Το Σιδηρόκαστρο στο βιβλίο A HANDBOOK OF BULGARIA , 1920


A HANDBOOK OF
BULGARIA
Compiled by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence
Division^ Naval Staffs Admiralty


An alternative road continues in a WSW. direction 

down the Oseno valley till it reaches its confluence 

with the Struma opposite Simitlii at mile 5. From 

this point there is a track up the 1. bank of the 

Struma joining the main Demir Hisar-Juma'-i-Bala 

road at the bridge 3 miles N. of Simitlii (see Route 

26 at mile 74i). 


ROUTE 26

SERES—DEMIR HISAR—JUMA'-I-BALA, 83i miles

This is one of the principal strategical routes, providing a line of entrance into Bulgaria via the Struma valley from

the Salonica-Dedeagach railway at Demir Hisar. The light

railway from Juma'-i-Bala was reported (Jan. 1917) to have

been constructed as far as Rupel.

From Seres to Demir Hisar is a good chaussee (according to report of March 1916) through open cultivated country. The 

soil is of hard clay and stony, providing good going in all weathers.

From Demir Hisar to Juma'-i-Bala is a chaussee, the greater

part of which, from the Karasu bridge (where the road

from Petrich comes in) to Juma'-i-Bala, has been lately

repaired, and is in very good condition (Jan. 1916). From

Petrich to the Kryesna defile the alternative road on the right

bank of the river is narrow, but good, fit for two -wheeled

traffic. The road is vulnerable at many points in the Kryesna

defile. The Struma is fordable only in a very few places

(see p. 141), and in the upper reaches its current is swift. For the section Seres-Demir Hisar see Handbook of Macedonia, Roads and Tracks, Route 98, miles 0-18|.

miles

Seres. Demir Hisar railway station with special military

facilities (see section on Railways) close SW. of road. Pulyovo 1 mile NE.

Road reaches lower end of Rupel pass at the point

where the railway crosses the Struma (alt. 180 ft.), and hills on E. give positions commanding the

approach up river from W. and SW. (defended by

the Bulgarians against the Greeks after retreat from

Doiran, 1913).

Branch tracks : (i) Up the W. bank of the Struma for 10 miles,

where it joins the road from Strumitsa and Petrich

(Route 32, alternative) and crosses the Karasu bridge

at 10J miles to rejoin the route at mile 31 below.

(ii) To Doiran (see Handbook of Macedonia, Route

95 at mile 39), W. by S. Road follows 1. bank of Struma N. beneath heights

which are closer to the river on this bank than on

the other. 23 Rupel.

Alt. about 213 ft. The valle}^ widens.

The road crosses the Bistritsa, a tributai-y of the

Struma, by a stone bridge. Greek-Bulgarian frontier. Kula. Hence road bends NNW. and farther from

river. According to the Greek official map, 1914, a road branches SW. across the river by Karasu

bridge (stone or iron) to Petrich (7| miles) and Strumitsa. (See Route 32.) From Petrich a road reported

to have been made fit for motor transport runs NNE.,

crosses the Strumitsa (3 miles), and runs up the W.

bank of the Struma, close to the river and main road

throughout, as far as the Kryesna bridge (see mile 60

J

below) for a distance of 26 miles. 4 miles S. of Kryesna bridge this road is crossed by a road from

Bresnitsa and Pehchevo (see Route 35 at mile 16|).

A road branches in a general direction first N.,

and later ENE. to Nevrokop (see Route 28).

Marnopole. j mile N. is Marekostinovo village.

A report of June 1916 states that a new road, fit for

field artillery, has been made from here NNE. to Melnik, about 7 miles. Road crosses a spur N. to valley of Melnishka

(tributarj^ of the Struma), crosses stream, and

ascends hills to N., diverging from river. According to the Bulgarian map (1914) the branch

road already mentioned under mile 31 above leaves the route at this point (see Route 32).

Road turns NNW., and returns towards river. Livunovo. The light railway from Juma'-i-Bala

passes this village. Trains reported (Jan. 1917)

running to Marnopole.

Cross the Gogovitsa river (stone bridge). Lyeshnitsa 1 J mile NNE. up valley. Road returns to Struma

valley, and crosses a series of broad cultivated ridges

with intervening affluents of the Struma, viz. Bistritsa (stone bridge, mile 42J), Gyumendzha (wooden bridge,

mile 45).

Han Byelitsa. Cross the Gogovachka river (wooden bridge). Cross the Saz Dere (stone bridge).

Han Gradeshnitsa. The road approaches the

Kryesna Derbend (pass), scene of the Greek advance

in 1913.

Salih Aga. A road branches NW. across the river

(large wooden bridge) and leads W. to Pehchevo (see

Route 35). Cross the Kirkitsa stream.

It is reported that from Yenikoi, | mile up this stream, a road turns N. across the hills (2| miles) by

a winding course passing between the villages of Vakanov (7 J miles) and Mechkul (SJ miles) and

rejoining the main road in 9

J miles (see mile 64)

after crossing the Struma by a strong wooden bridge

of one 60-foot span (1905). This appears to be a

disused stretch of the main road.

Road turns NE. awa}" from river, and winds up the

side valley of the Sheitan Dere, IJ mile, then crosses stream by a wooden bridge, and returns W. 1 mile,

winding back to main valley.

Road crosses the Struma by the Kryesna bridge to W. bank, and continues up the valley, entering the

steepest part of the gorge. The gorge is nearly

7 miles long. The river and steep heights are to E. of the road, wooded hills to W. A flanking move- ment is possible against an army which holds the

defile. Alternative road from Petrich (see mile 31

above) enters from S. Alternative track mentioned under mile 56J above is said to enter from SE. Road continues along a narrow

gorge bordered by steep cliffs, following the stream
closely at a height of 30-50 feet above it, on steep
rocky slopes covered with brushwood. The light rail- way from Juma'-i-Bala rmis through the defile. Krupnik. End of gorge. Bridge over Sushitsa. Alt. 902 ft. Road passes !NNW. over more open and level valley to 71 J
Simitlii, commanded by hills to NW. and SW.
Road recrosses to 1. bank of Struma. Alt. 1,129 ft. Track from the Nevrokop-Juma'-i-Bala road (see
Route 24 under mile 47 1) enters from SSE. Road
ascends another gorge, following the windings of the
river. SOJ Karasukoi. N. end of gorge : the valley broadens.
Road leaves the river and turns N.
83i Juma*-i-BaIa, alt. 1,342 


ROUTE 28
KARASU BRIDGE—MELNIK—NEVROKOP, 32i miles
This road has recently been remade, large numbers of Serbian prisoners being employed on the w^ork, and is reported
as capable of bearing any weight (January 1916). It is an
important route, as providing a line of communication
between the Struma and Myesta valleys. The details given
below, being taken from maps in which the route is repre- sented as a track only, should be used with caution,
miles
This road diverges N. from the Demir HisarJuma'-i-Bala road, opposite the entrance of the
chaussee from Petrich (see Route 26 at miles 31
and 34), | mile ENE. of Karasu bridge.
1 Dolnya Spancha (Spanchevo). Road turns N. by W.
3 J Road joins another track from Juma'-i-Bala road,
and turns E. by N.
4 Kapatovo.
Road turns N.
Zevzili, alt. 804 ft. Melnik, alt. 1,214 ft. According to information of March 1916 a good
mule-track leads from here to Razlog via Lake Papa.
Road turns ESE.
Lebovishte. Road crosses several spurs in E. by S. direction. Gomya Spancha, alt. 1,001 ft. Road climbs ENE.
up the ridge between the Bistritsa and Dobrolaka
valleys.
Alt. 2,156 ft. Alt. 2,792 ft. Branch track NE. to Perin, li mile,
with mines.
Alt. 3,645 ft. Well. Road winds round hill-side N. of Dobrolaka vallej^
Alt. 4,541 ft. Head of Dobrolaka valley, and watershed, alt. 4,718 ft. An alternative track from this point leads ENE.
to Ola Kulbeleri (limile),SE. to Aktoprak (SJ miles),
and thence NE. to an alt. of 5,856 ft. (5| miles), and
descends steepty in the same direction to Nevrokop
(8 miles).
Road descends by a small steep valley NNE. by
Dagh Chiftlik. Road turns E
Nevrokop, alt. 1,853 ft. 





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