The town of Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria with just 230 permanent inhabitants. The town, together with the neighboring Rozhen monastery is declared a cultural and historical reserve. The breath-taking Melnik pyramids rank among the most remarkable natural phenomenon in Bulgaria. Over an area of about 17 sq. km. millennia-long erosion has created a truly unearthly world. It is up to the visitor’s imagination to distinguish obelisks, ancient towers, pyramids and giant mushrooms among the various forms of erosion. And while the sand-like rocks seem quite fragile at first sight, this natural phenomenon has proven extremely resistant to wind and water and has survived intact for ages. What is even more intriguing is the practical use of a number of these pyramids around for nothing else but wine cellars! Apart from the unique natural surroundings, the town also boasts for the fascinating architecture of its old Melnik houses, most of which were built during the Bulgarian Renaissance to testify for the grandeur and richness of the commercial hub with 25,000 inhabitants, which Melnik once used to be. Some of these are the famous Kordopoulov’s House with its impressive wall paintings and huge private cellar and the Boyar House, the latter being the oldest house in Bulgaria. The ruins of the St Nicholas monastery (12th century), Slav’s fortress (13-14th century), the Roman bridge and the old Turkish bath are other places of interest there. Moreover, some 7 km away from the town, up in the Pirin mountain, one can ride to one of the largest and most beautiful monasteries in Bulgaria - Rozhen monastery.
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