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The Dragalevci Lift

The Dragalevci lift, situated in Vitosha mountain, holds the distinction of being not only the oldest lift in Bulgaria but also in the Balkans. A two-seater lift that starts from Sofia’s Dragalevci district, it covers an elevation difference of 893 meters over a length of 1775 meters, taking 32 minutes for the full journey. Despite its historical significance and potential utility, the lift has been inactive for three years due to political reasons.

The lift building has unfortunately been subjected to vandalism, attributed largely to the lack of security and surveillance. This poses a challenge for nature conservation, as the mountain access is restricted to motorized vehicles. The lift was once frequented by cyclists for day trips up the mountain and served as a direct route to Goli Vrah and further to Cherni Vrah, the mountain’s peak.

The lift and the station pose safety risks due to the high current voltage that needs securing. Despite being a symbol of Sofia, offering natural experiences and adventurous journeys, the lift is now unlit, unwelcoming, and hazardous during the evenings. Nearby pedestrian alleys lead to attractions such as the Dragalevci Monastery, but lack of maintenance and exploitation hinder the area’s potential. Despite council meetings and reconstruction approvals, no repairs have been initiated, leading to a decline in tourism and local interest.