Balkan Mountains

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Image:Balkan range.jpg
Stara Planina, Rhodope, Rila and Pirin Mountains
View from Ray Resthouse towards the Central Balkan Mountains. The Raysko Praskalo waterfall is in the middle.
The Iskar River passing through the mountains in a gorge
The Kozya Stena Reserve

The Balkan mountain range (Bulgarian and Serbian: Стара планина / Stara planina, "Old Mountain") is an extension of the Carpathian mountain range, separated from it by the Danube River.

The Balkan range runs 560 km from eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea.

The highest peak on the Balkan peninsula is Musala in the Rila mountains near Sofia (Rila range) with 2,925 m, closely followed by Mount Olympus in Greece and Vihren (Pirin range).

The highest peaks of the Stara planina itself are in central Bulgaria. The highest peak is Botev (2,376 m), located in the Central Balkan National Park (established 1991).

Close to it is Kalofer, the birth place of Hristo Botev, a Bulgarian poet and national hero who died in the Western Stara Planina near Vratsa in 1876 in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Also close to Botev peak is the Shipka Pass, the scene of the four battles in Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78 which ended Turkish rule in the Balkans. Close to the pass in the village of Shipka there is a Russian Orthodox church, built to commemorate Bulgarian bravery during pass defence.

Stara Planina is remarkable for its flora and fauna. Edelweiss grows there in the region of Koziata stena.

There are many roads crossing Stara Planina (listed from west to east):

In earlier times the mountains were known as the Haemus Mons. Scholars consider that Haemus (Greek 'Aimos) is derived from an unattested Thracian word *saimon, meaning 'mountain range'.

[edit] Peaks

[edit] See also

Coordinates: 43°15′N 25°00′Eals:Balkangebirge ar:جبال البلقان bg:Стара планина ca:Serralada dels Balcans da:Balkanbjergene de:Balkangebirge et:Stara planina fr:Stara planina he:הרי הבלקן hu:Balkán hegység nl:Balkan (gebergte) ja:バルカン山脈 no:Balkanfjellene pl:Stara Płanina pt:Bálcãs (cordilheira) ro:Munţii Balcani ru:Балканские горы sr:Стара планина fi:Balkanvuoret sv:Balkanbergen tr:Koca Balkan Dağları uk:Стара Планина

Balkan Mountains

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