Hisarlaka offers many and varied opportunities for rest, recovery and entertainment.
Hisarlaka Forest Park is located on the lowest branches of the Osogovo Mountain, near the town of Kyustendil and offers incredible conditions for recreation and tourism amidst beautiful nature, fortress remains, hotels, restaurants and gazebos. Its area is 1300 decares.
There are many interesting places for entertainment in Hisarlaka. It attracts with its beautiful pine forest. It was established by forester Yordan Mitrev in 1890-1912. In 1952 the forest was excluded from the forest fund and designated as a park. Black pine predominates here, white pine, fir, spruce, maple, cer, linden and others are found. Alleys, recreation areas, children’s and sports grounds, fountains have been created. The hill is connected to Kyustendil by 3 asphalt roads and many alleys. From the high parts there is a panorama to the city, the Kyustendil valley and its fenced mountains.
Hisarlaka is associated with folk tales and holidays, and today – with the holiday “Kyustendil Spring” – a traditional city holiday of pagan origin, reception and transmission of the symbols of spring, carnival procession, national celebrations. On the day of the holiday / March 21 / every year, regardless of the weather conditions, all Kyustendil residents and their guests go out in the afternoon as a family to Hisarlaka with food and drinks. The chosen girl arrives there and congratulates them on the coming spring.
Hisarlaka has an important settlement-forming significance since the Thracians. Remains of ancient and late antique necropolises have been discovered. A coin of the Roman emperor Caracalla / 196-217 century / depicts the temple complex / Asklepion / of Pautalia / today’s Kyustendil /, located in the sacred grove on the northern slope of Hisarlaka. A fortress has been discovered on the ridge plain – the Acropolis of Pautalia, built at the end of the 4th century; used during the First and Second Bulgarian state as a feudal castle and destroyed in the XV century. Today part of the fortress wall has been restored and included in the overall architectural ensemble of the park.
The walk to Hisarlaka Park is pleasant, as especially for pedestrians there is a pedestrian zone, “Path of Health”, and for lovers – “Alley of Love”. The park is the city’s Zoo, where you can see different animals and you rejoice in them.
The famous park “Hisarlaka” is a favorite place for recreation and cultural events, for “green schools” and for cycling. The vast meadows and pedestrian alleys have a wonderful view of the mountains Osogovo, Rila and Pirin.