is the largest town in Southwestern Bulgaria after Sofia. It is situated in the high Pernik Plain between Vitosha, Lyulin and Golo Burdo Mountains, along the Strouma River. The town is 30 km to the southwest of Sofia, 59 km to the northeast of Kyustendil and 70 km to the north of Blagoevgrad. The largest coal mining centre in Bulgaria. Regional administrative centre.