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Belograchik

Belograchik is a town in northwestern Bulgaria in the Vidin Province. Belogradchik, which literally means “small white town,” is situated in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains just east of the Serbian border and about 50 km south of the Danube River. The town is famous for its unique and impressive rock formations, the Belogradchik Rocks, which cover an area of 90 square kilometers and reach up to 200 meters in height. The town is a popular tourist destination. Important landmarks are the mediaeval Belogradchik Fortress and the Belogradchik Rocks.

Municipality of Belogradchik

Belogradchik municipality borders the Republic of Serbia to the west and the municipalities of Makresh, Dimovo and Chuprene from north to south. The municipality occupies the western part of the forefront of the Balkan mountain and stretches on an area of 409 sq. km.  The number of settlements in the municipality is 18 with a total population of 7,426 people (2009).

Infrastructure

Transport

Road transport: Belogradchik municipality has low density of the transport network. It is served by third class republican (86.4 km) and municipal (fourth class) roads (55.2 km). Trans-Europan road E-79 passes in close proximity to the municipal center (the town of Belogradchik) and provides the main road connection to other parts of the country and Western Europe (via links to Serbia and through the Danube River). The condition of the road network is poor and needs rehabilitation.

Energy

The municipality of Belogradchik is powered by the national electric power system with two 110/20 kV district substations. The region lacks power generation capacity. All settlements have power supply. Air power supply is met with a 20 kV transmission line and transformer 20/0.4 kV. Low voltage network is almost entirely air-based. All settlements have streetlights.

Water supply and sewerage

There is a distribution system that includes mountain river catchments and almost entirely gravity system. The main water sources are Chuprenska River, as well as Replyanska and Stakevska rivers for water intake from Stakevskiya valley. Only the village of Slivovnik is not water supplied. Sewerage network is built only in the town of Belogradchik and partly in the village of Rabisha.

Communication

Telephone, telex and telefax services are carried out by three analogue numbering stations located in Belogradchik and the villages of Stakevtsi and Rabisha. The total number of telephone lines within the municipality is around 3,700. With the exception of several border villages, there is coverage of all the national mobile operators throughout the municipality. The main Internet service provider in the municipality is the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (now Vivacom).

Water supply and sewerage

There is a distribution system that includes mountain river catchments and almost entirely gravity system. The main water sources are Chuprenska River, as well as Replyanska and Stakevska rivers for water intake from Stakevskiya valley. Only the village of Slivovnik is not water supplied. Sewerage network is built only in the town of Belogradchik and partly in the village of Rabisha.

Communication

Telephone, telex and telefax services are carried out by three analogue numbering stations located in Belogradchik and the villages of Stakevtsi and Rabisha. The total number of telephone lines within the municipality is around 3,700. With the exception of several border villages, there is coverage of all the national mobile operators throughout the municipality. The main Internet service provider in the municipality is the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (now Vivacom).

Economy

The companies with headquarters in Belogradchik are 291, 92% of which are micro enterprises with up to 10 employees. Employment in micro and small enterprises has a 65% share in all employed, providing for 84% of incomes in the municipal economy. The revenue structure is determined by the following sectors: trade and services (32%), manufacturing (28%), forestry, hunting and agriculture (10%), health and social services (12%), construction (7%), transport, storage and communications (5%), hotels and restaurants (5%), rent and business services (1%).

The main sectors shaping the profile of the municipal economy are light industry (packaging, clothing) and engineering (production of railway components and spare parts for railways, telecommunications products, etc.). The majority of companies is engaged in trade and catering. Companies in the food industry are relatively well developed and specialise in bread, pasta and confectionery production, as well as in soft drinks.  The main companies are “Ellatzite-med” (copper extraction and processing; tourism), Winery “Magura” (Rabisha village), Winery “MAXIMA” (Borovitsa village), “Transkom C” (production of components and spare parts for the railway transport), ST “Dilex – Krassimir Petrov” (production of local delicacies, chicken meat shop, village Borovitsa), “Borich” OOD (municipal company specialized in manufacturing of lightweight quilts, bed linen and sleeping bags), VAT “Midzhur” (game breeding, logging and hunting), V.A.T. OOD (production of phones, intercoms and telephone accessories), CD “Lilov, Angelov, Neshev & Co” (production of polyethylene film and packaging thereof ).

Belogradchik has huge potential for tourism development based on the nature phenomenon Belogradchik Rocks. This is a group of bizarre sandstone and limestone rock formations, reaching up to 200 m in height. They form a strip, which is 30 km long and up to 3 km wide. The formations, which vary in color from red through yellow to grey, are a product of erosion and every distinct rock is named after an object it is believed to resemble. In 2009, the Belogradchik Rocks were very close to enring the final list of the New7Wonders of Nature.

Another landmark of the municipality, the Magura cave, presents high options for cave lovers and for wine tasting at the Magura cave Bat Gallery.

Tags: Balkan Mountains, Belograchik, Belogradchik Fortress, Belogradchik Rocks, Northwestern Bulgaria, vidin province

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