Mystical Places in Bulgaria
You are travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of incredible natural landmarks, cultural monuments and precious historical sites but of otherworldly energy… No, no, this isn’t the Twilight Zone. It’s just our list of Bulgaria’s most wondrous spiritual places.
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 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.
Hidden deep in the green forests of Strandzha Mountain, Indipasha is not only one of the most mysterious areas in the region but in the entire country as well. It is named after the sanctuary which was built in its very heart thousands of years ago by the ancient Thracians as a place for sacrificial offerings. The spot was so sacred that only few chosen druids and soothsayers were allowed to go there. Hardly anyone else knew the way actually. Nowadays this area is famous for its breathtaking nature and magic mineral spring. The legend has it that its waters have special healing powers which can cure all sorts of diseases, including blindness. Although Indipasha is only a couple of hours away from Burgas by car, you’d better contact a local tour guide if you really want to find the place.
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.
The village of Rupite is situated in the southwestern corner of the country, approximately 150 km away from Sofia. Some brave theories try to explain the supernatural powers and healing qualities of this place with a gigantic crystal energy sphere buried deep into the ground. Although these claims are a bit out there, there are many other factors which can convince one that this spot is indeed magic. For one thing we have been there, we have breathed its air, we have tasted its mineral waters and we can confirm that the place is really extraordinary. And if you don’t believe us, here is another fun fact which may change your mind – Vanga, the most famous Bulgarian clairvoyant, lived and worked in Rupite.
Tsarichina, which lies just 30 km away from Sofia, may not be the most picturesque spot in Bulgaria but it sure does flaunt one special feature that no other place in the country has – aliens! Okay, now that we have the ufologists’ attention let us explain what we really mean by that. About twenty years ago or so the residents of Tsarichina started witnessing weird things happening in the region around the village. This continued for a long time and culminated with the supposed landing of a flying saucer on a nearby hill. To make things even stranger, it was around that time when the Bulgarian military forces sent a special research unit led by renowned psychics and experts in the field of paranormal activity to Tsarichina. They set up a base there and started digging a hole in the ground searching for the remains of “the first man in the universe”. The Bulgarian Area 51 existed for a couple of years until one day everything came to an abrupt end - the soldiers just packed their equipment, filled the huge hole with concrete and left. Today no one can tell what they found inside that hole, but the case is still being widely discussed and investigated by both scientists and enthusiasts.
Karadzhov Kamak (Karadzhov Stone):
Karadzhov Kamak is the final piece which completes the magic triangle in the Central Rhodopes, the other two being Krastova Gora and Belantash that we already discussed. Each of these three supernatural apices used to represent a different world. Krastova Gora and Belantash, for example, stood for the worlds of the gods and the living, respectively. Karadzhov Kamak, on the other hand, symbolised the world of the dead. And rightly so. That was and still is one of the hardest and most dangerous sanctuaries to reach. Why? Well, it is perched on top of two steep rocks with a massive boulder stuck in the middle. The mere sight of this colossal natural sculpture with the huge piece of stone hanging in mid-air as if held by God Himself is awesome and humbling at the same time and discourages a lot of people from even attempting to get to the summit. Those who are still willing to take on this challenging endeavour, however, must know that the area is not safeguarded and the ladder which takes one there is rather rickety. It is worth taking the risk though.
The Megalith near Buzovgrad Village:
This bronze-age rock formation lies on the northern slopes of Eastern Sredna Gora Mountain in Central Bulgaria, right above the village of Buzovgrad and just 5 km south of Kazanlak. It comprises two horizontal boulders placed on top of two massive vertical ones that take the shape of a beautiful trilithon with a 2-metre-wide man-made opening in the centre. People used that megalith for a wide range of religious rituals in the past, but apart from being just an ordinary sanctuary it had one special function which most of its counterparts lacked - namely that of a sundial. That’s right, the hole in the megalith was cut in such a way so that on the day of the summer solstice the rays of the setting sun would pass right through it and fall on the rock on the opposite side. Thus the Thracians could tell the time and update their calendar. Apparently, this is one of the main reasons why locals nowadays refer to this area as the Bulgarian Stonehenge.
Sboryanovo Archaeological Reserve:
The penultimate paragraph of this spiritual article will take you to the northeastern end of Bulgaria where you can visit Sboryanovo - a historical and archaeological complex which consists of over 140 religious and cultural monuments that hide many supernatural secrets. It takes up a vast area just outside the village of Sveshtari and is located approximately 120 km west of Varna and 70 km southeast of Ruse. Of course, there exist lots of different theories discussing the magic powers of this place. Some of them are rather dry and scientific, others are a bit far-fetched and ridiculous even. Forgive us, but we are fans of the latter – so here is our personal favourite: the tumuli and tombs discovered in the region were not originally used for ritual sacrifices and funerals; instead, the ancient druids buried hundreds of pyramid-shaped and spherical crystals there whose incredible energy has been charging the land for centuries now.
That’s not all, of course. This text won’t be complete unless we mention the likes of some other popular Bulgarian spiritual places such as Perperikon, Tatul, the Madara Rider, the Stob Pyramids, the Belogradchik Rocks, the Seven Rila Lakes, the Standing Stones... we can go on like that forever. You can read more about them in our other articles.
You can read more about them in our other articles or check out our Attractions category. If you need a guide to support you to explore these places, find out the proper service provider at our Trips and Tours sub-category.