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Belogradchik

 

     Belogradchik is picturesquely spread over the western part of the Balkan Range, at 545 m above the sea level. Well laid out, and welcoming, Belogradchik is one of the most attractive national tourism sites of Bulgaria. The unique nature and rich history make it one of the most interesting and desirable tourist attractions.
     The region is studded with lots of underground and ground karst forms - caves, vertical slopes etc. More than 100 caves have been discovered and completely or partially explored in the Belogradchik region so far. Most of them are rich in beautiful secondary formations - stalactites, stalagmites, stalagtons, cave pearls, "cave milk". The precipices are a challenge for the devoted admirers. The water caves are of special interest. Great parts of them have not been properly studied.
     The so called "Pearl in the Crown" is the Magura Cave. It is near the village of Rabisha, 25 km northwest from the town of Belogradchik. The cave is hollowed out in the Rabisha hill (461 m above the sea level). The cave formation started 15 million years ago. The Torton River hollowed out in the limestone strata impressive halls and galleries.The total length of the galleries, discovered up to now, exceeds 2,000 m. There is a good asphalt road to the Magura Cave. It is one of the first well laid out caves in Bulgaria -with lighting, paths, and safeguard fittings. The cave and its surrounding area have been declared a National Tourist Sight.
     Rabisha Lake is next to the Magura Cave - the largest inland lake in Bulgaria. It is up to 35-40 m deep. Rabisha Lake has a tectonic origin. It offers perfect conditions for surfing and swimming. The lake is also an attractive place for hunting and fishing. Lake birds, carp and sheet-fish can be found in it.
     Belogradchik Fortress is another famous tourist site near Belogradchik. The Bulgarian architects Diakovich and Dobrouzki made the first hypothesis for the ancient building at the end of the 19th century. In the period between 100 - 300 AD, there was an ancient fortification built on the highest point of the rock massif. It used to guard the Roman road stretching north from Ratsiaria (on the Danube), passing through the Balkan Mountains and continuing south to Nis, Skopje and Rome. The road was used mainly for military purposes. Communication was established with smoke signals during the day, using giant fires by night and, when there was fog, by pounding giant drums. 150 m deep pits surrounded the fortification and the only access to it at that time was a 25-meter ladder cut directly into the rock. The fortress amazes us not only with its history but also with its aesthetics. The castle walls are decorated with columns, niches and reliefs with stylized images of plants and animals. The arches of the entrances are decorated with a combination of red and white rocks
     The town of Belogradchik (6 685 inhabitants) is situated between both mountain massifs Venetsa and Vedernik, among the fantastic world of Belogradchik rocks. It is located 182 km northwest from Sofia. The town is 520 m above the sea level. It is a town amidst a fantastic natural environment.
 
     History

     This is an old settlement, originated as early as the Ist century when the Romans built a fortress among the rocks. After that the fortress and the settlement were ruined many times and built again by Byzantines, Bulgarians and Turks. A Turkish register by 1454 testified about the Bulgarian town here. In 1837 the fortress was finished in its present-day appearance. In the period of the Ottoman reign Belogradchik was a small agrarian – craftsmen town. A peasant revolt began here in 1850, but it was cruelly crushed and the last defenders of the fortress slaughtered. The name of the town comes from "Belija gradej" (white building) of the fortress. After the Liberation (1878) Belogradchik becomes gradually a tourist center above all, which attracts thousands of visitors from the country and abroad, because of its Belogradchik rocks, one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Bulgaria 
 
     Cultural and Historical Sights

     The Historical museum is arranged in the Renaissance house of the Panovi family (1810), which is an architectural monument itself. It is in the centre of the town. You can visit the Astronomical Observatory, which possesses one from the most powerful telescopes in Bulgaria. 
The exposition of the Natural – Science museum have 520 exponents, and the fund has 2500 more. The mosque H. Hussein from 1751 is the only one survived from the old settlement. You can also visit St. George Church which was built in 1868.
 
     Surroundings

     Belogradchik Rocks – one of the natural wonders in Bulgaria. If you come from Sofia by car you will see first the Falkov – Borovets group. The second group is Lipenitsa group. It is west from the town. The biggest interest evokes the Dinosaur and the Latin kale (a strategic fortress surrounded by a fortified wall). It is worth seeing the Lepenishka cave.


     Transport

     There is a regular bus transport to Sofia, Montana, Vidin and other smaller settlements in the region.

 

Belogradchik Rocks

  

Belogradchik Rocks

 

Belogradchik Rocks

 

Belogradchik Rocks