Belogradchik Things to Do

  • Painters´ corner w/ their paintings & wooden arts.
    Painters´ corner w/ their paintings &...
    by kharmencita
  • Street Vendors before entrance.
    Street Vendors before entrance.
    by kharmencita
  • Belogradchik Town Square
    Belogradchik Town Square
    by kharmencita

Best Rated Things to Do in Belogradchik

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    Fortress Gates & Walls

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    There are three courtyards and three gateways. The gates are made of thick wood, reinforced with metal stripes. You can see some of them in the pics. Since the fortress is situated on a hill, you have a great panorama of the town bellow, and the rocks included in it or surrounding it. The views are just amazing! You can climb all the way to the top of some of the rocks, just be careful. You have a 360-degree view of pure beauty!
    The fortress is illuminated at night, and is a working museum, open every day from 8am till 8pm in the summer, and from 9am till 4:30 pm in the winter. Entrance is only 3lv ($2 or E1,5). The ticket desk is right across from the first entrance. They also sell postcards (0,60 – 0,70lv), T-shirts (10lv), brochures and maps (2-5 lv), fridge magnets (2-3lv), etc. There is also a small café next to the ticket office (see nightlife tip). There is parking right at the entrance, but you can also walk from the town, there are signs everywhere.

    first gate second gate third gate outside wall/rock
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    Cave Drawings

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    The rock paintings are amazing, they look to me like an ancient form of graffiti. And the paint used was guano, which is, yes, bat sh1t!!! They were done about 10 000 years ago and depict mainly hunting scenes. The Solar Calendar from the Late Eneolith and Early Bronze Age is very exact.
    The cave was first inhabited about 12 thousand years ago. There are many findings from various periods: home fragments, stoves and fireplaces, tools, metal, ceramics, bones. Different animal ones were also found: cave bear, wild horse, cave hyena, deer, etc.

    'Dancing Woman cave entrance
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    Belogradchik

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    Belogradchik is a small town situated in between two ridges of the Western Balkan Mountain (Stara Planina), 185 km Northwest of Sofia, 50km Southwest of Vidin, and close to the Serbian border. It’s a charming town whose steep narrow streets lead you to the spectacular fortress and rocks. On the way there, you can visit the Historical Museum, set in the former Panov’s house, a typical Bulgarian Revival house, built in 1810. Other places of interest include an 118th-century mosque, St. George’s church from the 17th century, and the Astronomical Observatory with one of the biggest telescopes in Bulgaria.
    In the vicinity there are many places of interest: the Rabisha lake, Bulgaria’s largest inland lake, Magurata cave and over 100 more caves, the town of Vidin with it’s fortress at the Danube river and many others. If you have the chance, drive through the charming villages in the area! (see Off the beaten path)

    view from the fortress View from the fortress History Museum a nice building
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    Belogradchik Rocks rock!

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    There are four distinct groups of rocks around the town. Besides that, driving towards Sofia, for kilometers on you can see more and more rocks, you pass villages having great views of these amazing formations (see my Off the beaten path tips).
    One of the groups is at the site of the fortress. Actually it was kind of built in the rocks so some of them serve as part of the walls. I think that was very smart of the Romans (the first builders) to use the natural defensive properties of the hill and rocks to build a stronghold. This combination of a natural phenomenon and a historical fortress, both amazingly beautiful, is just unbeatable. It’s a great place to visit both for natural lovers and history buffs.
    Although they are not on UNESCO World Heritage list (yet), the Belogradchik Rocks are in the files, here’s part of the text on UNESCO’s site:
    ”Located int he immediate vicinity of the town of Belogradchik in north-west Bulgaria and covering an area of 15000 hectares, they represent a stricking combination of natural sculptures of diverse shapes and imposing sizes. They represent a succession o all geological processes which have formed the big Belogradchik anticline. The nucleus of this anticline is formed of Paleozoic rock, while the mantle and the front part are Triassic conglomerates, sandstone and Jurassic limestone. Broad-leaved vegetation grows amid the individual groups of rock. The area abounds in rich flora and fauna, as well as in archaeological sites. “

    a close-up
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    Magurata shapes

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    There are some very beautiful cave formations: stalactites, stalagmites, stalactones, cave pearls and cave milk. Some resemble various objects and have been given nicknames: The Waterfall, the Poplar, Köln’s cathedral, the Muslim City, the Stoned Town, the Concert Hall, the Temple and the Mosque, etc. As we entered without guide we had to guess which was which for ourselves, some were easy to guess, some, not so much.
    The Big Stalactone is more than 20m high and 4m wide. The Fallen Pine is the biggest stalagmite in Bulgaria, at 11m long and 6m wide.

    The Big Stalactone The waterfall
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    Belogradchik Fortress

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    In the first period of construction (1st – 6th centuries AD), the fortress was built and rebuilt by the Romans and Byzantines. Many artifacts from that period were found, including coins from the times of Roman Emperors Vespassian, Trayanus, Spetimus Sever, Gordian III, Decius Trayanus. Later the fortress was used and modified by the Bulgarians. The Vidin ruler, Ivan Stratsimir (1355-1396) fortified and enlarged it. In 1396 the fortress was conquered and partially destroyed by the Ottoman Turks. It was hardly maintained until the 19th century, when in 1805 French engineers were hired to modify and enlarge it. It was finished in 1837 with the help of Italian engineers.

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    Belogradchik Rocks

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    Definitely, one of the most beautiful sight I’ve seen in my live!! The Belogradchik rocks are amazing rock formations found around the town. The rocks reach up to 300 metres in height. They cover an area of 15 000 hectares, spreading in a strip 30km long and up to 3 km wide. They were formed by erosion from sandstone and limestone over 200 million years!! It took so long for Mother Nature to sculpture these fantastic shapes. Some rocks look like people and objects, so people gave them names, such as Adam and Eve, the Schoolgirl, the Monks, the Nun, the Pine, etc. If you have more time to wander around, it might be interesting to try and guess nicknames.

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    Magurata Cave

    by ChristinaNest Updated Jun 8, 2006

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    Magurata Cave is one of Bulgaria’s largest and most beautiful. It’s situated 25km from Belogradchik, , 1,5km from the village of Rabisha, and 35km from Vidin. The total length of the galleries discovered so far is around 2,5 km. The cave halls are huge, over 200 m long, 50m wide, and 20m high.
    The cave started forming about 15 million years ago. It was shaped by a Tortonian river. There are great rock formations there as well as ancient rock paintings! One of the branches is serving as a cellar for sparkling wine production.
    The cave is electrified and guided tours are offered. They last about an hour and a half, and start as soon as a group of 10 people or more gather. The last one starts at 4pm. When we arrived there were no other people and since we were in a hurry we were let in without a guide, and managed to go around in one hour. Although the cave is electrified and there are railings, watch your step as some of the paths are steep, and damp, better wear suitable shoes!
    Entrance fee is 4 lv, they also sell some postcards and brochures. The exit at the end of the guided tour, at the lake of Rabisha. So if you park at the entrance, you’ll have to walk back about 1,5 km or arrange to be picked up. Since we went on our own, we came back the same way. There is a parking and a restaurant at the entrance (see Restaurant tip).

    wall
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    Belogradchiski Skali

    by ger4444 Written Mar 13, 2004

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    Bulgaria's most spectacular rock formations, the Belogradchiski skali, cover an area of 90 square kilometres to the west. The limestone rocks greatly impressed French traveller Adolph Blanqui in 1841, who described them as an "undreamt landscape" The Rocks of Belogradchik are formed of versicoloured Triassic sandstones and conglomerates. In this area one can find also the fortress of Belogradchik built by the Ottoman conquerors on the remains of the Roman fortress. The rocks, a real miracle of nature, have been shaped by rains, molded by rivers and engraved by winds for more than 200 millions of years, turning the stone into sculptures, mythical beings and people, beasts and birds. The natural phenomenon has fantastic outlines - a sea of frozen castles, fortresses, towers, silhouettes of people, birds and animals, ships, mushrooms, obelisks, palaces, racing chariots and scattered skyscrapers rising at a height of 200 m. The central group of the rocks are situated south of Belogradchik. There are the most remarkable and most famous rock formations, namely the stone sculptures that are respectively called the Pine Stone, Adam and Eve, the Sphinx, the Schoolgirl, the Nun, the Bear, the Mushrooms, Madonna, the Horse man and etc. The second group is located to the west of the town. The rocks there are sheer and surrounded by great chasms. The most famous there are Zbegovete, Erkiupria, Borich. 4 km east of the town is the third group. It includes the rocks around the Latin fortress and the Lipenishkata cave. The fourth group of the Belogradchik rock formations spreads between the villages of Borovitsa and Falkovets. There are the famous Pine stone, Red stone, Torlak, the Maiden’s rock and others. The last group is located around the villages of Giurgich, and Belotnitsi. From the town of Belogradchik start many eco tracks that pass by the Belogradchik rocks. Most of them are very suitable for bike riding. .

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    Belogradchic Rocks - Natural Phenomena

    by Childish Written Jun 1, 2006

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    The impressive sandstone and limestone rock formations were formed 200 millions years ago thanks to erosion a located near the town of Belogradchik. They reach up to 200m in high and occupy and an area which is 30km long and 3km wide.
    Some of the rocks have its own names - Adam and Eve, The two brothers, Revel Velko, The Schoolgirl, Madonna, The Monks, The Mushrooms, The Elephants, etc. And there are legends about some of them.
    Here is for example the legend of Madonna, The Monks and The Horseman - once upon a time there is a monastery near Belogradchik. There was a very beautiful nun Valentina. Once a year the locals were permitted to visit the monastery. On that day a local roman patrician named Antonio met Valentina and both felt in love. Valentina get pregnant and the monks wanted to panished her but God made all of them in stones.
    See also my travelogues for more pics.

    Bulgaria, Belogradchik Rocks, The Two Brothers Bulgaria, Belogradchik Rocks, Rebel Velko Bulgaria, Belogradchik Rocks
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    Visit Belogradchik Fortress

    by Childish Updated May 23, 2006

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    Initially built in 1-3 century AD at the time of Roman Empire. Then in 14th century was extended by Bulgarian Tzar of Vidin Ivan Stratsimir. Captured by Ottomans in 1396 and then farther extended. The most considerable changes to the fortress were made in the early 19th century with involvement of French and Italian engineers. Used at the time of Bulgarian Belogradchik Uprising of 1850 and then during the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885.

    From the fortress there is a spectacular view. See my travelogues for more pictures.

    Entrance Fee: 3lv
    Working time: summer:9-18, winter:9-17, but were assured that it remains open while there are visitors.

    Bulgaria, Belogradchik Fortress Bulgaria, Belogradchik Rocks & Fortress, Childish
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    The Belogradchiski Skali arae

    by ger4444 Written Mar 13, 2004

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    This 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, stalagtones, cave pearls, "cave milk". The precipices are a challenge for the devoted admirers. The water caves are of a special interest. Great parts of them are not quite studied.

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    Belogradcik Fortress

    by ger4444 Written Mar 13, 2004

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    The Belogradchik fortress, also known as the citadel, is an impressive fortress that is visible from most places in the village. The fotress is open daily from 8am-11.30pm and 1.30-5pm.
    From the mainsquare in town, the fortress is a steepish 1.5 km, you can find it by following the signs. The admission is 5 lv. However, its easy to miss the little office because its not next to the entrance, but at the beginning of the small parking place. Since there is no ticket control at the gate, you might find your self having entered the site without paying as I did by accident. Before long you'll reach the entrance of the citadel three levels of fortifications representing different periods of occupation. The lowest two levels are Ottoman: solid, utilitarian blocks of stone enlivened here and there by the occasional floral-patterned relief. A steep climb between two enormous pillars of rock leads to the highest and oldest level, occupied by the medieval Bulgarian stronghold. The rocks themselves provided the perfect fortified enclosure, and apart from the tumbledown wall of a medieval reservoir there's little man-made to see. Enjoy instead the marvellous panorama of surrounding hills; the views from the top of the fortress are outstanding.

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    The Observatorium

    by ger4444 Written Mar 13, 2004

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    The observatory was built in 1961 by a group of astronomy enthusiasts led by Hristo Kostov who was a teacher in physics at the Belogradchik high school. It became the first school observatory in Bulgaria. The biggest telescope at this time was a 15-cm Zeiss telescope. From 1964 to 1974 the observatory was used as a satellite observation base.
    In 1965 a new telescope was ordered by the former director Alexander Tomov at the Zeiss factory – 60 cm. Cassegrain and in August 1969 it was mounted in the 6m dome. Since 1976 Astronomical Observatory Belogradchik has been an observation base of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In 1994 the observatory was equipped with one more telescope Celestron – 14 inch Schmidt – Cassegrain mounted in the 4m dome

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    Historical Museum

    by ger4444 Written Mar 13, 2004

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    The Historical museum is arranged in the Renaissance house of the family Panovi (1810) which is an excellent example of the Bulgarian Revival architecture from that region. The exhibition presents the history, traditions and the way of life of the local people. The main collection of the museum contains more than 6000 artifacts. A substantial part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Uprising against the Turkish enslavers in 1850, which was one of the largest on Bulgarian lands. The museum has a rich numismatic collection related to domestic crafts, costumes and exhibits of the way of living. The Museum has a Nature department located in a hunting hut, which was adjusted to suit the exhibition requirements. The exhibition displays rare specimens of the local flora and fauna – wood-grouse capercalzies, eagles, black stork, blue gentian, buttercup, Ramonda Serbita and etc. Opening hours: 8.00 – 12.00 a.m. and 2.00 – 6.00 p.m. Admission: 3, 50 lv.

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