Perperikon is located near the village of Chiflik. You can see a hill with remains of fortress walls. Traces of 65,000 BC are found here. Chr. from the Stone Age, when the first sanctuary was created. The temples were made of clay with walls of clay and stone. Found small clay vessels with food for the gods.

Perperikon (or Hyperperakion or Perperakion) is in the Eastern Rhodope range, some 10 miles from the town of Kurdzhali. The roads from Sofia, via Asenovgrad or Haskovo, are fairly good and well maintained. Perperikon is perched on a rocky peak at 1,400 ft above sea level guarded at its foot by the village of Gorna Krepost [high castle].

Thousands of years ago, Perperikon was a massive bald rock. Such rocks drew prehistoric humans like a magnet and became an object of worship. The rugged wilderness of the Eastern Rhodope must have cradled a rich megalithic culture long before the Thracian tribes inherited the land. The early inhabitants worshiped the huge undressed stones for their natural splendour. Later generations learned to carve and smooth the rocks and used them for shelter and protection.

During the Bronze Age, 1812 BC, there were stone steps carved into the walls, caves carved. There are traces of a burning fire on which the priest has foretold the future. Professor Ovcharov claims that here was the temple of Dionysius, described by Herodotus in the 54th century BC. The sanctuary was just like that of Apollo in Delphi. It was here that the priest predicted to Al. Great that you will become a great ruler. Also here they predicted the Romans would conquer the whole world.

From the middle of the 1st to 4th centuries, Rome flourished. One can see the Roman Quarter, a water system with smooth walls, the remains of an early Christian church (beginning at 4c) with the altar table in the middle. In 10c Byzantium made monetary reform thanks to the gold extracted in Perperikon and saved the financial system in the Roman Empire. In 5c there is a Gothic attack. In 9c for a while the settlement was Bulgarian. There were constant battles against the city between Bulgarians and Roma. The gold mines were famous in antiquity In 1344, Tsar Ivan Alexander conquered him and appointed a church head here, but after 1 year the Byzantines reclaimed him. In 1362, the Ottomans seized it and destroyed the fortress, which is still in oblivion to this day.


These must be ancient deities whose names we may never learn. A system of religious beliefs did not emerge until the early Iron Age, 11th-6th century BC, a period represented as well by the pottery found at Perperikon. Unlike the ancient Greek mythology, however, which developed at the same time, Orphism, the Thracian system of religious and philosophical beliefs is virtually unknown. Dionysus and Orpheus undoubtedly stemmed from that tradition but were a much later development.

Photo: Krasimira y Milen

Orpheus, one of the best loved ancient heroes, was born in Thrace. The ancient Greeks believed that he was the son of the river god Oeagrus and Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry.

A magnificent poet and singer, Orpheus rivalled even the god of poetry and music Apollo. His heavenly voice cast a spell on everything, animate and inanimate, and having joined the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece, he helped them escape the Sirens by singing so sweetly that he drowned out their perilous song. He was often portrayed playing the lyre, which Apollo gave him, and his music enchanted the trees and rocks and tamed wild beasts, and even the rivers turned in their course to follow him.