Esoteric Bulgaria

The remains of the 1981 secret digs at Golyamo Gradishte peak

LAND OF FAKE MYSTERIES

"I dislike bringing people here." The voice of the guide from the tourist office in Malko Tarnovo drops, as we approach the summit of Golyamo Gradishte, the highest peak in the Bulgarian part of the Strandzha mountains. It is summer. The sun shines through the thick foliage of the oak forest. The only thing negative about this pristine location, in the Strandzha Nature Park, are the midges that swarm around our eyes.

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 11:10
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BULGARIA'S FIREWALKERS

Police checkpoints, scores of cars parked along the roadside and throngs of people crowding between stalls selling candyfloss, kepabcheta and cheap Made-in-China toys: on 3 June, the village of Balgari looks much like any Bulgarian village during a country fair.

Balgari's fair, however, is unlike any other. When darkness falls over the village square, barefoot men and women will dance on live coals.

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 17:02
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RHODOPE'S 'SACRED TRIANGLE'

Triangles fascinate the imagination. Throughout history, the geometric shape defined by Euclides as three points that do not lie on the same line has been laden with religious and spiritual symbolism. It has also been connected to topography, such as the Egyptians pyramids, the so-called ley lines, and the Bermuda triangle, supposedly marking energy vortices.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:22
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WHO WAS PETER DEUNOV?

Since the construction of a cable car to Seven Rila Lakes, visiting one of Rila's most beautiful locations at an altitude between 2,095 and 2,535 m is easy. Hundreds of trekkers and casual tourists do it on a daily basis. However, the people who gather at one of the lakes on 19 August are are not tourists.

Dressed in white, they perform a strange circular dance on the green meadow, under the blue sky. They are the Universal White Brotherhood, Bulgaria's best-known esoteric teaching.

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 12:05
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THE SECRET OF MISHKOVA NIVA LOCALITY

Until recently, no one was able to visit one of Bulgaria's most interesting sites, the dark grey remains of a tomb near Malko Tarnovo. Under Communism, people needed special permits to enter this small town in the Strandzha mountains, as it was only a few metres from the border with Turkey, a member of a hostile NATO member. Even if tourists had somehow obtained permits, it was impossible for them to cross the border fence and take a look at the tomb in the Mishkova Niva area.

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 15:35
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VANGA GOES GLOBAL

As 2015 was drawing to a close and the unravelling conflict in the Middle East (the ISIS, the refugees, the airstrikes, Russia, Turkey, the EU, etc, etc) spiralled deeper into a state that can best be described with expletives, the name of a Bulgarian suddenly hit the international news.

It was Vanga, the blind clairvoyant who died on 11 August 1996.

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:00
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RUPITE

The summer heat is oppressive, yet the shallow mineral pools in the yellowish clay are packed with men and women. Pleasure, peace and silent ecstasy can be read on their faces, which seems strange, as the temperature of the water is 75°C, the air stinks of sulphur and the skin of some of the people in the pools is alarmingly red.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:25
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TRUE OR FALSE?

Mostly right

"A time will come, a war will rage, a nation will rise against nations. It will move armed in iron and it will defeat many others, but it will lose the war."
Germany and the Second World War

"Your kingdom is growing, you have spread far, but be ready to get in a nutshell. Remember the date 28 August."
King Boris III's death and the outcome of the Second World War for Bulgaria

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:06
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SO SPAKE VANGA...

Bulgaria's destiny is to be the friend of Russia. It will overcome its current difficulties when the Saints 40 Martyrs Church in Tarnovo is restored and the ancient gold treasures are found. And a man will come and set everything straight in Bulgaria, ending that stupid game, democracy.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 11:54
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IN THE DEVIL'S FOOTSTEPS

Travel agencies often use the word "paradise" to describe Bulgaria’s natural landscape and holiday hideaways. If you consult any Bulgarian about somewhere in the countryside you are thinking of visiting, you will probably hear the phrase "a piece of heaven" at least once. Even in the national anthem Bulgarian land is referred to as "Heaven on Earth". However, as you become more familiar with the country's geography and history, you'll come across fewer signs of heaven and many more of hell. The Devil and his kingdom appear in the names of rivers, caves and natural phenomena.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:13
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