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KOSTENETS

The town of Kostenets is the centre of a balneological resort region on the Lower Balkan Plain, on the upper area of the Maritsa River.
It was created when the Kostenets station and the villages of Momina Banya (Maiden's Baths) and Momin Prohod (Maiden's Pass) were combined (both villages survive as neighbourhoods in the town); all of which have a rather recent history. A village, also by the name of Kostenets, is situated 7 km from the town and has a much longer history. It emerged during the early Middle Ages and existed from the 7th to the 14th century under the name of Konstantsia. Now it is a balneological and mountain resort.

LANDMARKS IN THE REGION
• Remains of a basilica (5-6th century) and of a medieval Bulgarian fortress (west of the Cherkovnitsa Highlands).
• A well-preserved church from 1857.
• Trayanovi Vrata (Trajanus' Gate) - a historic location between two hills in the Sredna Gora, where a Roman road station, Sineum, was erected. The soldiers of Tsar Samuil won an important battle against the Byzantines here. Vasilius II's entire army was destroyed; only he and his personal guard escaped. This assured the territorial expansion of the Bulgarian state and almost thirty more years of peace. The Trayan Pass, through which the modern-day Trakia Highway makes its way, begins from this point.
• The Momin Prohod Resort, whose curative mineral waters were used by the Romans. The climate is moderate continental with a valley and foothill character. The average annual air temperature is 10.5°C (51°F). The mineral water from the nine springs is gathered in
a single pipe system with a temperature of 65°C (150°F) with a capacity of 920 l/min. (240 US gallons/min.) The water is super-thermal, lightly mineralized (sodium-sulfate, radon, and moderate fluoride) and, in radioactivity, is second in Bulgaria (after Narechen) and third in all of Europe. The resort treats diseases of the muscular-skeletal system, the central and peripheral nervous systems, the upper respiratory tract, and the lungs among others.
• The Kostenets Recreational Centre is situated 9 km from the town. Three mineral springs, with a total capacity of 300 l/min. (80 US gallons/min.) and a water temperature of around 47°C (116.5°F) have been tapped. The waters have similar curative elements to those of Momin Prohod (see above). A balneological centre was built that offers the ideal combination of healing waters, mild mountain climate, and beautiful surroundings. Not far from here one can find the beautiful Kostenets Waterfall.
• The Pchelinski Bani (Baths) resort 8 km from the town and 2 km from the village of Pchelin. The mineral water has a temperature of 73°C (163°F) at the spring and has curative elements characteristic for the entire Kostenets region. Many holiday centres and children's sanatoriums have been constructed.

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