Cover Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/hdesislava
Cover Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/hdesislava

Exploring Perperikon and its mysticism

2 minutes to read

Every country has its mystical stories, its legends and magical places. My country is no exception. Due to its geographical location, its history and cultural heritage, Bulgaria disposes of countless places of mystery and magic. One of them is Perperikon, a place where you can explore the mysticism of Bulgaria, and the world.

Where to find Perperikon

Perperikon is located 20 km from Kardzhali, in southern Bulgaria. You can reach it by car, and there is spacious parking just next to the entrance of the place. Perperikon is a part of the Rodopa mountain range. It is an ancient sanctuary, which was discovered in the 1930s but excavated and studied in the first years of the 21st century only.

The ancient sanctuary Perperikon near Kardzhali
The ancient sanctuary Perperikon near Kardzhali
6685, Bulgaria

It is believed that this sanctuary dates back to 8,000 years. It was used by the Thracian tribes as a sacred place, where they honored the Sun as God. The whole complex is divided into different sections, such as a palace, an acropolis, an altar, stone streets, a basilica. The ordinary folk had no access to the stone complex of Perperikon, it was only for high priests and kings.  

Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/mtr
Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/mtr

In 2002, the ruins of a huge temple dedicated to Dionysius, were uncovered. On the site, you can see the ceiling of the temple, which has remained intact through the centuries. And no, not the Roman/Greek god, but the Thracian one, who was later appropriated by the Roman and Greek conquers of the area. 

Legends about Perperikon

According to some sources, here in Perperikon, in the Dionysius temple, two very crucial prophecies for world history were made. One of them was about the rise of Alexander the Great, and the other one, a few centuries after the first one, about a man named Augustus, who later became the first Roman emperor. Both Alexander the Great and Augustus` father were in this area in their own eras, and both went to the Temple of Dionysius in Perperikon to ask for their and their offspring`s destiny.

Why you should visit Perperikon

In order to make it easier for you to imagine the size of this stone complex, I only want to say that the palace, which I mentioned above, had seven floors. It the middle of the palace, there is a 30-meter-long hall, which was probably used for religious purposes. Such a big worship place of Dionysius is no coincidence, as he was identified with the sun, and the sun was a very important part of many ancient religions, not only the Thracian one. 

Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/hdesislava
Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/hdesislava

So, in the spirit of the ancient Thracians, who were probably wiser than we will ever be and had more knowledge about the world than we do, I advise you to go and explore Perperikon and its mysticism for yourself. And if you get to visit it on a sunny day, you could even stop for a moment, close your eyes, listen to the sounds around you, and feel the sun and wind on your skin. Then you will understand why did people worship nature and the sun so much, even 8,000 years ago. 


The author

Maria Belcheva

Maria Belcheva

My name is Maria, and I am a Bulgarian living in Vienna, Austria. I want to take you on a journey around all the amazing places and things worth visiting and experiencing in my homeland - Bulgaria.

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