Vidin Region

Tourism

Natural landmarks. 
Alternative tourism 
The Vidin Region possesses agreeable conditions for tourism development. Virgin areas, river-side and mountain regions, caves and lakes which have always strongly attracted the nature lovers. They have the possibility to enjoy the magnificent views of the natural beauties and phenomena as well as the silence and moderate climate and to acquaint themselves with the interesting and rare flora and fauna of the region. 


The cave Magura – “A Pearl in the Crown” 
A fantastic underground world of rare in beauty and variety natural phenomena. The cave is a vast maze with many unique formations and at the same time – a real underground museum in the bosom of the mountain near the village of Rabisha, west of the town of Dimovo, sculpted by nature from millions of years. In the cave in the high hill Magura unique underground chambers which have been given typical names take turns – the Triumphal Hall, the Threshing-floor, The Hall of Stalactites, The Clay Pyramids, The Fallen Pine, The Petrified River, The Fiords and others. 
The Magura was inhabited by humans as far as the prehistoric era. Its first inhabitants have left material traces of the earliest periods of the human civilization, including the Matriarchate, and have turned the cave into an original gallery of prehistoric art. 
The drawings on the walls of the cave are true masterpieces and are the only ones in South-eastern Europe. They date from the beginning of the Bronze era. In later periods the Magura served as a shelter of Manush chieftain. The name of the cave is a part of many tales about mythical dragons and legendary heroes, about treasures hidden there from the time of tsar Ivan Shishman which in the past often stirred treasure-hunters’ passions. 
The first description of the cave Magura was made in 1887 by Dimitar Marinov who managed to reach the Lake in the Triumphal Hall. The archeologist Vasil Mikov first announced in 1927 about the cave drawings and thanks to the conducted superficial archeological excavations he found materials from the neolith and the end of the bronze era. On the 3rd of May 1960 the cave Magura was declared a natural landmark and was enlisted in the list of the preferred tourist sites. During the next two years it was developed and made accessible to the thousands of lovers of the underground beauties. 
The entrance of the cave is on the south-western slope of the hill with the same name. When entering it you first reach the Triumphal Hall. Between the sinter formations here the most interesting are the stalagmites The Blue Heaps located in the north-western part. The sinter waterfall also poses great interest. The Triumphal Hall was inhabited by the prehistoric man who has left many traces. The archeological excavations show that at first it was dwelled in only in the most inner part and then the centre part was built-up. The inhabitants of the cave have lived in small houses 5.5 meters long and 4 meters wide. The houses of the neolith men were made of jabbed in the ground wooden stakes, wove with sticks and coated from the outside and inside with clay. The low rock arch of the Podmola recess served as a roof. In each house there was an arch-like furnace with a rectangular shape and beside it – a fireplace. No matter the fact that they were hidden in the deep cave, the houses were destroyed and burnt many times and then built up again. The houses in the Triumphal Hall that date from the later early-iron era were built in the same manner but were bigger in size. 
The Romans have used the cave episodically without building houses in it. They created near its entrance a stone quarry from which they gained building material for the construction of the Roman city of Ratsiariya on the right bank of the Danube. 
The next chamber which the visitor reaches is called the Demolition Site. Its floor is covered with big stone blocks that were torn down during earthquakes. From the west end of the chamber begins the Gallery of drawings which ends with three small chambers – The Sunny chamber, The Chamber of the clay pots and the Obscure chamber. On both sides of the Gallery of drawings and on the walls of the Sunny chamber there are around 700 drawings, divided into eight major groups. They depict schematic male and female figures, fantastic animals and signs, resemble letters from an unknown alphabet. Most probably the Gallery of drawings was a religious place or a sanctuary for the underground neolith settlement. The most interesting and oldest are the drawings in the Cult chamber where you can clearly distinguish a group of drawings that resemble mythical dances and a second group reproducing hunting scenes. In the Sunny chamber the most impressive drawings is a picture of a sun which gave its name. The drawings in the Sunny chamber are newer and some of them imitate the ones from the Cult chamber as the researchers have ascertained. 
The Chamber of stalactons is one of the largest in the Magura cave. The big stalacton in it is 20 meters high. To the north of the Big and Small stalacton, in the highest part of the chamber an ingenious idea has put a table and chairs where sometimes a tasting of the famous “Magura” wine is made. An interesting pair are the stalagmites the Two Brothers, one of which was the older because he stopped growing and degraded while the other – the younger because he still grew and fattened from the falling on him drops from the ceiling of the cave. The sinter formations the Mysterious castle, The Bear, the Turtle and other formations have an enigmatic impact on the visitors. 
The next chamber is called the Fallen pine because of the fallen during earthquakes stalagmite with a length of 11 meters. Many more chambers and fabulous formations take turns but the most beautiful of them is the Triumphal Hall. In 1975 it was adapted for a sanatorium cave or treating bronchial asthma and this is why it is also called the Sanatorium. The Magura cave is electrified, the entire length of the underground passages is 2500 meter. Near the entrance there is a hotel, restaurant and other places of resort which are available to the tourists. 

The Rabisha Lake – the only lake 
in Bulgaria with a Karst origin 
It is located at approximately 16 kilometers to the west of the town of Dimovo in the northern foot of the Rabisha hill. It has an area of 1.5 square kilometers and is the biggest lake in North-western Bulgaria. Near it there is a resort area which includes a camping ground on the southern shore of the lake, motel and restaurants at the entrance of the Magura cave. 

The Danube River. 
“The sun rises from west” 
The Vidin region is the only place in the world where the “sun rises from west”. This visual illusion is a result from a curve which shifts the river flow with 180 degrees. 
Every year in August the Vidin Region is the host of the traditional international regatta TID.

The Bozhuritsa 
countryside – a place for tourist’s outings and relaxation 
It is located at 18 kilometers south west of Vidin, between the rivers Milchina and Vidbol. The resort area has over 600 beds of departments, economical companies, public organizations and private estates. The presence of a dam creates conditions for water sports, fishing and sun bathing. 

Biosphere reserve “Chuprene” 
It has a total area of 1439 hectares and is included in the list of reserves under the aegis of UNESCO. 

Hunting 
and game-breading station “Midzhur” 
It is located on an area of 19 500 hectares, in parts of the western Stara Planina and the Danube Plain. The deciduous species are predominant – beech, oak; significant territories are taken by coniferous species – white pine, black pine, spruce. The hunting fauna includes red dear, stag of a fallow dear, wild-boar, hind, wolf, wild cat and fox. The tax data show a continuous increase of the game populations and an improvement of the quality of the trophies. The game-breading station has three well-settled hunting bases: Hunting house “Stakevtsi”, Hunting hut “Yazovo” and Hunting cabin “Rayanovtsi”. 

Orthodox Monasteries 
The Dobridolski Monastery 
Established during the 11th century but burnt down in the 15th century. It was reconstructed in 1860. In the next year, 1861 the monastery church “Holly Trinity” was built. The church is situated outside the monastery court. 
At the entrance of the monastery there is a big fountain with a wooden tower above it. A stone inscription says that it was built in 1861 by the baker’s guild from Lom and reconstructed in 1931 by the baker’s craft association from Lom. A part of the monastery’s convent which has a G-shaped structure (Cyrillic G) is used as a tourist resting place. 

The stone monastery in the Albotin 
region – Gradets 
The stone monastery in the surroundings of Gradets is cut out in the almost vertical rocks of the Albotin ridge. The archeological materials date from the period 13th–14th century. Its name comes from the extinct namesake settlement. 

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