Belogradchik Rocks, Bulgaria

Many fantastic rock figures and small valleys with steep vertical slopes have formed over hundreds of millions of years as a result of the natural processes of erosion, denudation, growth of mosses and lichens, and other natural factors. The formation of the Belogradchik Rocks started during the Permian period, about 230 million years ago, when the tectonic cycle was folding to create the Balkan Mountains and elevating the region of Belogradchik. Later, during the Triassic period, the region became the floor of a shallow sea. At the same time, the destruction of the earlier Paleozoic rocks formed enormous quantities of gravel, sand and clay, which were deposited by the rivers into the sea basin. The sediment piled up and gradually became thicker layers of conglomerates and sandstone, with the conglomerate pieces becoming well rounded over time by the forces of water.[wikipedia]
Many fantastic rock figures and small valleys with steep vertical slopes have formed over hundreds of millions of years as a result of the natural processes of erosion, denudation, growth of mosses and lichens, and other natural factors.
The formation of the Belogradchik Rocks started during the Permian period, about 230 million years ago, when the tectonic cycle was folding to create the Balkan Mountains and elevating the region of Belogradchik.
Later, during the Triassic period, the region became the floor of a shallow sea. At the same time, the destruction of the earlier Paleozoic rocks formed enormous quantities of gravel, sand and clay, which were deposited by the rivers into the sea basin. The sediment piled up and gradually became thicker layers of conglomerates and sandstone, with the conglomerate pieces becoming well rounded over time by the forces of water.[wikipedia]


During the Jurassic period, over a period of 20 million years, the layered materials became firmly glued together by sand-clay solder or silicon. The hot and dry climate formed a great amount of iron oxide, or hematite, which gave the rocks their rusty red color. When the earth’s crust started to settle, lighter and smaller sandstones merged with the red conglomerates. At the beginning of the Cenozoic era and the early Alpine tectonic cycle, large anticlines, or folds were being formed in the Balkan Mountains, and during this time the region turned to dry land. About 45 million years ago, the rising of the Belogradchik anticline began, and during this folding, the limestone and the conglomerates in the core cracked, creating vertical and horizontal rifts in the ridge of the anticline. In the core of the Belogradchik anticline, Paleozoic rocks are found and the slopes are formed of conglomerates, sandstone, and Jurassic limestone. The vertical penetration and surface rivers favored vertical erosion of the rock layers, and the rifts, where tectonic movements occurred, were transformed by the erosion in small valleys and passes with vertical or steep slopes forming separate vertical blocks seen today as the rock figures.[2] [wikipedia]
During the Jurassic period, over a period of 20 million years, the layered materials became firmly glued together by sand-clay solder or silicon. The hot and dry climate formed a great amount of iron oxide, or hematite, which gave the rocks their rusty red color. When the earth’s crust started to settle, lighter and smaller sandstones merged with the red conglomerates.
At the beginning of the Cenozoic era and the early Alpine tectonic cycle, large anticlines, or folds were being formed in the Balkan Mountains, and during this time the region turned to dry land. About 45 million years ago, the rising of the Belogradchik anticline began, and during this folding, the limestone and the conglomerates in the core cracked, creating vertical and horizontal rifts in the ridge of the anticline. In the core of the Belogradchik anticline, Paleozoic rocks are found and the slopes are formed of conglomerates, sandstone, and Jurassic limestone.
The vertical penetration and surface rivers favored vertical erosion of the rock layers, and the rifts, where tectonic movements occurred, were transformed by the erosion in small valleys and passes with vertical or steep slopes forming separate vertical blocks seen today as the rock figures.[2] [wikipedia]


The Belogradchik Rocks are spread over the western part of the Balkan Mountains and cover an area of 50 km2. They extend from the village of Rabisha in the west to the village of Belotintsi in the east. The central group of rocks is situated just to the south and adjacent to the town of Belogradchik. Located here are the most interesting and impressive formations: Adam and Eve, the Mushrooms, the Schoolgirl, the Bear, the Dervish, the Shepherd Boy, the Lion, the Camel, the Madonna, the Horseman, the Monks, the goddess Bendida, the Rebel Velko, and many other stone figures.[wikipedia]
The Belogradchik Rocks are spread over the western part of the Balkan Mountains and cover an area of 50 km2. They extend from the village of Rabisha in the west to the village of Belotintsi in the east.
The central group of rocks is situated just to the south and adjacent to the town of Belogradchik. Located here are the most interesting and impressive formations: Adam and Eve, the Mushrooms, the Schoolgirl, the Bear, the Dervish, the Shepherd Boy, the Lion, the Camel, the Madonna, the Horseman, the Monks, the goddess Bendida, the Rebel Velko, and many other stone figures.[wikipedia]



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