Vratsa’s Skaklya Waterfall Amazed the Turkish Pasha With its Beauty

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The name of the waterfall Skaklya is shrouded in a legendary halo. The locals tell a beautiful story – at the end of Ottoman slavery, during a tiring campaign, the Turkish army crossed the Balkan and camped for the night under the waterfall. In the morning, when the golden rays of the sun illuminated the sparkling waters descending from the high cliffs, the Turkish pasha (Ottoman general) leading the army was left astonished by this unimaginable beauty. He exclaimed: “Mashala (Amazing), Skaklya!” The golden waters reminded him of one of his wives in his harem. She hailed from the Balkan and was named Skaklya.

The remains of the medieval Bulgarian town Patleina are situated in the area of the waterfall.

Vasil Levski held a meeting with the local Revolutionary Committee at the end of August 1872 at the area known as Baira (The Hill).

Skaklya is located in one of the most picturesque parts of the Vratsa Mountain, among centuries-old green forests and inaccessible rocks. It originates from the Patleina spring and the surrounding valleys. It is situated at about 900 m above sea level. A characteristic feature of this natural phenomenon is its inconsistency. It becomes flooded in May and June, after the melting of snow. Its flow can reach 200 and sometimes up to 300 l/sec. Skaklya can become completely dry in August and September. It freezes in winter, creating huge amounts of ice formations with bizarre shapes. Climbers can practice the fascinating, yet dangerous sport of ice climbing. There are four caves in the area of ​​the waterfall.

The waterfall’s name comes from dial. skaklya, meaning “jumping water, waterfall”.

In 1991 Petar Hristov, Georgi Chakalski, and Yasen Hristov made two independent measurements of the waterfall with the latest alpine methods in order to specify its height – 141 m, and width of the water strip is 20 m. According to Plamen Petkov – head of the cave club “Streshero” – Vratsa, the height of the waterfall is 148 m. With this height, Vratsa’s Skaklya gained the fame of the highest waterfall not only in the country but also in the Balkans.

There is another waterfall of the same name in Bulgaria. It is located in the Ponor Mountain, above Bov train station and the village of Zasele, near the town of Svoge, and in the past was a favorite place of the national poet Ivan Vazov. The story was published in the collection “God’s Bridge”, Vratsa, 2012. More legends that hide the sights of the Vratsa region can be read on the website: https://kartanavremeto-vratsa.org/.

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