The Maritsa or Evros (Greek: Εβρος, Romanized as Hebrus, Turkish: Meriç) is, with a length of 480 km, the longest river that runs solely in the interior of the Balkans. It has its origin in the Rila Mountains in Western Bulgaria, flowing southeast between the Balkan and Rhodope Mountains, past Plovdiv, to Edirne, Turkey. A small section of the northern branch of the river runs entirely in Turkey; it was handed to Turkey in order to prevent the town of Edirne from facing a Greek bank. The rest of the river to the sea flows along the border, near Kastanies, from where it turns south to enter the Aegean Sea near Enez, where it forms a delta. The Tundzha is its chief tributary; the Arda is another one. The lower course of the Maritsa/Evros forms part of the Bulgarian-Greek border and most of the Greek-Turkish border. The upper Maritsa valley is a principal east-west route in Bulgaria. The unnavigable river is used for power production and irrigation.
The places that the river flows through include Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Dimitrovgrad and Svilengrad in Bulgaria, Edirne in Turkey and Kastanies, Pythio, Didymoteicho and Lavara in Greece. Reservoirs on the Maritsa include the Kiprinos Dam.
There are a number of bridges over the river, including the one at Svilengrad, the one west of Edirne in Turkey and GR-2 with the D110/E90 further south and as its border crossings.
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