Culture, Heritage and Diversity

European Diploma for Protected Areas: Awarded Areas in Bulgaria

Central Balkan National Park

The Central Balkan National Park is one of the 3 well established NP in Bulgaria. It covers an area of 71'700 ha. It is located in the central part of the Stara Planina mountain range, which runs from West to East from the Serbian border to the Black sea coast, parallel to the Danube. Central Balkan NP was designed around 9 strict nature reserves during the communist time. It was reclassified as National Park in 1999.

The Park covers the Central part of the Stara Planina mountains, which is a long and narrow mountain range encompassing a few peaks over 2000 m, the highest point, Botev Peak, reaching 2376 m and dominating the Thracian plain some 1500 m below to the south. On the northern side the slopes are less steep and several lower mountains ranges separate the main ridge from the Danube plain. Due to this geomorphologic situation, the Park is a narrow stripe some 70 km long, with a width varying from 4 to 12 km. The Bulgarian Protected areas act has no provision for a buffer zone, which means that development areas, without protective measures, are close to the heart of the Park and even touch some of the strict protected areas.


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