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Mystical Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria

The Rhodope Mountains are a great mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece in the Bulgarian South have always been regarded as a place of sanctity and magic. In history people believed that this is the birthplace of Orpheus – the divine musician and poet from the Greek Mythology. The mystical atmosphere can be felt at the ritual sites from the past such as ‘solar circles’, womb-shaped caves, altars and ritual couches. Belantash: The white plateau-shaped rock of Belantash is located in the Central Rhodopes about 45 km away from Plovdiv and some 200 km southeast of the capital city Sofia. According to some theories, there used to be a large sanctuary in this spot, which was built by the ancient Thracians in honour of Dionysus, the god of wine. Recently archaeologists also discovered a rare inscription there which proved that the people who had inhabited the region before the ancient Greeks had, in fact, developed an elaborate writing system long before their famous inheritors. The most important feature of Belantash, however, is the upper part of the plateau where one will find a mesmerising prehistoric star map comprising various holes, niches, grooves and stairs cut directly in the rock. Experts have nowadays collected a substantial amount of evidence which proves that this platform is an accurate representation of the sky as it once was. Beglik Tash: Beglik Tash is widely regarded as the oldest megalithic sanctuary ever discovered in Southeastern Bulgaria. Essentially, it is a massive 12-by-9-metre boulder that was put in place and shaped by dedicated Thracians over 5000 years ago as a symbol of fertility. Today some locals say that the supernatural powers of this place have to do with the temple of Orpheus that was destroyed around the 4th century AD, others claim that they simply stem from the magnificent view of the Black Sea it offers. If you ask us, the best way to find out is to go there and see for yourself. This religious complex is situated about 65 km south of Burgas. Krastova Gora (Forest of the Cross): Many dedicated Christians label Krastova Gora as one of the holiest destinations in Bulgaria. It lies on an extraordinarily beautiful hill in the Rhodope Mountains no more than 60 km south of Plovdiv and 45 km away from Asenovgrad. As the name suggests, this exquisite natural phenomenon has the shape of a cross – a fact that has been interpreted in various different ways by people over the course of time. The most popular myths claim that this beech forest was the place where they hid the cross on which Jesus Christ was hung and that was precisely the reason why it got its present-day form and heavenly powers. A single walk around this area will be enough to recharge your batteries and help you forget about all your troubles.

May

07

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