Today, the only bilingual digital guide Lost in Plovdiv will take you through several well-preserved landmarks from the time of ancient Thrace. You may not be able to see them in one day, but now you’ll have routes for the upcoming warm and pleasant weekends in October. During this period, walks in nature are even more beautiful because of the beautiful colors of the vegetation – don’t waste them at home!
The tomb in the village of Alexandrovo
We have told you in detail about the Thracian tomb in the village of Alexandrovo in a separate article. It is one of the most impressive sites of the cultural heritage of the Thracians that have reached us. It was built in the IV century BC for a noble Thracian. The site was discovered and studied in 2000 by archaeologist Georgi Kitov. In all likelihood, it has been robbed in the past by treasure hunters because it was discovered empty. From what archaeologists have discovered, the frescoes are extremely valuable. The main and best preserved is the central room. The tomb is located next to the Maritsa highway, but there is no turnoff to it. The easiest way to reach it is to take the turnoff for Dimitrovgrad, after which you have to drive on an inter-village road for about 20 km. However, the road is definitely worth it.
Cromlech near the village of Staro Zhelezare
The cromlech is a megalithic facility with a cult purpose. It is built of large stone blocks arranged in a circle or in several concentric circles that can reach 100 meters in diameter. The most famous cromlechs in the world are Stonehenge and Karnak (in Brittany). The best-preserved cromlech in Bulgaria is located in the village of Dolni Glavanak and was discovered in 1998.
With this text, however, we will virtually take you to the cromlech near the village of Staro Zhelezare, discovered in 2002 by Dr. Georgi Kitov. It is located east of the road between Staro and Novo Zelezare. It is unique in that it was buried under a mound. It consists of 24 stone pillars with a height of 0.5 to 2 m and has a diameter of 6.5 - 7 m. It has no alternation of high and low menhirs and in this sense it resembles the typical cromlechs in Western Europe. According to the archaeologist, it was made in the 6th century BC and was used for astronomical purposes. The site was excavated and abandoned and quickly collapsed by erosion - in 2009 all the stone pillars fell, most of them broken. In recent years, it has been planned to complete the excavations and preserve the stones, as well as to build an additional dome for protection.
Thracian complex Starosel
2400 years ago, this region was extremely populated and rich in social and religious activities. The discovery of the two Thracian temples under a mound in 2000 was a real archeological sensation. The main temple from the 5th century BC is located in Chetinyova Mogila (about 4 km from Starosel), and in 2002 the only heroon tomb with a colonnade, located in the Horizont mound (1.5 km from Starosel), saw the light of day.
Chetinyova Mogila is one of the largest in Bulgaria. It is said to be the last home of the Thracian ruler Sitalk. It consists of an impressive fence (crepida) with a length of 241 m and a preserved height of up to 3 m central and two side stairs, dromos, precisely executed facade and rectangular and round with domed roof spaces. Secret Orphic mysteries and rituals, which elevated burials to the gods were most likely performed here. On the north side of the temple, there is an excavated rock elliptical vase for the production and storage of wine. During the excavations around it, various forearms related to its preparation and consumption were found.
On the Horizont mound you can see a unique Thracian temple with a colonnade which is dated to the V-IV century BC. The temple was dug into a ready-made mound. Later, the rectangular room was covered and the front part remained visible. So far, this is the only Thracian temple with 10 columns. In the middle of the 4th century, a deified Thracian ruler was buried in the temple, together with his horse. The temple is actually a mausoleum/heroon temple. Later, it was desecrated, destroyed and then buried for unknown reasons. During the excavations a small part of the ruler's clothes and belongings were found - plates of gold armor, bronze arrowheads, pieces of ceramic vessels. The site has a free access and there is no ticket for it.