Rusenski Lom Nature Park
Rock monasteries in the river valley
• Location: Ruse Region
• Size: 3400 hectares
• Established: 1980
Rusenski Lom Natural Park is situated in Northeast Bulgaria, along the canyon shaped valley of Rusenski Lom River – the last right tributary of the Danube River. Its area is 3408 hectares. From each altitude in Rusenski Lom Natural Park amazing views burst. Within the endless river valley curves are waved as well as forests, the wild beauty of rock peaks and the old castles and settlements.
Rusenski Lom Natural Park flora numbers 902 species of higher plants. 13 species of Orchid family are fixed in the Park.
Birds amount to a total of 192 species, 174 of them under protection – this is the reason why the Lom river valley has been announced to be a significant ornithological spot; especially interesting for scientists are the rock dwelling species: Egyptian vulture, Black stork, Ruddy shelduck, White tailed Buteo, and owls.
Along the valley 70 out of totally 90 species of Bulgaria’s mammals can be found; 26 of them are various species of bats. The high percentage of rare and protected species of mammals is due to the diversity of living conditions and habitats and proves the exclusive conservational significance of the Park for their preservation.
Caves and monasteries
Historical monuments are an integral part of Rusenski Lom Natural Park. They are all over and create a fascinating atmosphere. Two archeological preserves are located within the Park, Ivanovo Rock Churches and Middle Ages Town of Cherven.
Amazing panoramas reveal from each height of Rusenski Lom NP. Among the most remarkable is the bird’s eye view from the height before the village of Cherven. Rocks outline a wide arc and in the foot, on the spacious hill embraced by Cherni Lom River, the prominent stone ruins of fortifications, churches, residential buildings, workshops can be seen. The town Cherven was situated here in the times of the Second Bulgarian kingdom (13-14th century), one of the biggest military and administrative, economic and cultural centers of the country.
In the cave "Orlova Chuka" you will dive into the real underground palace and indulge in adventures in the vast corridors and halls full of stories about ancient people, small ponds, and beautiful rock formations.
The cultural and historical image of Lom river valley would be dull without the rock monasteries. Only ruins have been left of them, but they color the rocks all along the valley and maintain the remembrance for the place as famous centre of spirituality, of literature and elite art and also remind that here a lot of grammarians assembled from all over the country; some of their founders were Bulgarian tsars.
Frescoes in the rock cloister of “Saint Archangel Michael” (12-14 century) are one of the heights of Middle Ages Bulgarian art and have been reckoned among the best works of Tarnovo painting school. In 1979 the cloister has been entered in the list of UNESCO Convention for the world cultural heritage.
The park reserved amazing natural habitats that can be seen walking through the eco trails: Bojenia starts from the village Bojichen to Ivanovo Rock Churches; ecotrail from Nisovo to Nisovo Large Monastery along river Mali Lom; ecotrail from village Nisovo to an old elm-the tree of the wishes.
Nature and rich cultural and historical heritage favour the development of tourism and recreation and their various forms as well as the hobby tourism of interests in the fields of ornithology, speleology, bike- and water tourism, archaeology, religion and photo-safari.