A many-sided visit to Belogradchik
An experience to remember
“Many-sided” may sound vague or even odd, but it’s a bit hard to label Belogradchik’s tourism unambiguously. For it is not only hometown of the peculiar rock formations and the centuries-old historical fortress “Kaleto”(“Calais”), the city and its surroundings offer wonderful forest trails, numerous caves and quite a few wineries as well. Belogradchik offers accommodation options ranging from four-star hotels to guest houses – that have been thriving lately- where the hosts would hospitably ask you in their authentic “torlashki” dialect if you wanted some yummy “mekitsi” (batter fried in deep oil) for breakfast. And once they totally "stuff" you with splendid food you’d be truly ready to take both known and unknown paths. For the latter you could use the help of the local people who will not only take you to interesting places, but will tell you a bunch of legends about them. And is there anything better than to hear the impressive story of the “Madonna” rock for example, the very moment its sad frame rises before you.
You’ll pass by “the Bear” and “Adam and Eve” and will recognize “the Schoolgirl” and “Haydut Velko” from afar, then the locals will show you “the Monks” rock group and so many more. As for the other unique shapes– you’d be able to identify and give them names on your own. The forest paths may lead you to the majestic gates of the "Calais" - one of the few fortresses preserved nowadays - a scene of numerous dramatic events since Roman times, during the Ottoman rule, right up to today. The three courtyards and its solid wall have served repeatedly as backdrop for movie productions, carrying us back in history. The remains of the old Roman fortress are humbly bulging close to the impressive castle. Up in the nearby pine forest, there’s a 50-year-old observatory. The Ethnographic and Natural history museums and the Art Gallery in Belogradchik are open for visitors. Unfortunately, both for locals and visitors, there’re a number of derelict sites and the city has a long way to becoming a true tourist destination – its rightful position.
A unique open-air cinema, literally “anchored” in the rocks, used to bring the whole town together for countless shows, performances, screenings, etc.
We could truly learn a lot from the past and here - in the faded photographs we could see the sealed images of numerous Swiss groups from the past walking around the city and its surroundings in a memorable way. Their transportation by carts to the so called “Subashin fountain” area was celebrated by the entire community. Stories and legends have it that the fountain still guards a walled in priceless treasure from Turkish times. The small ski slope at the foot of an almost 140 m. high TV tower years ago imported athletic spirit to the otherwise isolated small town. There are countless opportunities for development here, but dwelling on long-established facts is futile. A ray of hope for movement and uplift is the opening of "Venetsa" cave for visitors (the Wreath) in the vicinity of the neighboring village Oreshets. Hopefully its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, and its bizarre ice crystals will attract more tourists who would return again and again.