The Belogradchik Rocks

The Belogradchik Rocks
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The Belogradchik Rocks (Belogradchishki skali) is one of the most famous and most impressive nature phenomenon in Bulgaria. They are a group of bizarre sandstone and limestone rock formations with different and amazing shapes, reaching up to 200 m in height. They form a strip, which is 30 km long and up to 3 km wide, and are located north of the western slopes of Stara Planina, near the town of Belogradchik in Bulgaria. The formations are a product of erosion. The name of the Rocks comes from the name of the town of Belogradchik

The rocks were declared a natural landmark in 1949 Every distinct rock is named after an object it is believed to resemble and the formations vary from red through yellow to grey in colour.

The natural phenomenon has amazing shapes – rock castles, palaces, fortresses, silhouettes of people, birds and animals, etc. In accordance of their interesting shapes, the rocks have similar names. Some of the most interesting and impressive groups of rocks are called: the Pine Stone /Borov Kamuk/, Adam and Eve, the Sphinx, the Schoolgirl, the Nun, the Bear, the rock mushrooms, Madonna, the Horseman, The Monks etc.

If you travel from Sofia by car you will see at first the Falkov-Borovets group of rocks with Momina Skala (Maiden’s Rock), Pchelin kamak, Torlaka, Borovishki Kamak etc. Lipenitsa group is to the east of the town among which biggest interest evoke the Dinosaur and the Latin Kale (a strategic fortress surrounded by a fortified wall). It is worth seeing the Lepenishka Cave in which charred wheat and vessels dating 2000 years ago were found, and the Izvozki oak – more than 1200 years old. Among the Zbegovska group of rocks to the west of the town a great impression make the Twins, the rocks in the area called Magaza, Small and Big Zbeg, which were used as fortresses, the lonely obelisk Borich and the Belogradchik stone bridge. The central group rises immediately above the town. One can see about 100 m high lonely rocks named Adam and Eve, the delicate Madonna, Konnika (The Rider), Uchenichkata (The Schoolgirl), Mechkata (The Bear), the Dervish (Muslim clergyman), the impressive Borov Kamak, Monasite (The Monks), the fantastic kale with ancient fortress walls, above which the most magic rock wonders rise.

The most characteristic peculiarity of the Belogradchik Fortress is the perfect inclusion of the unapproachable rocks in the whole fortress system. Three construction periods can be seen in the buildings – Roman and Byzantine (1st-6th centuries), Byzantine and Bulgarian (8th-14th centuries) and Turkish (1805-1837). The constructions of the last period prevail in its present-day outlook. The fortress is situated at 10200 sq. m and has 5 gates, 4 of which are main. Magourata or the Rabishkata Peshtera (Rabisha Cave) is found near the village of Rabisha, 16 km west of the town of Dimovo, 50 km southwest from Vidin and 34 km northwest of Belogradchik. It was formed about 3-4 million years ago in the Magoura Hill, 463 m high. Inside one can see unique halls and formations as Triumphalnata Zala (The hall of tryumphs), Harmana (The wheat thrashing site), the Hall of the Stalactone, Glinenite Piramidi (The mud pyramids), Povaleniyat Bor (The fallen pine-tree), Vkamenenata Reka (The Stoned River), The Fiords, etc. The exit of the cave is through Vratach on the bank of the Rabisha Lake. Primitive men lived there. The wall drawings made with bat excrements are the only ones in the caves at the Balkan Peninsular. These masterpieces of late prehistoric art date back from the beginning of the Bronze Age. The cave was used by Manush Voivoda as a shelter. Magourata Cave is electrified, the length of its galleries are 2500 m.

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