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Chuprene

Chuprene is a village in northwestern Bulgaria, part of Vidin Province. It is the administrative centre of Chuprene municipality, which lies in the southern part of Vidin Province. The village is located 20 kilometres from Belogradchik and 70 kilometres from Vidin, 13-15 kilometres from the Bulgarian-Serbian border.
Chuprene is situated on the Manastirka and Chuprene Rivers in the western Balkan Mountains, at the foot of the Sveti Nikola Mountain and close to Midzhur, the highest peak of the western Balkan Mountains at 2,169 metres. The village is part of the copper ore vein from Bor to Chiprovtsi, and may have been settled by German (“Saxon”) ore miners in the Middle Ages. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and it was part of the Roman Empire in Antiquity, the First Bulgarian Empire and the Second Bulgarian Empire in medieval times. The village itself was first mentioned in an Ottoman register of the Vidin sanjak of 1454-1455. Jerome-Adolphe Blanqui mentions it as Chupren in the descripion of his journey from Belogradchik to Nis in 1841. After the Liberation of Bulgaria, Chuprene grew rapidly and reached a peak population of 1800-2000.
The entire population is Christian, Bulgarian Orthodoxy being the dominant confession. Chuprene has a church with a bell and clock tower. The Chuprene Biosphere Reserve is located in the surrounding mountains.

Gorni Lom is a village in north-western Bulgaria, Vidin Province. The population of Gorni Lom is 784.
The village is situated in a mountainous region, on the upper stream of the Lom River. It is located in the foot of Midzhur, the highest peak in western Stara Planina. Gorni Lom is a starting point for the tourists who climb Midzhur. Most of the village inhabitants work in a factory producing explosives or in the five small hydropower plants on the river.

Municipality of Chuprene

Chuprene municipality is situated on the northern and northwestern slopes of the Balkan Mountain, next to the border with Serbia. From the north, east and south it is surrounded by the municipalities of Belogradchik, Rujintsi and Chiprovtsi. The territory of Chuprene municipality is 330 sq. km and has population of 2,233 people (2010) in 9 villages.

Infrastructure

Transport

  • Road transport – the roads crossing the municipality are of republican importance: III-102 and III-114 with a total length of about 38 km. The remaining roads are municipal with total length of 30 km. The municipal center (Chuprene village) is located 22 km away from international road E-79.
  • Railway – the train station serving the municipality in the Vidin-Sofia direction is located in the village of Oreshets at a distance of 25 km from Chuprene.

Energy

The municipality is producing energy through the Gorni Lom water cascade (next to Gorni Lom village), consisting of three hydro power plants (HPP) – “Kitka”, “Midjur” and “Gorni Lom” with total output of 6.3 MW. Over the past few years there is an increasing interest in building small HPPs along the rivers of Lom, Chuprenska and Manastirka. Two such small HPPs have been recently put in operation. Others are at different stages of completion. There is strong interest in the installation of photovoltaic panels to produce electricity from the sun. Audits indicate high potential for this type of energy generation in the municipality of Chuprene.

Water supply and sewerage

All villages in the municipality are supplied with water through entirely surface water – catchments and mountain catchments. Water sources from the villages of Targovishte and Dolni Lom can be used, if needed. There is a partially built sewerage network in the villages of Chuprene and Gorni Lom.

Communication

The three national mobile operators cover almost the entire territory of the municipality of Chuprene. There are options for installing cable internet in the villages of Gorni Lom and Chuprene.

Economy

There are 35 micro enterprises in the municipality, mostly in the sectors of services and trade, incl. farmers. There are two small and one medium-sized enterprise. The structure defining enterprises in Chuprene are: “Videx” AD (powdered explosives, village of Gorni Lom), State Forestry Station (Chuprene village), “Runo-Kazanlak” AD (owner of cascade Gorni Lom). “Videx” AD is the largest industrial plant in the municipality employing around 160 workers. The company is manufacturing explosives, blasting tools and other goods with special and dual-purpose use, around 90% of which are exported. The State Forestry Station in Chuprene village protects and monitors the activities in nearly 18,000 ha of forests on the territory of the municipality. The natural resources, preserved environment and the hospitality of the local people are a good basis for development of tourism in the municipality.

Tags: Chuprene, Chuprene municipality, Manastirka, Second Bulgarian Empire, Sveti Nikola Mountain, vidin province

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