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The Bulgarian Northwest holds unexpected treasures

 

Travelers  are amazed by the original culture of the local population as well as by the sights, the old churches and monasteries, nestled at the foot of the Balkan Mountain Range.

© Photo: Veneta Nikolova
The town of Belogradchik spreading at the foot of the famous Belogradchik Rocks
  The Bulgarian Northwest is considered as the poorest region in the EU.  Although its recovery, with  the help of the European funds, is among the state’s priorities, in the last decade unemployment, poverty and  lack of  perspective has caused mass depopulation of the whole region. 
Nevertheless local villages and small towns are situated in  some of the most picturesque parts of the Balkan Mountain Range. To the joy of the environmentalists, they are not covered with hotels, ski slopes, sports centers, gambling halls, etc.
The highest mount in the region is Mount Midzhur (2168 above sea level)
It is situated close to the towns of Chiprovtsi and Berkovitsa which are among the most visited places in this region.  However, the local settlements lack a well- developed tourism. The heavy economic situation  was the main reason for this to happen. 
 
белоградчик 1
Nevertheless the whole region is extremely favorable for tourism, starting from the magnificent nature. The picturesque gorge of River Iskar makes its way through the high mountain range. The area around the town of Vratsa is rich in karst formations and beautiful caves.  The most popular amongst them is the Ledenika Cave.

The Iskar Gorge is the longest one in Bulgaria-around 100 kilometers An asphalt road and a railway line pass along it.
 
 
 
 Tourists  travel back in time when  visiting  the ancient Montana fortress. Many people wonder where the name of Montana comes from. It is named after the ancient fortress Montanesium, founded by the Sugambri tribe. This was a German tribe, which populated these territories during the Roman period.
In the city of Montana you can also visit the Historical museum
It has many emblematic exponents, including the Yakimovsko Golden treasure from the 1st century.  As well as 50 unique golden and silver ornaments.
The town of Chiprovtsi can also offer thrilling experience. Its visitors get in touch with the art of the Chiprovtsi goldsmith school,  which dates back to the National Revival Period. People can also learn about the famous carpet industry. The carpets made in Chiprovtsi are unique, because they are made of natural paints and pure wool. They have specific figures and patterns. Each one keeps its own message
The church of Klisurski Monastery near Berkovitsa
 In fact the town of Chiprovtsi, once a highly populated mining settlement, is an interesting destination to all history fans.  
During the 14th century Saxon miners called Latini settled here
The catholic religion became very popular in this town due to these people. For many years, the town of Chiprovtsi was the main office of the Bulgarian Catholic Custody.
Nowadays tourists  visit the the remains of the Assumption of Virgin Mary cathedral built in 1371. You can also visit the Resurrection of Christ church which dates back to 1857.
 The old churches and monasteries in this part of Bulgaria provide perfect opportunity for the development of religious tourism.
 
Prehistorical drowings in the Magurata Cave
 The unique rocky formations near the town of Belogradchik and the Magura Cave, which has drawings from the prehistoric age, are also enlisted in the tourist route of this region.
The Spa town of Varshets with its wonderful spa centers and the second biggest artificial lake Ogosta near the town of Montana, providing perfect conditions for water sports, attract lots of tourists.  
If people decide to spend their weekend in the Bulgarian Northwest, they can stay at the local guest houses or small family hotels
The number of these places is not big due to the economic crisis. However, there are still many offers on the Internet about weekend packages in this region. BNR

Veneta Nikolova .  Neverending Journey

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