In the footsteps of past civilizations
Bulgarian lands have always been of great interest to a large number of peoples in different age periods. Whether because of the key geographic location, the beautiful and rich land, or for any other reason, everyone had a different reason to crave for them. But it is precisely thanks to this interest that history today allows us to enjoy a unique and varied archeological heritage. An inheritance that glorifies us all over the world and makes us proud we the features we’ve been given.
And on this occasion, we turned to Sredets (Bourgas region) to see the archeological treasures that those lands hide! Read further down for more information.
Table of Contents
Deultum’s eternal glory
Our first stop was the Roman city of Deultum or today’s Debelt which has played a very important role in history. This was the point that everyone coming from the East had to go through in order to go west. It is curious to mention that precisely for this reason Byzantine created here customs, collecting funds through taxes.
That’s why this place has inherited an impressive rich history that is hidden behind the walls of the ancient city and is waiting to be discovered and explored by the hardworking archaeologists.
Nowadays, on the territory of the Deultum archaeological site, there is a museum, impulsion and archaeological excavations that we can explore.
The collection has different subjects from the everyday life of the then inhabitants, giving us a clear idea of their way of life. You will be surprised by the fact that things have not changed much over the years and do not differ dramatically from the life we are leading now.
The museum passes through several periods, with the objects of the epoch and people belonging to them being thematically arranged. I hope to show you through the photos how much life has been boiling in this place, and how well the people living right here have been developed and skilled.
After the museum we headed to the ruins of the city which look incredibly beautiful. This part of the excavations is very small but it is a proof of the scale of the ancient city. We can understand many curious facts about the way cities were built and built. Also, thanks to the ruins, today archaeologists can understand which building/room were used for what purposes.
Every day: 9:00 – 18:00
Entrance: adults – 5 BGN
Entrance: children and pensioners – 2 BGN
Entrance: Children up to 7 years old and disabled – free of charge
Talk Museum – BGN 6
Talk Book – 6lv
Talk Museum and Reserve – BGN 10
The Roman city of Deultum is 17 km away from Bourgas, most easily accessible from the Trakia highway. There are labelled signboards that you have to take;
I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the guide, it is extremely interactive and interesting;
The place is extremely pleasant for family tourism and you will get an unforgettable cultural ecstasy;
Тhis is the only site in Bulgaria, awarded with the “European Cultural Heritage” sign.
The legendary Markov stone
Markov Kamak, better known as the Great Stone, is a Thracian sanctuary located near Dolno Yabalkovo. The place itself is very interesting as location and energy. The atmosphere is typical of Strandzha – mystic and harmonic. And the view you find by going up the stairs of the stone is breathtaking.
Like any cult facility this is also surrounded by intriguing legends. One of them reads the following: the collected in the recesses (so-called steps in the photos you can see) water is healing for problems related to infertility and eye diseases;
Another legend says that the Virgin Mary has dropped the stone. God’s mother wanted to help the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in the construction of the fortress wall of Constantinople and carried stones in an apron. One of them dashed past Dolno Yabalkovo. Nowadays, the site is often visited by women who have reproductive problems and believe that the “godly” rock debris heals infertility.
To reach the stone you have to reach the village of Dolno Yabalkovo, from there, depending on what care are you with, you have to take the road to the right of the village church;
The road is mainly suitable for off – road cars;
Markov Kamak is 2 km away from the village;
Dolmen, the religious customs of the Thracians
Dolmen Zmeuva dupka is located in the vicinity of Korubata, near the village of Kirovo. This is the best preserved dolmen in Strandja. It presents several vertical stone slabs that form a chamber and are covered with another stone slab. The main room is covered, and the front and the dromos are deflected.
These buildings were adopted as facilities related to the religious rites or burials of the Thracians. So many remains of dolmens can be seen on the territory of Strandja Mountain.
The place is privately owned and I would not advise you to risk entering alone. It is best to contact Sredets tourist center and they will assist you with visiting this place;
During our tours, we stayed in a holiday village in Golyamo Bukovo. A place that offers a pleasant experience sleeping in comfortable rooms located in a wide garden, inhabited by fluffy rabbits and a shy deer. And all this is very affordable. I advise you to visit their site for more information: http://villagebukovo.com/
MedhaOct 7, 2017
I personally love exploring archeological ruins. I have not been to Bulgaria and do not know the history much so this was an interesting post for me to read. It does seem like a place I’d love to explore too!
DarioOct 7, 2017
Hi Medha, thank you a lot for the kind comment. Bulgaria is a little paradise that is really affordable. You must visit it! 🙂
KarenOct 7, 2017
What an interesting way to explore Bulgaria. I’m certainly adding this to my list ?
Mel and MarcusOct 7, 2017
It looks really interesting part of Europe with such a varied history. As well as the usual statutes, it is good to see the small everyday items used by the actual people.
Rhonda AlbomOct 7, 2017
The legends behind the Markov stone are so interesting. I remember when we visited Lordes in France that the water there was also considered to be healing, and that people would come from hundreds of miles away just to bathe in it. Was it the same type of pilgrimage for the stone?
DarioOct 7, 2017
Exactly! It was just like that 🙂
ShwetaOct 8, 2017
Markov stone reminds me of giant boulders in this small town called Hampi in south India. My husband and I have always been fascinated with Roman history, this site in Bulgaria – a country I have never visited seems interesting.
DarioOct 8, 2017
Bulgaria is full with Roman history and it’s tottaly worth it to visit 🙂
SimonOct 9, 2017
I love looking at historic artifacts and those at the museum look well-preserved. The Markov stone is quite interesting and the view is worth climbing up those stairs for. The holiday village is a charming little place as well.
Susan ROct 9, 2017
I’ve always wanted to visit Bulgaria to see the churches with their frescoes but I didn’t know about all the sites that you mention. The Markov Stone looks very mystical. Does it get quite crowded there?
DarioOct 9, 2017
Markow Stone get crowded only on specific days like festivals days in the spring 🙂
Jen JoslinOct 10, 2017
The museum and Dolmen Zmeuva dupka look most interesting to me. I would love to visit Bulgaria! Pinning this post to reference later 🙂
ElisaOct 10, 2017
Interesting sights and history (legends) behind! I did not know about them despite having studied my Bulgaria Lonely Planet well for my trip. I visited some Thracian ruins (not the most famous) but this one also looks interesting
DarioOct 10, 2017
Bulgaria is a pure treasure in history I mean this place is full with ruins, golden treasures and etc! You need to visit it again 🙂
Megan JerrardOct 10, 2017
I had no idea that Bulgaria has such a rich archeological heritage – but wow! Will definitely have to add Sredets to my next Europe trip! The Deultum archaeological site looks so fascinating, and love that the museum passes through several periods. I’m really interested in archeology, so this is right up my alley. The concept of a Dolmen is really interesting too – I’m so amazed that such sites can stand the test of time, offering insight into civilizations long gone.
JenniferOct 11, 2017
The far reaches of the Roman Empire never cease to amaze me. During that time, to travel and spread out your empire so far would have been no small or easy feat.
It’s also incredible that even today people will make the pilgrimage to such sites as the rock because of a belief of special healing powers. I don’t really believe in all of that, but the tales are interesting to hear.
PaigeOct 12, 2017
I’ve never heard of this site, which isn’t shocking because I’ve not looked into Bulgaria, which is a shame! How cool of those people to ket you go on their land and great that they make it easy to visit at that center. Crazy that it’s the only site with the Cultural European Heritage sign.
Majid KhanJun 9, 2020
No doubt, Sredets is one the best site to visit in Bulgaria for the people who love history. An ancient Debelt village is a must visit as there are still signs to see.
DarioJun 9, 2020
Thank you for the comment, I’m happy that you enjoyed Sredets and appreciate it as a historical gem.