Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/493

This page needs to be proofread.



rather than that of the Balkans. The imposing summit of Musalla (2930 m.), next to Liubotrn and Olympus, the highest in the Peninsula, forms the centre-point of the group ; it stands within the Bulgarian frontier at the head of the Mesta valley, on either side of which the Perin Dagh and the Despoto Dagh descend south and south-east respectively towards the iEgean. The chain of Rhodope proper radiates to the east; owing to the retrocession of territory already mentioned, its central ridge no longer completely coincides with the Bulgarian boundary, but two of its principal summits, Sytke (2188 m.) and Karlyk (2081 m.), are within the frontier. Prom Musalla in a westerly direction extends the majestic range of the Rilska Planina, enclosing in a picturesque valley the celebrated monastery of Rila ; many summits of this chain attain 2200 m. Farther west, beyond the Struma valley, is the Osogovska Planina,


culminating in Ruyen (2253 m.). To the north of the Rilska Planina the almost isolated mass of Yitosha (2291 m.) overhangs Sofia. Snow and ice remain in the sheltered crevices of Rhodope and the Balkans throughout the summer. The fertile slope trending northwards from the Balkans to the Danube is for the most part gradual and broken by hills ; the eastern portion known as the Deli Orman, or “Wild Wood,” is almost waterless, covered by forest, and thinly inhabited. The abrupt and sometimes precipitous character of the Bulgarian bank of the Danube contrasts with the swampy lowlands and lagoons of the Rumanian side. Northern Bulgaria is watered by the Lorn, Ogust, Iskr, Vid, Osem, Yantra, and Eastern Lom, all, except the Iskr, rising in the Balkans, and all flowing into the Danube. The channels of these rivers are deeply furrowed and the fall is rapid ; irrigation is consequently difficult and navigation impossible. The course of

20 (Greenwich)

Servian and Montenegrin GronCiera ‘Boundaries of Bulgaria and B. Rumeha according to the Berlin Treaty Boundary of Bulgaria according to the Treaty of San Stefano. W//////////WARestored to Turkey in 1886 Sketch Map of Bulgaria. the Iskr is remarkable : rising in the Rilska Planina, the river systems are wanting, but the Carboniferous appears in the western descends into the basin of Samakov, passing thence through Balkans with a continental fades (Kulm). Here anthracitiferous a serpentine defile into the plateau of Sofia, where in ancient coal is found in beds of argillite and sandstone. Red Sandstone and times it formed a lake ; it now forces its way through the Balkans Conglomerate, representing the Permian system, appear especially by the picturesque gorge of Iskretz. Somewhat similarly the around the basin of Sofia. Above these, in the western Balkans, Deli, or “Wild,” Kamchik breaks the central chain of the Balkans are Mesozoic deposits, from the Trias to the upper Jurassic, also near their eastern extremity and, uniting with the Great Kamchik, occurring in the central part of the range. The Cretaceous falls into the Black Sea. The Maritza, the ancient Hebrus, system,’ from the infra-Cretaceous Hauterivien to the Senonian, springs from the slopes of Musalla, and, with its tributaries, appears throughout the whole extent of Northern Bulgaria, from the Tunja and Arda, waters the wide plain of Eastern Rumelia. the summits of the Balkans to the Danube. Gosau beds are The Struma (anc. and mod. Greek Strymon) drains the valley of found on the southern declivity of the chain. Flysch, representKustendil, and, like the Maritza, flows into the iEgean. The ing both the Cretaceous and Eocene systems, is widely distributed. elevated basins of Samakov (lowest altitude, 930 m.), Trn The Eocene, or older Tertiary, further appears with nummulitic (770 m.), Breznik (750 m.), Radomir (630 m.), Sofia (500 m.), formations on both sides of the eastern Balkans ; the Oligocene and Kustendil (470 m.), are a peculiar feature of the western only near the Black Sea coast at Burgas. Of the Neogene, or highlands. younger Tertiary, the Mediterranean, or earlier, stage appears The stratified formation presents a remarkable variety, almost near Pleven (Plevna) in the Leithakalk and Tegel forms, and all the systems being exemplified. The Archaean, composed of between Varna and Burgas with beds of spaniodons, as in the ne ss an(

the Sarmatian stage in the plain of the Danube and in

Qeolosrv £eruptive i l crystalline schists, and traversed by Crimea veins, extends over the greater part of the the districts of Silistra and Varna. A rich mammaliferous deposit Eastern Rumelian plain, the Rilska Planina, Rhodope, and (Hipyarion, Rhinoceros, Dinoth erium, Mastodon, &c.) of this the adjacent ranges. North of the Balkans it appears only in period has been found near Mesemvria.* Other Neogene strata the neighbourhood of Berkovitza. The other ear ier 1 aiaeozoic occupy a more limited space. The Quaternary era is represented