Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Balkan Peninsula

Balkan Peninsula, The, is the name applied with some vagueness to the projecting mass of land that divides the Adriatic from the AEgean Sea, the northern boundary being drawn at the river Save and Lower Danube. Greece and Roumania, however, are not regarded as being covered by the term, which is usually restricted to the European provinces of Turkey, of past or present times, thus including Bulgaria, Eastern Roumelia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Novi-Bazar, Servia, Montenegro, together with the purely Turkish provinces of Adrianople, Salonika, Kossovo, Scutari, and Janina. The entire area is irregularly pervaded by the Balkan Mountains (anc. Haemus) and their offshoots, Rhodope, Pindus, and Olympus. They attain their greatest height in the west (6,500 feet), where they have a tendency to run parallel to the Adriatic. Olympus is 9,725 feet in height, and Muss-alla 9,500. Of the thirty passes that cross the main ridge from north to south, the Shipka (for which the Turks fought so gallantly in 1877-8) is the most famous. The Danube claims a large proportion of the country; but in the south, the Maritza, the Kara Su, the Vardar, and the Indje flow from the slopes of the mountains into the AEgean. The only two important lakes are those of Scutari and Ochrida. Within recent years the Turkish empire included the whole peninsula, but the disintegration of the now independent elements took place in the following order: - Greece, 1836; Servia, 1830-1867 and 1878; Roumania, 1856 and 1878; Bosnia, Herzegovina given to Austria, 1878, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Eastern Roumelia, 1878.