No matter how far away the town of Tran may seem, in its extreme district Beraintsi there is a rock chapel that is worth visiting! St. Petka Chapel is a natural cave and is one of the most visited places in the area.
Where is located?
The town of Tran is located in the Kraishte area and is located 80 km from Sofia. The distance is covered in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The chapel itself is in one of the end districts of Tran and to get to it you go all over the city. Literally before the last residential buildings is the small parking lot where you have to leave the car. The place is well defined and on weekends is full of cars and people. There are also several souvenir stalls located near the car park, which can serve as a guide.
Lifting your head up you will see the chapel of St. Petka rising from the rock! Well-defined stairwells lead visitors to its entrance. The place is impressive at first sight and we can’t wait to see it from the inside.
The rock chapel of St. Petka
It doesn’t take us long to climb to the entrance of the temple. From there it is clear that the chapel was restored in the period 1990-1994, and after then we understand that before that it was robbed, used as a barn and what not… There are so many who want to touch this holy place that we have to wait about 15-20 minutes. No problem, we have a nice company of several cats.
The space in the chapel is small and is entered in groups of 6-7 people. There is no entrance, and the curator of the Holy Monastery welcomes all visitors and happily tells them the legend of the place…
The legend of St. Petka
Saint Petka was born in the city of Epivat, today’s Turkey. As she began to preach and heal, she was immediately persecuted. It is believed that in the first quarter of the 11th century she chose this cave as her hiding place. Here she helped everyone who came to her with faith in her heart. One day, while baking a loaf of bread, she heard infidels approaching and managed to escape in a short time. So they found an empty cave and the freshly baked bread… One of the soldiers reached out to break off a bite of it, but when he touched it… it turned to stone!
Today you can see the petrified bread, as well as the traces of the hand and foot of St. Petka, which she left during her escape. And from the ceiling of the holy place flows water, which according to folklore is healing. Many people come to leave gifts, light a candle and pray to the Bulgarian saint…
The views from above
Climb to the platform above the rock chapel to admire the views of the area. On the opposite hill you can see another small church – the Holy Trinity. And on the other side there are several stables, housing the animals of the locals. The place is separated by benches and is pleasant for a light rest in the nature of the region.
The town of Tran
One of the most depopulated and poor places in Bulgaria… welcome to the town of Trаn! Unfortunately, in recent years young people are fleeing to Pernik and Sofia. For the rest here… there isn’t work and livelihood is difficult. The Bulgarian children in the classrooms of the local school “Geo Milev” are counted on the fingers of one hand. People are locked somewhere between “what was once” and “I hope it gets better”…
And in contrast to this picture, the city center shines! The buildings are renovated, landscaped, aligned and very nice for walking and relaxing. And the monument to workman Giga follows passers-by with a sharp eye. He put it on his shoulder the handsaw and with an adze in his belt, the workman is the symbol of the Tran’s masons.
What else can we see?
There isn’t lack of places for tourism in the area. The municipality must certainly work in their development and promotion. The gorge of the Erma River is a nice place to visit, and the Kraishte area provides various opportunities for climbing mountain peaks. The museum of the Kiselo Mlyako (Yogurt) in the village of Studen Izvor and that of ceramics in the village of Busintsi are two other very interesting places. The small Vrabchanski waterfall brings a pleasant coolness in the hot summer days.