UNESCO E-library of Park Škocjan Caves and The Karst Biosphere Reserve

In the most beautiful, magnificent, and visited parts of Pirin mountain between the areas of Predel and Todorova Polyana, is situated the oldest national park in Bulgaria. Established in 1962 as “Vihren National Park“, with an area of 9736 ha, designated to preserve natural stands of century old forests, composed by Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce) and Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii), Pirin National Park now covers a territory of 40,356 ha. Within the park, there are more than 50 peaks over 2500 m. Among them is the tallest, Vihren, at 2914 meters above the sea level, the third highest in the Balkan Peninsula. From the rocky peaks to the valleys, the mountain is striated by 35 large and small cirques in which lie about 170 glacial lakes.

foto partnerji bolgarija-1Pirin National Park

In 1983, Pirin National Park has been inscribed on the list of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO, with an area of 27 000 ha.

In 2010, with a decision of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, the territory of the Property was extended. The main part of the extension is high mountain territory over 2000 m in altitude and consists mostly of alpine meadows, rocky screes and summits.

Currently, the World Heritage Property covers a territory of about 40 000 ha in the Pirin mountains and overlaps with the Pirin National Park, except for two ski zones, above the towns of Bansko and Dobrinishte, determined as buffer zones of the World Heritage Property.

Spread over the highest part of Pirin mountains, at an altitude between 1008 and 2914 m., with typically alpine relief, represented by significant segmentation, steep slopes, high ridges and deep river valleys, the National park and World Heritage Property comprises glacial lakes, waterfalls, caves and predominantly coniferous forests.

On the peaks and ridges vegetation is scarce, but one can glimpse the mountain "climber", the chamois, and the symbol of Pirin, the enchanting edelweiss flower. The lower slopes are covered with evergreen dwarf trees, black and white fir, spruce, white and black pine and inhabited by bears, wolves, foxes, deer and wild boar ... Near the Banderitsa hut, is located and the oldest conifer tree in Bulgaria - Baykusheva Mura, with an age of around 1300 years.

Exceptional biological diversity and high percentage of endemic species characterize the territory of Pirin National Park and World Heritage Property. More than 1300 vascular plants, which constitute 1/3 of the Bulgarian flora, from which 86 are Balkan endemic species, 17 are Bulgarian endemic species and 18 are local endemic species, could be observed here.

Within the territory of Pirin National Park and World Heritage Property, there are also about 2100 species of invertebrates and 229 species of vertebrates – 6 species of fish, 8 species of amphibians, 11 reptiles, 159 species of birds and 45 mammals, some of which with varying degrees of threat - 5 species, listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria and 4 species, threatened with extinction in Europe – the long-eared bat, the hazel dormouse, the mole-rat, and the brown bear.

Pirin National Park is also a part of the European Ecological Network - NATURA 2000.

Prepared by: 
Tsvetelina Ivanova, Ministry for Environment and Water


Izdelava: Studio Matris