Shipka Pass

Shipka Pass

View from Shipka
Elevation 1,190 m (3,904 ft)
Traversed by
Location Bulgaria
Range Balkan Mountains
Coordinates 42°45′18″N 25°19′8″E / 42.75500°N 25.31889°E / 42.75500; 25.31889

Shipka Pass (Bulgarian: Шипченски проход, Šipčenski prohod) (el. 1150 m./3820 ft.) is a scenic mountain pass through the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. It marks the border between Stara Zagora province and Gabrovo province. The pass connects the towns of Gabrovo and Kazanlak. The pass is part of the Bulgarka Nature Park.

The pass is 13 km by road north of the small town of Shipka. It is crossed by a national road I-5, which runs between Ruse, on the Danube River, and Makaza border crossing to Greece.

A road also leads from the pass to the summit of Buzludzha, 12 km to the east.

Snow scene at Shipka Pass

Battle of Shipka Pass

Main article: Battle of Shipka Pass

During the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 and 1878, Shipka Pass was the scene of a series of conflicts collectively named the Battle of Shipka Pass, fought between the Bulgarians, aided by Russian volunteers, and the Ottoman Empire.

Shipka Memorial

A close view of the Shipka Memorial

The Shipka Memorial (Bulgarian: паметник „Шипка“) is on Stoletov Peak near the pass, reached by a flight of steps or a short road. It is a memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. It was opened with a ceremony in 1934 and designed by architect Atanas Donkov and sculptor Aleksandar Andreev.[1] An important influence was the Monument to the Battle of the Nations in Germany.

Another view of the memorial

The monument is a 31.5-metre (98-foot) high stone tower in the form of a truncated pyramid. A giant bronze lion, 8 m (26 feet) long and 4 m (13 feet) high, stands above the entrance to the tower, and a figure of a woman represents the victory over the Ottoman forces. A marble sarcophagus housing some of the remains of the Russian and Bulgarian casualties is on the first floor. There are four other floors where one can find replica of Bulgarian military flags and other relics. The top of the tower reveals a panorama of Shipka Peak and the surrounding area.[1]


Shipka Valley and Shipka Saddle on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica are named after Shipka Pass.

Eagle's Nest Hill in Vladivostok is named after the position held by the Russian troops on Mt St Nicholas during the battle in 1878.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Monument of Freedom". Bulgarian Ministry of Culture - Museum "Shipka-Buzluzha". Retrieved 2011-03-11.
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Coordinates: 42°46′N 25°19′E / 42.767°N 25.317°E / 42.767; 25.317

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