Bistrishko Branishte

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Coordinates: 42°37′50″N 23°15′17″E / 42.63056°N 23.25472°E / 42.63056; 23.25472

A track in the foothills of Golyam Rezen Peak crossing the upper Bistrishko Branishte.

Bistrishko Branishte (Bulgarian: Бистришко бранище) is a nature reserve on Vitosha Mountain in Bulgaria comprising the eastern slopes of Golyam Rezen (2277 m), Malak Rezen (2191 m) and Skoparnik (2226 m) Peaks, the northern slopes of Golyam Kupen Peak (1930 m), and the upper valleys of Vitoshka Bistritsa River and Yanchevska River. Surface area 1061.6 ha, elevation between 1430 and 2277 m.

Pogledets site on the eastern border of Bistrishko Branishte, with Golyam Kupen Peak in the background.

The reserve was established in 1934, together with Vitosha Nature Park of which it is a part. Since 1977 Bistrishko Branishte has been a biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB).

Over 50% of the territory is covered by forest (predominantly spruce), 100-120 year old on the average. There are several stone rivers in the Subalpine zone, partly penetrating the forest too. The larger animals found in the reserve include deer, boar, wolf and bear.

Bistrishko Branishte attracts many tourists from the adjacent Aleko Centre situated off the northwestern border of the reserve. Visitors are not permitted to stray away from the few designated tracks linking Aleko, Bistritsa Village (three tracks running along Bistritsa River, Yanchevska River, and via Pogledets site), Cherni Vrah, and Zheleznitsa Village.

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Bistrishko Branishte from near Golyam Kupen Peak, with Golyam Rezen and Malak Rezen Peaks in the background.

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