Architectural monuments in Bulgaria 2
Erma river gorge
The Erma River Gorge is located 3 kilometers from the city of Tran along the Erma River. It is about 100 meters long and 5 meters wide at its narrowest point. On both sides of the gorge, sheer cliffs of the peaks of Zhilav kamak (Elastic stone) to the south and Tsyrkvishcheto (Church) to the north are erected. These domed rock masses are erected to a height of about 150-200 meters – widely popular among climbers. Otduta has more than 10 alpine climbing routes of different difficulty levels. The Erma River originates from Serbia, through Bulgaria. The river flows through this well-known gorge in the vicinity of the city of Tran. From a specially built bridge, you can admire the beauty of this natural phenomenon. From the southern edge, the gorge, the Tryn eco-road begins, 13 kilometers long, it takes 8 hours to cross it. This eco-road originates from the resort town of Bankya, near which is located Yablanishkoto zhdrelo (Yablanitskoe gorge). It is a series of flat areas, steep ascents and descents, bridges and stairs.
Peak Botev is the highest point of Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains) – its height is 2376 meters above sea level. The peak is located on the territory of the National Park “Central Balkan” (Central Balkans), is one of the largest European national parks in Bulgaria. From the Paradise rocks in this part of the mountain descends the highest of all 300 waterfalls in Bulgaria, as well as on the Balkan Peninsula – the Paradise Spryskalo waterfall (Paradise sprinkler) with a height of 124.5 meters. He collects water from the eternal snowdrift, located almost at the very peak of Botev.
On the territory of the peak there is a meteorological station and a television tower, which is responsible for the radio and television signals of half of Bulgaria. Until 1950, Mount Botev was called Yumrukchal.
Srebarna nature reserve
The reserve “Srebarna” (Silver) is located near the village of Srebarna, 18 km west of the town of Silistra and 2 km from the Danube River. The boundaries of the reserve include Lake Srebarna and its surroundings.
The reserve is located on the main migration route for migratory birds between Europe and Africa. The most interesting species of birds are Kadroglavia pelican (Curly pelican), Byalata chapla (White Heron), Nocturnal chapla (Common night heron or night heron), Chervenata chapla (Red heron), Brilliant ibis (Loaf loaf), Beliya shovel (Spoonbill or common spoonbill ). This area was declared a nature reserve in 1948; 600 hectares of this territory are protected, and 540 hectares are a buffer zone. The length of the lake varies between 1 and 3 m.
On the territory of the reserve there is a museum with dissected “inhabitants” of the area. An eco-road has been created near the reserve, gazebos and observation platforms have been built. In 1977 “Srebarna” was included in the UNESCO list of biosphere reserves, and in 1983 the reserve was included in the list of World Cultural Heritage and Natural Landmarks (UNESCO).
Natural Park “Blue Stones”
The park is located in the Sliven Mountains, which are part of the Stara Planina chain. It covers an area of about 7095 hectares. The southern border of the park is the city of Sliven. On the other sides, the park is fenced with mountain ranges. The park has a highly dissected relief. The lowest point of the park is located at an altitude of 300 meters above sea level, and the highest is Bolgarka Peak.
The northern slopes of the park are covered with extensive beech forests, in contrast to the southern part, where the vegetation, if any, is sparse and consists mainly of several types of trees – winter oak, beech, etc.
The blue stones are a rock mass formed mainly by quartz rocks with various impurities and various rock formations – peaks, valleys, abysses, etc.
The relief and geographical position create good prerequisites for the presence of rich flora and fauna. 14 species of reptiles and 9 species of amphibians have been registered in the park. Birds are one of the most important treasures of the natural park. It has 145 bird species recorded, two of which are listed as extinct. These are Rozoviyat pelican (Pink pelican) and Bradatiyat leshoyad (Bearded man or Yangnyatnik).
Musala Peak, with a height of 2925 meters, ranks first among the peaks not only in Bulgaria, but also on the Balkan Peninsula. Above the peak of Musala, is the peak of Olympus at 8 meters in neighboring Greece. The peak is located in the eastern parts of the Rila Mountains, it also ranks first among the mountains on the Balkan Peninsula and sixth in Europe in terms of height after the Caucasus, the Alps, the Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees, and Etna. The summit was named after “Mus Allah” or “road to Allah” during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The original name of the summit – Tangra (ancient Bulgarian god).
The diversity of flora is remarkable, including some interesting species of trees, and fauna – the place is also suitable for bird watching. The easiest way to climb is a straight road from the winter resort of Borovets 10 kilometers to the north. There is a cabin lift that takes you almost to the very peak of Musala, reaches a height of 2,250 meters of the Yastrebets area. There is a meteorological station on the ridge itself.
Uhlovitsa Cave is located in the Rhodope Mountains, 3 kilometers northeast of the village of Mogilitsa. Uhlovica is one of the most ancient caves in the region; in it you can see many beautiful dendritic formations similar to sea corals. At the end of the cave there are seven exceptionally beautiful lakes, and the stone jets of an amazing summer waterfall descend to the large lake.
The cave is located at an altitude of 1040 meters above sea level, and the temperature in it in winter is 10-11 degrees Celsius. The length of the cave halls is 460 meters, of which 330 are well-appointed for visiting. The cave was discovered in 1967 by Dimitar and Georgi Raichev.
The Trigrad Gorge is located 2 kilometers north of the village of Trigrad. The gorge is a sheer marble cliff that encloses the course of the Trigradska River. The river passes through the cave “Dyavolskoto Gyrlo” (Devil’s Throat) and after 530 meters leaves the cave in the form of a large karst spring. Then it connects with the Buynovskaya river.
The western wall of the gorge is erected to a height of 180 meters, and the eastern one – to a height of between 300 – 350 meters. At the beginning of the gorge, the distance between the two walls is 300 meters, but in the northern parts it becomes about 100 meters. The length of the gorge is 7 kilometers, and the real part is 2-3 km.
Cave Dyavolsko Gyrlo
Cave Dyavolsko Gyrlo (Devil’s Throat) is located in the southernmost parts of the Central Rhodope Mountains and is one of the phenomena of the Trigrad Gorge. An excavated tunnel (150m) leads to an impressive hall, from which a spiral staircase leads to the natural entrance of the cave. In the cave you can see many underground waterfalls, including the second largest waterfall in the world (42m). The legend tells that it is here that Orpheus descends into the underworld of Hades.
The cave is known for its inhabitants – the largest colony of common long-winged, wintering in the Balkan region.
Yagodina Cave is located 3 kilometers southwest of the village of Yagodina. The entrance was created artificially. This is one of the longest and most interesting caves in Bulgaria and the most beautiful in the Rhodope Mountains.
The Yagodinskaya cave consists of 5 levels with a total length of 10 kilometers. It was turned into a real tourist attraction – with a 1100-meter road built, electrification and an artificial tunnel 30 meters below the natural entrance of the cave. In the halls you can see amazing stalactites and stalagmites, as well as sintra lakes, gelectites, leopard skin (differently colored rock layers), as well as the traditional “wall of sins” to which coins are glued.
Traces / signs of life from the Eneolithic (4000 BC), as well as the Bronze Age, were found in the cave.
Rose Valley (Rose Valley)
Pink Valley – the name, as a geographical definition, means sections of fields located between the mountains of Stara Planina and Sredna Gora. The oil producing rose was brought from India through Persia, Syria and Turkey, and found in Bulgaria all favorable conditions for flowering – suitable temperature, high humidity and sandy mountainous brown soils. From the 17th century until now, Bulgaria has established itself as one of the main producers of rose oil. Bulgaria has been awarded gold medals for the quality of its rose oil at exhibitions in Paris, London, Philafelphia, Antwerp, Milan, etc.
The extraction of Bulgarian rose oil is accompanied by age-old cultural traditions. Roses are harvested by hand. It starts early in the morning and ends no later than noon. The flower must be fresh and not fully bloomed. This condition is necessary in order to maximize the preservation of the aroma and moisture of the flower, which are later extracted during the distillation process.
To produce 1 kg of rose oil, 3000-3500 kg of rosebuds are needed. Between 7,000 and 15,000 rose flowers are needed to produce one bottle of rose oil. In the Rose Valley, every year, in early June, the rose festival is celebrated – lush and beautiful, it is celebrated differently in each city of the valley.
In the city of Kazanlak, which is considered the capital of the Rose Valley, a historical and ethnographic complex “Kulata” (Tower), where tourists can get acquainted with the primitive production of rose oil and try products from roses.