BAKARLAKA (MEDNI RID)
Bakarlaka is in the village of Ravadinovo, Sozopol municipality. It is about 10-15 km away from Sozopol and it can be reached along well-marked paths and an asphalt road. If you travel by car, you pass through the village of Rosen. Bakarlaka is 20 km southwest of Bourgas. One way of getting there is to take the road to Sozopol and turn right at Strandja hut in Otmanli area. Another way is to drive through the village of Atia which is to the right of Burgas Naval Base.
COORDINATES: 42°23’53.28” N и 27°36’32.32” E, 355 m above sea level
BAKARLAKA Protected Area is only 7.2 hectares in size.
Documents declaring it a protected area: Order №RD-1096 of 15.10.2004
Purpose for declaring it a protected area: Preservation of the natural habitat of Tulipa hageri and other protected and rare plant species, the spectacular landscapes and rocks.
Mode of activities:
Prohibited: construction, opening of quarries and other activities which lead to changes and destruction of the landscape or water regime in the area;
Prohibited: picking of wild flowers and herbs, pruning and breaking of branches and damaging trees;
Prohibited: felling of trees except sanitary;
Prohibited: forestry activities between February 1 and July 30;
Prohibited: importation of non-indigenous to the area plant and animal species;
Prohibited: livestock grazing.
Overlap: ЗЗ from the Birds Directive: Bakarlaka
On the territory of Bakarlaka there are 172 bird species, 43 of which are included in the Red Book of Bulgaria, according to the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. Here there grows in its natural habitat the so-called Thracian tulip or Tulipa hageri, which is among the protected species in Bulgaria. A common inhabitant of the area is the spur-thighed tortoise also called Greek tortoise.
Actually, Bakarlaka is officially called Medni Rid (Copper Ridge), but despite the fact that the name was changed more than 70 years ago it still continues to be popular with its old name. As the name suggests, the place is rich in copper ores, and there is even a certain amount of silver. The extraction of ore from the earth began in the second millennium BC and lasted until the late 20th century, when mining became too expensive and the mines were closed. Mine "Rosen" functioned here from 1945 to 1995.
Medni Rid is a remote mountain hill that surrounds like an arch the lower hills and plains around Sozopol. The ridge is about 18 km long and 3 km wide, has an elongated shape and runs parallel to the Black Sea coast. In the north the hill starts from the southern side of Bourgas bay, opposite the island of St. Anastasia, and in the south Ropotamo River separates Bakarlaka from Uzundzhata. Rosenska River springs from Bakarlaka and separates the ridge from Rosen hill. To the east of Bakarlaka is the village of Ravadinovo and to the west – the villages of Rosen and Veselie.
On all the hill tops from north to south – Atia, Bakarlaka, Lobodovo Kale, Malkoto Kale there are remains from Thracian fortresses built with stone blocks without mortar. These have not been sufficiently studied. Excavations were carried out only on Malkoto Kale in the nineteen seventies.
When the first settlers arrived from Miletus in the 7th century BC, they tried to settle here, but found out that the region was not very convenient and moved to Sozopol. However, some settlers remained in this area as it becomes evident from the artifacts from the 6th century BC discovered in the foundations of the fortress during excavations. The archaeologists have found arrow tips, coins, and an ancient statue of a young man. Atia still exists as a small village. Today, the fortress cannot be visited because it is on the territory of the military base.
Medni Rid is a natural forest that once used to protect the plains around Sozopol from potential invasions from the mainland. The Thracians greatly respected the forest and further fortified this natural fortress. There are mainly oak trees which were cut down a lot but still the ridge is densely covered in trees.
The 375-meter high peak Bakarlaka (from Turkish "bakar" – copper) is the final, easternernmost part of Strandja Mountain. Bakarlaka peak, and more precisely its eastern slope, is very suitable for rock climbing and caving.
At the highest point of the peak there is the Bakarlaka fortress. It was built with large, old, crumbly stones, stacked on top of each other without using any mortar. The fortress covers an area of approximately 4 acres around the top. It offers spectacular views of Bourgas Bay, Sozopol bay and the islands, peninsulas and fields near Sozopol, and when there is good visibility you can even seen the coast from Cape Emine to Primorsko.
In the area you can easily identify the dolmens – ancient Thracian tombs, built with huge stone blocks, each weighing 1-2 tons. Excavations in the area have not yet been carried out, this is why it is difficult to determine precisely what the remaining old buildings found nearby were used for. It is assumed that in the oak forests near Bakarlaka there once was a large Thracian settlement. Later on this sttlement became part of Apollonia. Evidence of the theory of existence of a settlement nearby is the discovered large amount of silt (in the form of over 150,000 tons of mining waste). The methods of ore extraction, however, were obviously very old and inefficient but nevertheless the place used to supply large quantities of metal to the ancient Thracians and Apollonia. The metal was used mainly for making statues to decorate the temple of Apollo, and also for making statues of eminent citizens of the village.
Bakarlaka is an attractive tourist destination because of the beautiful scenery combined with the mystery of the ancient fortress and settlement. The area is especially beautiful in early spring when the lilac and lime trees begin to bloom and fill the old oak forests with wonderful aroma. This is the time when you can see rare species of tulips because of which this place was declared a protected area.