Velingrad Bulgaria - Travel Guide, Tours, Hotels and Photos - Pictures of Bulgaria

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Mountain Tourism: Velingrad

Velingrad - Pictures Of Bulgaria
The town of Velingrad is a small but picturesque settlement in the Rhodopi mountain, famous for its mineral water springs. One of the biggest spa resorts in Bulgaria has just 26,500 permanent inhabitants but welcomes over 200,000 local and foreign tourists a year.

Velingrad lies at 750 metres above sea level, surrounded by wonderful natural forms of the Western Rhodopi. It was declared a town in 1948 when three neighbouring villages Kamenitsa, Ludzhene and Chepino - were merged to form the towns quarters of the same names. The town itself was named after Vela Peeva, a female partisan leader born there and killed during the partisan uprisings of the mid-40es of last century.

The area of Velingrad keeps evidence of life even since antiquity with Thracians, Slavs, Byzantines and
Romans having left traces of their presence. During Ottoman rule, the population of most villages around
Velingrad was forced to convert to Islam, which explains the predominant number of Bulgarian Muslims in
the region.

At present, the town lives mostly on tourism and wood processing. The 80 mineral springs, mild climate and beautiful nature create ideal conditions for recreational tourism. The temperature of the springs varies from 220 to 900. While all three quarters of Velingrad have mineral waters, the Chepino one accounts for about half of the towns water resources. The mineral water of Velingrad combines the curative qualities of other mineral water-rich areas in Bulgaria, such as Hissar, Banya and Narechenski Bani. The springs are used for treatment of illnesses of the motive system, the stomach and the intenstinal tract, liver, skin, etc.

The towns most popular natural sight is the karst spring of Kleptouza in the quarter of Chepino. The karst spring is the biggest in Bulgaria, having an output of 570 litre/second. A beautiful lake with restaurants and a small park lies close to the spring. On the other hand, the most visited man-made sight is the old church of Kamenitsa, St Trinity, built in 1816 and recently renovated and re-painted.

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