IN In the first part of the series “The most mysterious places in Bulgaria”, I introduced you to some really interesting and mystical points in our homeland, which are definitely worth seeing live. Mysterious places on our lands are so many that it would be really difficult to fit them into one or even several articles, but I will still try to present you some of the most intriguing ones, at least in my opinion.
We continue the mysterious walk around Bulgaria with one of the most mysterious mountains in our country, namely Strandzha. And although I have already mentioned various points of it several times, today I will give an overview, as they say, of the whole picture, so that you can gain a greater idea of u200bu200bthis little-visited, but full of mysteries and pristine places mountain.
With its unique symbiosis between history, nature and traditions, Strandzha captivates everyone who dares to visit it. This place will fascinate you with its unadulterated wildness and mystique. Strandzha is not only the most southeastern mountain of Bulgaria, but also of the Balkans. In different periods of history, it has had different names – Salmidesos, Hemimont, Mons Asticus and others.
Strandzha, although a smaller territory, hides wonderful natural treasures and some rather mysterious places that have been piqued the interest of people for decades.
On the territory of Strandzha, near Kosti villagethe oldest Bulgarian reserve is located – “Silcosia”. It was declared as such already in the 1930s. Despite its small territory, the reserve offers a huge variety of plant and animal species. “Silkosia” is a real paradise for ornithologists from all over the world. Southern nightingale, shrike, little black-headed warbler and a number of other birds are found here.
It is located right next to the reserve Bulgari village – one of the oldest Strandzha villages, but that is not where its fame comes from. It is the only Nestinar village that has preserved the tradition of the ritual dance on live coals. Every year on May 21 – the feast of “St. Constantine and Elena”, you can see this amazing Bulgarian custom.
On the territory of Strandzha there is a town that was freed from Turkish slavery only in 1913 – Small Tarnovo. Here you can visit the three ethnographic houses turned into museums and get acquainted with the rich history and nature of the city and the region.
In 1903, during the Ilinden-Preobrazhensky uprising, Malko Tarnovo suffered the greatest defeats. Most of the houses in the town were looted and the population was forced to flee. And despite the hard fate of the local population in those years, today everyone from the city will greet you, welcome you with a smile and calmness.
It is located very close, 50 km away ivy village or more Sermashik. In this open-air museum, you will see a small cell school, known for being the only one in Bulgaria, in which, in addition to sandboxes, writing was also done on boards with heated wax. In 1903, voivode Yani Popov wrote the famous song “A clear month always burns”. It is inspired by the so-called “Sarmashishka Affair”, in which the first victims of the Transfiguration Uprising fell precisely here.
It is another important area not only in Strandzha, but also in the whole of Bulgaria Peter’s field. In 1903, a congress of the Edirne Revolutionary Circle was held at this historic place, where a plan was drawn up for the actions during the Ilinden-Preobrazhensky Uprising.
Near this area is the largest waterfall in the “Strandja” Nature Park – Dokuzak. It collects the waters of several karst springs from the Malkotarnovo valley – the Big Vris, the Small Vris, Sushitsa, Bigorot, Byala Voda and the Nine Springs. The height of the waterfall is only 5 meters, but its waters form a fairy-tale curtain, flowing over the rocks below.
And from here, the truly mysterious places in Strandzha mountain follow.
Traveling around Strandzha, we cannot miss the locality Mouse level, where a large mound necropolis was discovered. Marble altars to Apollo, an inscription dedicated to Heracles, and plaques depicting a Thracian horseman were found at the site.
Local legends say that near this complex is the so-called “tomb of Bastet” – famous Egyptian goddess of joy, holidays and patroness of pregnant women. She was the daughter of the Egyptian god of the Sun – Ra. True or not, this is part of local folklore, which in recent years has begun to attract more and more tourists, thirsty for new knowledge and exciting experiences.
But who is she really? Bastet and what do we know about her? It can be said that there is quite a lot of conflicting information about it and its existence. She is most often depicted as a cat or lioness goddess and is therefore most often found in images with a female body and a cat’s head. As I already mentioned, the legend says that Bastet is the daughter of the Sun God in Egypt – Ra. Of course, there are many other theories about its nature and origin, but it can be said that this is the most common.
It is difficult to determine exactly which is the most mysterious place in Bulgaria, but Strandzha Mountain can definitely rank among the top places. Is it the fact that it is woven of mysticism that makes it so interesting, or is that precisely the reason why it is little visited because people are afraid of what might be hidden there?
Whether we will find out, I don’t know, but until then it doesn’t hurt to touch the beauty that Strandzha offers.
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Author: Elena Isaeva