THE VILLAGE OF ZVEZDETZ AND VELEKA PROTECTED AREA
The village is located 55 km from Burgas on the main road E87 and 20km from Malko Turnovo.
Coordinates: 42°06’34.40” N, 27°25’02.43” E; 363 m above sea level
The Thracian burial mounds in the land of the village of Zvezdets are evidence of its important role in antiquity – it was the crossroads of important routes between Fakia and Vasiliki (today’s Tsarevo), Ahtopol and Ineada (in today’s Turkey).
In the seventeenth century it was a very well developed cattle center. Here was the oldest school in Strandja, built in the early nineteenth century.
The old name of the village was Gyoktepe, from Turkish “star hill”
Population:486 residents according to data of 01.02.2011
It is located at the foot of Selski Bair, at a high location, which reveals a panoramic view of Central Strandja. In and around the village there are about 60 springs and fountains.
Interesting places to visit are St. Petka chapel, about 2 km south of the village, the renovated Gospodyovoto Manastirche chapel, Uspenie Bogorodichno – a chapel in the village.
12 houses in Zvezdets have been declared architectural monuments.
After the village, in the direction of Malko Turnovo, starts the road to Petrova Niva, an area associated with the outbreak of Preobrajensko Uprising in 1903.
The village fair is in July.
ST. ATANAS CHURCH
The church dates from the late eighteenth – early nineteenth century. In 1903 the whole village and the church were burned down because of Ilindensko-Preobrajensko Uprising. In 1910 the church was rebuilt the way we see it today. The interior design of the temple contains an element which has not been used anywhere else in the architecture of Bulgarian churches. The semicircular apse continues to the roof, thus creating the impressions of being organically connected with the body of the church. This produces an impressive aesthetic impact.
VELEKA PROTECTED AREA
It encompasses a large area (1546.3 hectares) of land of the villages of Zvezdets, Brashlyan and Stoilovo. It was declared a protected area to preserve the old oak – beech forests and the picturesque canyon of Veleka River. It includes the middle reaches of Veleka where it passes through the karst region and forms numerous meanders. The centuries-old forests and rocky slopes host many birds such as the golden eagle, which in Bulgaria nests in trees only in Strandja. There are also black storks, Egyptian vultures and many mammals. Veleka River is the habitat of one of the best preserved in Europe otter populations.
The area is particularly suitable for tourists – it is accessible from Kovach area, Petrova Niva and Stoilovo.
Category: VELEKA Protected Area
SIZE: 1546.3 hectares
District: Burgas, Municipality: Malko Turnovo, Town/Village: the villages of Brashlyan, Zvezdetz, Stoilovo
Documents declaring it a protected area: Order №76 of 18.01.1989
Purposes for declaring it a protected area:
1. Preservation of the primary forest ecosystems and the picturesque canyon of Veleka River.
Mode of activities:
1. Prohibited: any construction, opening of quarries, mining and other activities which could change the natural environment in the area or the water regime.
2. Prohibited: felling of trees except sanitary or for cultivation.
3. Prohibited: hunting except for regulating the number of predators (foxes, jackals, wild dogs, wild pigs) in the period September 1 to March 1, when there is a demonstrated need for that.
4. Prohibited: disturbing and catching wild animals, collecting and destroying the eggs and nests of birds.
5. Prohibited: picking flowers.
6. Prohibited: using chemicals for plant protection.
7. Prohibited: gathering herbs, mushrooms and forest fruits for commercial and industrial purposes.
8. Prohibited: planting coniferous and other non-indigenous to the area tree species.
9. Allowed: grazing livestock except goats.
10. Allowed: using chemicals for plant protection in arable land from the land fund.
11. Allowed: tilling the land from the land fund in the traditional manner.
Overlap (partial or complete):
1. Natural Park: STRANDJA
2. ЗЗ from the Birds Directive: Strandja
A centuries-oldoak tree in Tonchov Pazlak area. The old tree has a circumference of 5.50 meters, a diameter of about 2 m and is in a remarkably good condition.
KRIVINIZOVO PROTECTED AREA (109.1 ha)
It was declared a protected area in 1991 to preserve the natural forest communities of Hungarian oak, Sessile oak, European beech with undergrowth of pontic rhododendronand Caucasian whortleberry, as well as the habitats of rare and endangered plant and animal species, such as the Egyptian vulture. It occupies a part of the southern slopes of Veleka River valley.
MORYANE PROTECTED AREA (102.7 ha)
It is located on the right rocky coast of Veleka River, about 4 km southwest of the village of Zvezdets. It is a typical ornithological site. A lot of rare birds nest here. This is the reason why it has been declared a protected area – to preserve the natural habitats of protected and rare species of birds included in the Red Book of Bulgaria and the list of endangered species in Europe.