In the middle of a mountain, surrounded by gigantic peaks, you can find a tiny village called Gela. This place is may be tiny in terms of residents or size, but it is greater than anyone thinks.
Gela lies in the bottom of three Rhodope peaks, Galijala, Orpheus and Turlata. It’s 1500 meters above sea level, and that is something that pretty much defines a lot of thing about this place.
Legend says that Gela is a birthplace of Orpheus, mythical singer of gods. Archeology on the other, say that this place dates 3000 years b.c. It was inhabited by a tribe called Besi, strong and defiant people who were famous in their time. When Ottoman Turks occupied Bulgaria, Gela was not crushed under the attacks of their army. That is why people who have lived here, never changed their religion into Islam.
The climate is something special here. During the day it is comfortable, nights are breezy, and this is one of the sunniest places on Balkan, with approximately of 290 sunny days a year. Air is specific here because strong mases of sea air find their way trough mountains to Gela. The composition of that air makes this place, extremely good and healthy for those who have lung problems, and of course for anyone who wants to be in a good shape. Herbs from this area are wanted for teas and as ingredients to many wellness and beauty products.
The magnetic field on some locations is very strong and some say that clock and compass are confused in which way they should work.
Gela has around 90 people who live there. Last few new years that number is way higher because of many tourists who come here to have the good time celebrating.
There are many interesting sights around the village. One is an old fortress Gradiska, which is only five kilometers far. Turlata peak was also a fortress and because so many defensive structures Gela was never conquered.
Because of their resistance to Islam, and a fact that they never had to convert, many churches were built in the area around. Today we have a church of Holly Trinity, which is constructed on the site of the old monastery of Saint Elena and Constantine. Colour of this church is blue, and that suggest that there was some leftover of Thracian paganism coopted in Christianity.
Town of Smolyan is 30 kilometers away, and other tourist centers are a close bye.
For those who like to hike on mountain paths, Gela is a place to be. Three peaks are around it, all are well visible, and a view from each of them is amazing.
Trademarks of Gela are famous Flower of Orpheus, the big rock, around which beautiful pink flowers grow. This sort of flower , it is said, can only be found here, and according to legend, it grew from drops of Orpheus blood when he was killed by Dyonists priestesses.
I summer time, the second trademark of Gella begins. It is bagpipe festival. Every first weekend of August, from all Bulgaria people, come to see this attraction. The quiet and peaceful place becomes very cheerful and noise, when all contestants start doing what they know the best.
Gela is a mythical village, full of legends and sights to be seen and also a place for people who want to refresh themselves from everyday stress and enjoy as Orpheus did many years ago.