Thracian heritage

mezek tomb.jpg

MYSTERIES OF MEZEK TOMB

However, apart from the destruction that it continues to bring, there are a few occasions where this illegal activity has led to extremely interesting discoveries. The Thracian tomb discovered near the Mezek village, in the region of modern Svilengrad, is one such story.

The mound that hides the tomb is a spectacular sight, at 14m high and about 90m wide. Its name, Mal Tepe, or Gold Hill, indicates that its secrets had long gripped the imagination of the locals.

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 12:04
0 comments
tomb caryatids.jpg

UNESCO-LISTED TOMB IS THE STAR OF SBORYANOVO ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESERVE

Bulgaria is dotted with places entwining its millennia-old history, but few of them can compare with Sboryanovo Archaeological Reserve. Situated in Bulgaria's north-east, near Isperih, it preserves a city of the ancient Thracians, one of their most astonishing tombs, and the most popular Muslim shrine in the country.

Sat, 04/09/2016 - 13:27
0 comments
thracian treasure.jpg

WHO WERE THE THRACIANS?

These people were the Thracians.

Today their name is barely known to anyone outside southeastern Europe. The Thracians built for eternity – especially tombs and shrines – but they lived in the moment and, underestimating the importance of writing down their deeds, they left next to nothing about their history, faith and beliefs. And so, bar the fascinating sites and treasures they created, the life of the Thracians remains more or less a mystery.

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 12:44
0 comments
perperikon rock city.jpg

PERPERIKON: MAGICAL RHODOPE SITE

The priestess raised the gold bowl and the strong, dark Thracian wine in it reflected the light of the fire burning on the altar. There was only her and the nervous Roman officer standing in the oval-shaped roofless inner sanctum of the shrine of Dionysus, yet the place seemed filled with an invisible presence.

The officer swallowed his fear and moved closer to the priestess. Dionysus was about to reveal the future of his son, Octavianus.

The priestess closed her eyes and poured the wine over the fire.

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:56
0 comments
karanovo prehistoric tell.jpg

KARANOVO

If you have ever been to Troy, in present-day Turkey, you were probably a bit disappointed or even felt slightly cheated. The unremarkable ditches your tour guide dragged you through had little in common with the glorious pictures of passion, war and tragedy embedded in the popular imagination by Homer and the Brad Pitt movie. If you listened to your guide, however, you might have gathered that the settlement that is now portrayed to tourists as the Homeric Troy is important to historians for another reason.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:30
0 comments
rock niches.jpg

THRACIAN BULGARIA, PART 1

Three nations are considered the forefathers of modern Bulgarians; the Slavs, the Proto-Bulgarians, and the Thracians. It all began at the end of the 7th Century AD when land-tilling Slavs united with horse-riding Proto-Bulgarians against a common enemy, Byzantium. The lands where Bulgaria was born, however, were not empty, as the remains of the Thracians, the ancient people described by Herodotus as the most numerous after those of India, still lived there.

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 12:38
0 comments
belintash_1.jpg

MEGALITHIC BULGARIA

Bulgarian incentive tourism is usually presented to foreigners as a blend of picturesque Revival Period villages and monasteries, Thracian tombs and treasures, and of course Rosa Damascena, the Bulgarian rose. The country, however, is also the home of megalithic monuments often over-looked as they are known mostly to history buffs. But they do make up a strange, yet fascinating heritage: in Bulgaria you can wander Indiana Jones-style around rock shrines and tombs, stone circles and dolmens, and stare at the mysterious outlines of solar circles and rock niches.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 07:13
0 comments
deaf rocks.jpg

DEAF ROCKS

You have probably visited Perperikon, the mighty fortress inhabited for millennia and hailed as the site of the famous oracle of Dionysus, where the destinies of Alexander of Macedon and Augustus were foretold. It is now popular to use it as evidence of the ancient and sophisticated culture of what is now Bulgaria.

The Rhodope, however, is home to a site which can rival Perperikon in importance, grandeur and charm. Gluhite Kamani, or Deaf Rocks, about 13 kilometres by car from Lyubimets is much less crowded. There, the Thracians created a rock sanctuary about 3,000 years ago.

Mon, 10/29/2012 - 14:32
0 comments
aleksandrovo tomb.jpg

ALEKSANDROVO TOMB

The archaeologists who were finishing off the excavation of two small Thracian burial mounds on the spot where the future Trakiya Motorway would bypass the village of Aleksandrovo, near Haskovo, felt that day was different from the very beginning. 17 December 2000 was the last day of the excavations and brought the first bright sun after a long and depressing series of mists so thick that visibility was often less than 10 metres.

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 14:01
0 comments
demir baba tekke 3.jpg

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.

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 13:32
0 comments
buzovgrad megalith 3.jpg

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.

Wed, 07/06/2011 - 14:34
0 comments
The gold mask also used as a drinking vessel was buried 2,300 years ago with its owner - presumably the Thracian king Teres II (351–342 BC). It was discovered in 2004 in Svetitsata tumulus near Shipka. The mask weights 670 grams

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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:02
0 comments
sitivo inscription

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.

Wed, 10/27/2010 - 10:53
0 comments

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.

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 08:44
0 comments