The Mountains in Bulgaria

The mountains of Bulgaria are quintessential to the character and history of the entire Balkan peninsula – in fact the word ‘Balkans’ itself is Ottoman Turkish for ‘mountains’.

Bulgaria has four major mountain ranges, each with its own character and indigenous culture; they are the Stara Planina, in the centre, and the Rhodope, the Pirin and the Rila in the south. Historically, the mountains have been the cradle of Bulgarian identity, providing a safe haven for Bulgarian culture and literature during the five centuries of the Turkish yoke during which the nation was subsumed into the vast Ottoman empire.