A budget ski resort expansion is poised to carve 333km of new slopes and 113km of ski lifts through a UNESCO World Heritage Site of “outstanding universal value.”
The 400 square kilometre Pirin National Park in Bulgaria is one of Europe’s best-preserved homes for large mammals such as brown bears and wolves, which roam its glacial lakes, alpine meadows and dense forest.
WWF expert in Bulgaria Katerina Rakovska said that new documents showed that the government had aligned its draft to “exactly” fit the zoning regime requested by the prospective ski resort builder, Ulen.
“This disastrous plan would open the door for the clear cutting of centuries-old forests, causing grave damage to biodiversity,” she said. “Research already shows that brown bears, chamois and capercaillie are avoiding areas of mass tourism. Under this proposal, they would literally have nowhere else to go.”
Skiers in brightly coloured jackets weighed down by boots and skis stagger along the pavement, overtaken by a horse and cart and watched by a group of old ladies chatting on a bench by the roadside. Not a sight you’d normally expect to see in a ski resort, but Bansko is a ski town with a twist. On one side you’ve got the Pirin Mountains with their towering peaks and modern ski resort. Then on the other side you’ve got a historic Bulgarian town full of cobbled streets and atmospheric restaurants. You can party on and off the piste then soak it off in a hot spring, or take a day out to visit a mountain vineyard or historic monastery. Whether you’re happier when you’re on or off the slopes, here are some of Bansko’s highlights.
Building is defined as any human-made structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or continuous occupancy. This article attempts to list the 10 oldest extant freestanding buildings constructed in the world which are the masterpiece of the skill and handwork of the people of that era. Today we become astonished to see these wonders that in so remote ages without any modern technology and machine how so great construction were made.
10 Oldest Buildings in the World
10. Dhamek Stupa, India
Dhamek Stupa is a massive stupa located at Sarnath, 13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, was built in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BCE, along with several other monuments, to commemorate the Buddha’s activities in this location. Stupas originated as circular mounds encircled by large stones.
Pirin National Park in Bulgaria could be added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. It shelters possibly the oldest tree in the Balkan peninsula and is home to brown bear, wolf, chamois, and 159 bird species. WWF has been urging for immediate action against multiple threats to the mountain and launched an international campaign to save the park. The main danger for Pirin National Park is a new draft management plan that allows construction on 12.5-times bigger territory compared to the current status and could lead to commercial logging affecting nearly 60 per cent of the park’s area. Currently, this is allowed on 0 per cent of the park territory.
WWF-Bulgaria‘s Katerina Rakovska, Protected Areas and Natura 2000 Expert, and Alexander Dountchev, Forest Expert, explain the current situation and possible solutions.
Sofia – Pirin National Park in Bulgaria, which shelters possibly the oldest tree in the Balkan peninsula, could be added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. WWF urges immediate action against multiple threats to the mountain and launches an international campaign to save the park.
Pirin has an exceptional beauty of mountain scenery, glacial lakes, continuing evolution of flora, and is an example of healthy, functioning Balkan uplands ecosystems. The natural coniferous forests shelter the 1,300 years old endemic Bosnian Pine tree called Baykusheva mura – it is believed to be the oldest one on the Balkan peninsula. Pirin is home to brown bears, grey wolves, chamois and 159 bird species among which is the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker, the rarest woodpecker in Europe. Read more
Sofia – Pirin National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage and EU Natura 2000 site, home to brown bear, wolf and many threatened species, some of them endemic or unique for Europe. A proposed management plan for Pirin National Park will allow infrastructure construction on 14-times bigger territory compared to the current area. The plan that goes for approval to the Bulgarian government says that nearly 60 per cent of the territory of the park could be opened to logging. Currently, this is allowed on 0 per cent of Pirin territory.
National laws, European nature directives and international treaties are supposed to ensure that Pirin National Park is protected as its diverse area is an unusual ecological refuge for hundreds of rare species including flora and fauna typical only for the Balkan region.