Perperikon, The City of Stone

Perperikon is the largest megalith ensemble in the Balkans and it is an early historical Bulgarian stone complex in the Eastern Rhodopes, consisting of a large megalithic sanctuary from VI – V millennium BC, ancient monuments and a medieval fortress. Among the Thracians Perperikon was a sacred rock town, a fortress with a royal palace and capital.

The history of the Stone City begins long before the Thracians. According to historians, the oldest traces of human habitation in Perperikon date back to the Neolithic. Even then, people worshiped the rock formations that gave them a natural fortress, home and connection with the Gods. With the improvement of the tools, the ancient inhabitants of the area began to shape the rocks, carving entire dwellings in them. Perperikon’s development continued during the Bronze Age, making it one of the oldest cities in the world, along with Troy and Mycenae. The stone city is located near the town of Kardzhali. It occupies the highest peak (735 m) above the valley through which the Perperek River flows. Perperek is one of the hundred national tourist sites in Bulgaria.

The proto-Thracians revered the stones and the sun and their union symbolized a new beginning and the eternal cycle of life. Undoubtedly the most important role in the construction of the sanctuary was played by the them. The sanctuary was used mainly for religious rituals and sacrifices. According to archaeologists, Perperikon (“the place where stone meets sky”) was the centre of this ancient culture. Later Romans, Bulgarians, Romans and Goths lived here.

Only thirty meters below the Acropolis of Perperikon
finds a grand palace, as from fairy tales. It is thought that the famous sanctuary and oracular shrine dedicated to Sabazios (similar to Greek Dionysus) of the Bessi was situated therе and it is constantly growing and reaching its full flowering in Roman times.According to ancient historians Alexander the Great came to the sanctuary and received a prophecy that he would conquer the world. Shortly after he invaded the Persian Empire.Exactly in this part during excavations a unique early Christian church with an interesting altar in the middle was discovered. It is hardly a coincidence that the large round altar and the oval hall facing the sky are located right in the northwestern part of the complex. Interesting parts of the complex are the reservoir, the fortress walls and the tower. The original is kept in a museum in Kardzhali.

So visit Perperikon and learn more about Bulgarian history. The best time of the year to go is during the spring. There are several possible ways to get to Perperikon:

By car and organized transport;
With a regular bus line from Kardzhali bus station – 13.00.
We recommend that if Perperikon is your number 1 destination in the region, use the detour from the village of Chernoochene. This will save you about 50 kilometers.
Work time :
Every day from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm

Entrance fees for Perperikon:
· Students and pensioners – BGN 2
· Visitors over 18 years of age – BGN 6.00
· Guide – BGN 30
· Discount for groups over 20 people – 50%
· Children up to 7 years and people with disabilities – free of charge

You can also visit some sights near Perperikon such as: Stone mushrooms – the village of Beli Plast; Monyak Fortress – Kardzhali as well as the regional historical museum in Kardzhali.

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