Tracing the Thracians
The Thracians were a mysterious group of tribes who occupied the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. They were famous for three main things: waging war, making jewelry and exquisite ornaments and producing wine. The Thracians were skillful and insatiable warriors, which is evidenced in the numerous wars they were engaged in. The Thracians were also well-known for producing fine jewelry.There are multiple impressive golden treasures from Thracian origin discovered in Bulgaria. Some theories that support the notion of the Thracians being the original inhabitants of this land point to the Thracians as the creators of the oldest golden treasure in the world discovered in northeastern Bulgaria near the city of Varna and dating back to 6 000 years BC.
However, it was their wine that gave the Thracians the undisputable reputation of wine-making masters. The Thracians were avid consumers of wine and had multiple rituals connected to wine. The Thracians worshipped Zagreus (or Dionysus as the Greeks called him or Bacchus as the Romans called him) – the God of Wine who inspired some of their most important rituals and cults.
You can trace the relics of the ancient Thracian city of Evmolpia in Plovdiv and Thracian religious complex (5th Century BC) at Chetinova Mound near “Starosel” Winery where you will taste the fine selection of white and red wines.
Experts believe there are more than 15,000 of thracians tombs in Bulgaria, a tenth of them in the so-called “Valley of the Thracian Kings” near the central town of Kazanlak. You can see – the tomb of Seutes III, temples on the hills Ostrusha, Shushmanec, Halvecia and the Griphons. Some of the finds there are in Louver today.
The ancient Kazanlak tomb is decorated with beautiful frescoes. It dates from the Hellenistic period, around the end of the 4th century BC. The Kazanlak tomb is located near Seutopolis, the capital city of the Thracian king Seutes III, and is part of a large Thracian necropolis.
The oldest and largest Thracian settlement mound is located near village of Karanovo, Nova Zagora. The archaeological complex “Eastern mound-chariot and tomb of a Thracian noble man from the first century” is where you can see a unique chariot with four wheels pulled by two horses and a dog.
The ancient Thracian city of Perperikon is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kardzhali, Bulgaria, on a 470 m high rocky hill, which is thought to have been a sacred place.
On tracing the Tracians we discover the Thracian sanctuary near Tatul village – one of the most megalithic monuments in Bulgaria. The sanctuary is a massive rock structure and its top is a truncated pyramid. It is believed that in ancient times here were also carried out astronomical observations. Legend says that here is the symbolic tomb of Orpheus.