Dear Speleo friends, The Organizing Committee have the pleasure to invite You to attend the Balkan Speleological Conference, dedicated to the 85th anniversary of organised speleology in Bulgaria and the celebration of 50th anniversary of Speleo Club “Helictit”, which will be held from 28 to 30 March 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria. This important speleological meeting will be organised by the Speleo Club “Helictit” and hosted by National Museum „Earth and Man”, under the patronage of Bulgarian Federation of Speleology, Balkan Speleological Union and European Federation of Speleology. The conference will be a wonderful opportunity to gather together all Balkan cavers and speleologists, who are interested, involved and experienced in all the aspects of caving and karst research. The program will ensure the participation of the relevant and experienced speakers in different fields of caving and karstology, and will be planned to make it attractive to all speleologists, with a special emphasis for young participants. In this context, we would like to request the assistance to all the Balkan and European Caving Societies, together with their leading specialists, to take part in the execution of the program, which will ensure the success of the conference. The organizing committee will endeavour to provide not just an outstanding program, but also a good social program, which will allow all participants to enjoy the friendly atmosphere. We are looking forward to seeing you in Sofia in 2014! Please mark dates of this event in your calendar!

Balkan Speleological Conference Sofia - Bulgaria March 28 - 30, 2014

1 st Circular

Bulgaria is a country situated in southeastern Europe. The land area of Bulgaria is 110,550 square kilometers. The country is situated on the west coast of the Black Sea, with Romania to the north, Greece and Turkey to the south, and Serbia and FYRO Macedonia to the west. Considering its size, Bulgaria has a great variety of topographical features. The land may be divided into plains, plateaus, hills, mountains, basins, gorges, and deep river valleys. In the southwestern corner of the country are located Rila and Pirin Mountains - most outstanding topographic feature of Bulgaria and of the entire Balkan Peninsula. The Rila range includes Musala Summit, whose 2,925metre peak is the highest in any Balkan country. The highest peak of Pirin is Vihren Summit is 2,915. The First Bulgarian Kingdome was founded in 681. A symbiosis was carried out between the numerically weak Bulgars and the numerous Slavic tribes in that broad area from the Danube to the north, to the Aegean Sea to the south, and from the Adriatic Sea to the west, to the Black Sea to the east, who accepted the common ethnonym "Bulgarians". After the adoption of Ortthodic Christianity in 864 it became the one of the cultural centers of Slavic Europe. Europe.

Sofia (from the Greek σοφία - wisdom) is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria, as well as the 15th largest city in the European Union. Sofia is a city with around 1, 300 000 citizens , which represents 17% of the population. Located in western Bulgaria, in Sofia valley, this city is surrounded by Vitosha Mountain to the south, Lyulin Mountain to the west and north of Stara Planina. The total area is 492 square kilometres and the average altitude is around 550 m e. This makes it the fourth highest capital in Europe. The city is less than 200 km from the borders with three countries: 55 km from Kalotina on the Serbian border, 113 km from Gyueshevo on the frontier with the FYRO Macedonia and 183 km from the Greek border at Kulata. Sofia is the main administrative, industrial, transport, cultural and university center. Here is the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, many universities, theatres, cinemas, National Gallery of Art, Archaeology, History, Natural History and other museums. Sofia is named after the former cathedral of the city "St. Sofia". It was declared to be a capital of Bulgaria in 1879. In many places in the city center are reserved visible archaeological monuments from Roman times. The old names of Sofia were: Serdika, Sredets and Triaditsa. The motto of the city is "growing, never old."

The contemporary relief of the country is a result of continuous geological evolution. Due to that evolution there are magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks of different origin, age and composition. Their formation began more than 500 million years ago during the Precambrian and continues till now. The Bulgarian lands were often submerged by ancient seas and lakes, some land layers rose others sank. Volcanic eruptions were common both on land and in the water basins. The karst in Bulgaria occupies an area of 26 170 square kilometers or 22.7 % of the territory of the country. It is characterized by great diversity due to the complex combination of the factors and conditions of its formation (geological, tectonic, geomorphologic, hydrological and hydrogeological, climatic, etc.) and to the geodynamic development. The karst in Bulgaria is well developed in carbonate rocks and complexes of different age. They have various thickness and tectonic processing and have originative under different geodynamic circumstances. Up to date there were explored and surveyed more than 6 600 caves.

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