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Balkan Mountains facts for kids

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Staraplanina-krassiu
View from Ray Resthouse towards the Central Balkan Mountains. The Raysko Praskalo waterfall is in the middle.
Iskargorge-krassiu
The Iskar River passing through the mountains in a gorge
Kozya-stena-dinev
The Kozya Stena Reserve

The Balkan mountain range (Bulgarian and Serbian: Стара планина, Stara planina, "Old Mountain") is an extension of the Carpathian mountain range, separated from it by the Danube River.

The Balkan range runs 560 km from eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea.

The highest peak on the Balkan peninsula is Musala in the Rila mountains near Sofia (Rila range), with 2,925 m, closely followed by Mount Olympus in Greece and Vihren (Pirin range).

The highest peaks of the Stara planina itself are in central Bulgaria. The highest peak is Botev (2,376 m), located in the Central Balkan National Park (established 1991).

Passes

There are paved roads crossing Stara Planina at the following passes (listed from west to east):

  • Petrohan Pass: Sofia–Montana
  • Iskar Gorge (Iskarski prolom ): Sofia–Vratsa (also railroad)
  • Vitinya Pass: Hemus motorway (A2), Sofia–Botevgrad
  • Beklemeto Pass: Troyan–Karnare
  • Shipka Pass: Gabrovo–Kazanlak (also railroad)
  • Pass of the Republic (Prohod na republikata): Veliko Tarnovo – Gurkovo
  • Vratnik Pass: Elena–Sliven
  • Kotel Pass (Kotlenski prohod): Kotel–Petolachka (Pentagram) crossroads
  • Varbitsa Pass (Varbishki prohod): Shumen–Petolachka crossroads
  • Rish Pass (Rishki prohod): Shumen–Karnobat
  • Luda Kamchiya Gorge (Ludokamchiyski prolom): Dalgopol–Karnobat (also railroad)
  • Dyulino Pass (Dyulinski prohod): Varna–Aitos
  • Obzor Pass (Obzorski prohod): Varna–Burgas, future Cherno More motorway (A3)

Peaks

  • Midžor 2,169 m is the highest peak in Central Serbia
  • Botev Peak 2,376 m (named after Hristo Botev)
  • Vezhen
  • Kom
  • Buzludzha
  • Levski (named after Vasil Levski)

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