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Thracian Sanctuaries

Tatul Village, Perperikon, and Belintash

thracian structureIf you are lucky enough to be traveling through the Rhodope Mountains of southern Bulgaria. Take the opportunity to immerses yourself into one of histories most mysterious and intriguing prehistoric culture- The Thracians.

In recent decades many new discoveries of the Thracian culture have been excavated within this mountainous region. Come visit today and learn more about the barbaric Thracian civilization of south eastern Europe once lived and thrived in the Rhodope Mountains.

Brief History

The Thracian people were considered to be of a ferocious, warlike barbarian group with a common trait of red hair. Dating back to the Bronze Age, the Thracian people were
predominantly descendants of southeast Indo-European tribes. While annexing indigenous people from all over the region to make up its early population.

During the Iron Age, Thracians begin to develop and thrive as a civilization. However, the many tribes within the Thracian culture were still divided and self governing. Never managing to form any political symmetry until the Odrysian state was formed in the 5th century BC.

This vast civilization expanded over the ancient provinces of Thrace, Moesia, Macedonia, Dancia, Scythia, Minor, Sarmatia, Bithynia, Mysia, Pannonia, Balkans, and Anatolia. Better known today as Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Romania and other parts of south east Europe. Similar to the Celtic and Slavic, most Thracian were said to have lived upon hilltops in small fortified villages.

Recording historical documentation, culture, and archives were non existent during the Dark Ages. Limiting the knowledge of the Thracian period and making very difficult for archeologist to ever completely understand. Not until the early part of the 20th century, and particularly after World War II in southern Bulgaria did archaeologist began rigorous excavation works. By the 1960s and 1970s a handful of Thracian ruins, sanctuaries and tombs were being discovered and quickly preserved. Among these ruins were the remarkable locations of Tatul Village, Perperikon, and Belintash.

Tatul Village

Located in eastern Rhodope Mountains. Tatul Village is perched majestically at 319m above sea level, and only 15 km east of Momchilgrad. This historic Thracian sanctuary is considered to be the religious epicenter of the Thracian people. Dating back to 4000 BC.

Tatul is comprised of a central altar, with two sarcophagi, and a deep well. The altar’s constructed of heavy clayTatul forming a uniform circle, and are thought to have been used for a multitude of sacrifices throughout history. You’ll find a rock pyramid, and tombs surrounding the site as well. Discoveries of religious artifacts were located on site have lead experts to believe this site to be a Thracian religious hub. Throughout the excavations in 2004-07 unique discoveries had been unearthed. Other discoveries, including the Thracian God of the Sun have been excavated in recent times, as well, model wheels of a Heavenly Chariot and a parts of a gold mask.

Conservation of Tatul began immediately after the excavations started in the 20th century. Currently, the site is a developing and popular tourist destination. In 2011, The Wonders of Bulgaria Campaign took place and Tatul Village was named one of the 10 wonders of Bulgaria.

Perperikon

Perperikon is located in the eastern Rhodope mountains just neighboring the town of Gorna Krepost and only 15 km north-east of town of Kardzhali. Visiting this wonder, you’ll witness the impressive archaeological complex containing a large megalithic Thracian sanctuary. Including a sacred city and medieval fortress. Perperikon is situated on a jagged rocky peak at roughly 420m above sea level. According to the evidence, activities of civilization dates back to 5000 B.C.

perperikonPerperikon is considered to be the largest megalithic archeological site in all the Balkans. Archeologists have been labeling the massive Thracian city “The European Machu Picchu” and "Stone Pompeii." Visitors to the site of Perperikon can lay their hands upon a multitude of ancient infrastructures, including the ruins of ancient city buildings, remittences of small streets, unusual city squares and even an ancient Thracian water supply system. It’s different from anything that archaeologist had ever associated with the barbaric Thracians civilization.

 

Belintash

belintashA Thracian sanctuary, Belintash is located in the Rhodope Mountains just 30 km southeast of Asenovgrad, between the villages of Sini Vir and Mostovo.

You can reach the terrace at the peak of Belintash by stone steps. Once you’ve ascended high above. Your senses will be tantalized by the amazing ancient astrological engineering feat laid out before you. View the niches, recesses and carved stone steps that is said to be a recreation of the celestial bodies and constellations.

Enjoy the opportunity to view the hand carved eyelets ritual urns which was once used to hold the ashes the Thracian common man. Also found on site are two, 2.5 meters deep tanks, which archaeologist report to have been used in rituals ceremonies.

Belintash was occupied by the Thracian tribe Besi and considered a cult temple for the god Sabazios. At the base of Belintash were discoveries of ancient graves, and Neolithic, Late Bronze and Early Iron ceramics.

Belintash is now a monument of national and world significance.

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