Town of Lom
Lom Municipality is situated in northwestern Bulgaria and is the second biggest municipality in Montana District in terms of both territory and population. It is crossed by international road A-79 - Euro-corridor No. 4, which connects Western Europe and the White Sea. Of strategic importance is second-class road II-81 (Sofia - Montana - Lom), which is the direct link to Lom port. There are representation offices of the Bulgarian River Navigation Agency, INFLOT, Territorial Customs Administration and National Border Police Service in the town. Lom is the second biggest river port in Bulgaria with the largest natural firth. It is an integral part of the trans-European network for combined transport - Rhein- Mein - the Danube, a crossing point of the European corridors No. 4 and No. 7. The port has 13 ship spaces for loading and unloading of bulk and packed cargoes, repair, refueling and coasting of passenger ships. Besides the loading and unloading operations the port also has 17 cranes for domestic trade services, technical services and forwarding activities, and conducts also investment, engineering and research and development activities. A project titled 2001 - 2020 Strategic Plan for Development of Lom Port is being implemented; the project foresees reconstruction, modernization of the port complex and introduction of new port facilities and technologies. Of strategic importance is also the railway line Lom - Sofia, which is the shortest railway connection from the Danube to Sofia.
Economy and business
The main sectors of the economy are the foodstuffs industry, tailoring industry, trade and services. Some more significant economic actors in the municipal economy are: Lomsko Pivo AD - brewery; Bakhus OOD - wine production; Miti OOD - meat production and processing; Almina AD - ladies' readymade clothes for the European Union member-states. Lom Port Complex EAD. Foreign investors conduct activities in the Municipality, too: SILPA LTD - newly opened production plant for air-conditioners; a Bulgarian-Italian company; Manifactura Forte - Italian company with 80 % foreign capital dealing with tailoring; Practical EOOD - tailoring; a Greek company with 100 % foreign capital. The relevant infrastructure is in place, there is available workforce, a free trade zone, customs' and border police offices, state veterinary and hygiene control office, well developed trading infrastructure, available warehousing facilities, a region with agricultural profile and considerable land fund. The economic future of the region is connected also to the development of farming and stockbreeding. The arable land in the Municipality is 220,000,000 sq. m, of which 12,000,000 sq. m is occupied by perennial crops. The natural and climatic conditions are conducive to the growing of grains, vegetables and vineyards, as well as apricots. Very good prerequisites have been established for encouraging potential investors. Lom Municipality has been granted 100 % exemption of corporate tax in case of reinvestment or establishing of new production. The unemployment rate in the Municipality is about 28 %, while the average for Bulgaria is 12 %.
Antiquity and Middle Ages
Lom was founded by the Thracians under the name of Artanes in Antiquity. After them the Romans called the fortress and the town Almus, from where the name of the today's city and of the Lom River comes. There are no reports proving that there existed a big settlement in the Middle Ages. It was not until Ottoman rule that it enlarged but for a long time it was under the shadow of the dominant towns of Vidin, Nikopol and Silistra. It is assumed that the Ottoman village was founded in 1695 by Kara Mustafa and Murad Bey, who were defeated at Vienna in 1683 and who came here sailing rafts along the Danube.
Ottoman rule and Bulgarian National Revival
The name Lom Palanka was mentioned for a first time in 1704. The settlement then called "palanka" was something between a village and a town in size and importance. In 1798 Lom suffered from brigand raids. With the development of shipping along the Danube after 1830, the importance of the town grew. The road to Sofia contributed to its progress and turned it into a main export port to Vienna (Austria). By 1869 there were 120 shops, 148 trade offices, 175 food shops, 34 coffee bars, 6 hotels and 2 mills. The town was centred around the old Kale (fortress), which was entered through three kapii (gates) Vidinska, Belogradchishka, Sofiyska. The tradesmen from Lom offered goods at the biggest fairs in the region and beyond. In 1880 there were 7,500 inhabitants in the town.
Lom is proud of its traditions from the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. In 1856 the first community centre in Bulgaria was founded in the town, the first women's society in the country was elso established in 1858 and one of the first theatre performances took place in the town. Krastyu Pishurka, a noted educator, also worked in Lom.
Until the Second world war it was a major market town. After the 1944 the industry developpes - sugar factorty, can factory, grain industry. It becomes a port for the southwestern part of Bulgaria.
Monuments of culture
Among the numerous monuments of culture are 50 houses in the central part of the city in "secession" style built in the period 1900-1935 after designs of Viennese and Belgian architects and with unique mosaics imported from Austria and Italy. The Virgin Mary's Assu orthodox church of 1897 has been declared a monument of culture. In the halls of the Historical Museum built in 1910 there is an exhibition of about 35,000 exhibits; one of the exhibits is the unique find in the necropolis of the late Bronze Age near Orsoya village. Lom has an ages-long history. The Thracians who lived here in the times of the historian Herodotus called the settlement Artanes. About 29 AD the Romans made a fortification here and named it Almus. As far as the times of the First Bulgarian Kingdom are concerned there is data about this settlement from the times of Khan Tervel - 717 AD. The town was known under the name Polomie within the Vidin administrative unit under the Ottoman Empire.