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The Struma

The Struma or Strymónas is a river in Bulgaria and Greece. Its ancient name was Strymon. Its catchment area is 10 800 km². It takes its source from the Vitosha Mountain in Bulgaria, runs first westward, then southward, enters Greek territory at the Kula village and flows into the Aegean Sea, near Kavala in the Serres prefecture. The river's length is 415 km (of which 290 km in Bulgaria, making it the country's fifth longest).

The river valley is a coal-producing area of Bulgaria. The Greek portion is a valley which is dominant in agriculture. The tributaries include the Rila River, the Dragovishtitsa, the Blagoevgradska Bistritsa, the Konska River and the Sandanska Bistritsa.

The Ancient Greek city of Amphipolis was founded at the river's entrance to the Aegean, and the Battle of Kleidion was fought by the river in 1014.

In 1913, the Greek Army was trapped in the Kresna Gorge of the Struma during the Second Balkan War. The Bulgarians were defeated in the war, however, and the Treaty of Bucharest resulted in significant territorial losses for Bulgaria.

The ship Struma, which carried Jewish refugees out of Romania in World War II and subsequently sunk in the Black Sea, causing nearly 800 deaths, is named after the river.

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