Thracian heritage

DEMIR BABA TEKKE

If you are looking for a place in Bulgaria that combines nature, architecture and spirituality, Demir Baba's tekke will be among your top choices.

The saint's stone tekke, or shrine, lies at the foot of the cliffs of Kamenen Rid. Dense woods rustle around Demir Baba's tomb, an object so exquisite that from afar it looks like a toy that you could hold in your hand.

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ORPHEUS TOMB?

Orpheus's harp was so captivating and his songs were so beautiful that there wasn't a single creature on earth that was not enchanted by his gift. Wild beasts, rocks and stones, and even the gods stood becharmed.

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MEGALITH OR NOT?

The longest day of the year is nearing its close. The sun is descending towards the horizon and, in accordance with the Law of Romantic Sunsets, the sky and the panorama of mountain peaks and plains are flushed with a couple of hundred shades of red and blue.

The expectant crowd gathered on the mountain peak in Sredna Gora circle around, talking among themselves.

The sun continues its descent and is suddenly hidden behind a large cliff. The people sense the change and grow quiet, their eyes riveted on the cliff.

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THRACIAN TREASURES

The stories all begin differently. A villager goes out to plough the fields that his father and grandfather had ploughed before him for years, never getting anything besides grain in return. With a backhoe, a construction worker digs a trench for a canal. An archaeologist sinks a shovel into a burial mound. Or an imanyar, or illegal treasure hunter, scouts around with his metal detector and digs where the device squeals the loudest.

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SITOVO LETTERS

A Soviet undercover agent tries to decipher an ancient inscription protected by a stone guardian… this could be the beginning of a Dan Brown novel but is, in fact, a true story set not in Rome, Paris or Washington, but near the village of Sitovo, on the northern slopes of the Rhodope.

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SEUTHOPOLIS

A light breeze ruffles the surface of Koprinka Dam, creating a ripple of tiny waves in its wake. Some ducks land on the water, skidding unceremoniously to a halt. A fisherman sits motionless on the shore, waiting for his luck to change. Away to the north the majestic escarpment of Stara Planina stands sentinel to this idyllic Bulgarian scene.

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HISTORY OF BULGARIA: FROM THRACIANS TO NDK

You don't need to live long in Bulgaria to learn from your Bulgarian friends or from whatever scarce English language brochures you can get your hands on that the country boasts a rich history and an invaluable cultural heritage. It has been the birthplace of incredible generals and remarkable statesmen, an outpost against every foreign invasion into Europe and the cradle of at least a couple of great civilisations.

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