The step of the Mother of God in Bulgaria and the miracles that happen there

A step of the Virgin is a rock depression, resembling a human foot print, but in significantly larger dimensions than are typical for humans. It is located near the Starozagorski baths, one and a half kilometers from the center of the resort in the north direction. It is reached by an easy and pleasant trek through meadows and low elevations, part of the magnificent Srednogorje.

The route takes about 20 minutes each way, there are signposts, and if you can’t see them because they are lost in the wild vegetation, any local from the resort will be happy to guide you. No matter what time of the year you visit the place, you will always see crystal clear water like tears in the Step of the Virgin that never dries up. Even in the hottest months of the year, when not a drop of rain falls around for weeks, and the locals experience serious difficulties with the water supply…

However, what is the history of the holy place and why is the water in it not subject to weather and climate? It is said that the Mother of God herself left her footprint right there, appearing to help a Christian in distress and stepping on the rock.

The water never dries up

Photo: personal archive

The centuries-old legend says that Roman soldiers were torturing a local peasant who prayed for salvation, and the Virgin herself appeared as a vision, carrying the Child in her arms, and rescued him in an instant from the tormentors. Where she stepped, a depression formed, from which water gushed. In it, the Mother of God bathed her child and her image disappeared… It is believed that precisely because of this, the water has not dried up even for a moment for centuries, and the people living around even then called the place the Virgin’s step.

Nowadays, a small chapel named “Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” has been built near it. Although it is not a very commercial destination, the area is visited by hundreds of believers and tourists, including on weekdays. Some come to witness the inexplicable rock phenomenon live, others to seek healing.

Even those who are not strongly religious and do not believe in such traditions claim to feel the energy there in a special way. Since Roman times, the place has gained fame as a healing and miraculous place. It is believed that those suffering from incurable diseases will receive help and forgiveness of their sins if they manage to slip through the rock cleft that passes through the rock on which the Virgin’s Step is. Those who fail, therefore, have an unclean conscience and must sincerely repent.

If you meet locals from the neighboring villages, they will gladly tell you more stories about dozens of people who received healing from above right there and about as many more who managed to beg from the Mother of God children after many years of struggle for generation. It is also said that wishes made on pilgrimage there, even if only in the mind, will come true if they come from one’s heart.


The place brings humility and peace

Photo: personal archive

This is not the end of the miracles that happened along the Virgin’s step. Centuries ago, those who came there noticed images of saints on the rock, as if painted by nature. Initially they painted on them with materials at hand, and today volunteers take care to paint them regularly and keep them in good shape so that they are visible to visitors. There is also a large metal cross right next to the foot-shaped faucet, into which some people drop small coins for luck.

You can combine your visit there with a nice picnic in nature. All around there are dense groves with cool shade, in the middle of which are built welcoming gazebos and benches for relaxation, where you can sit for a rest or lunch with pleasure. The area is most visited on September 8, when it is the temple holiday of the chapel, and every year a sacrifice is made and distributed there for the health of all lay people who have arrived from different parts of Bulgaria.

To make the walk to the Virgin’s Step even more complete, you can combine it with a visit to another unknown but incredibly beautiful area – Kazanka. It is located at the exit of the village of Kazanka, next to the Starozagorski baths. There is a big turn off to the left of the road, and the wells worth the trip are below the clearing itself. One of them can soften even the most unromantic soul because of its shape of a perfect heart, carved out of the eternal love between the stone and its river bride.

A small chapel has been built near the Virgin's step

A small chapel has been built near the Virgin’s step

Photo: personal archive

The article is in bulgaria

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