Татул / Tatul

The Thracian sanctuaries on the territory of Bulgaria are not few, and one of the most famous is near the village Tatul! The significant imprint of the Thracians in the Rhodopes is shrouded in mystery and expects to be unraveled to this day…

Where is located

The village Tatul is located 30 km southeast of the town of Kardzhali and 15 km from Momchilgrad. It’s located in the area of Kaya Basha, which means “Stone Head”. It is among the highest places in the area and reveals a beautiful view of the valley…

It’s easy to find your way to the small parking lot at the beginning of the village. The road is nice and brown signs indicate the direction of movement. There is a symbolic fee for the visit, and shortly after the booth for its payment, a well-defined alley takes visitors directly to the sanctuary. The entrance fee is 2 euro, and the walk is no longer than 15 minutes.

The sanctuary near Tatul

The megalithic monument has no analogue in Bulgaria and around the world! Some of the objects found during the excavations suggest that sacred rituals on the site have been performed since the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th millennium BC! Over the years, the sanctuary has undergone several periods of prosperity, from that in the ХVІІІ – ХІ century BC. the rock pyramid, the tombs around it and part of the formed paths around the complex remain. Numerous altars and hundreds of cult objects were discovered during the excavations. Including those that are directly related to the cult of the sun and the Sun God.

💡 Orpheus is a hero of ancient Greek mythology, for whose existence there are thousands of legends! Many countries in the Balkans attribute its origin to it, but perhaps its strongest connection is with the Rhodope Mountains… And according to texts by ancient authors, it was near Tatul that the funerals of Orpheus and Rhesus (a direct participant in the Trojan War) took place. In support of the claim that an important person is buried here is the fact that the tombs are on a high hill, closer to the sun, and not in a mound underground.

The main tomb of Tatul (the truncated pyramid) and the two sarcophagi are the most recognizable objects of the sanctuary. Especially the one in the southern part, above which is a carved arch. And about the importance of the sanctuary near Tatul, the found objects from Thracians, Romans and Goths speak. Pottery from Asia Minor, the Aegean Islands and Mycenae was also found, which testifies to the influx of pilgrims from all over the world!

Remains of an ancient fortress and 6-meter walls of a temple have been found around the pyramid. It’s believed that during the Roman era the place became a fortified Roman villa of a local feudal. Over the years the area was burned several times, and in the XII century the sanctuary was abandoned…

The connection with Perperikon

It’s believed that the ancient city of Perperikon and the sanctuary near Tatul were built at the same time by the Thracian tribe inhabiting the Eastern Rhodopes. They called them “Bessi” They got their name because of the sedentary lifestyle, which differed drastically from other nomadic tribes. The distance between the two sites is less than 50 km, and the Bessi walked it for around 4 hours!

For a final

This ancient sanctuary, built near the sun, takes us to the mysterious world of the Thracians… It reveals to us how they worshiped their gods and how strong faith they had. The sanctuary near Tatul is a historical monument that we must know, honor and preserve for future generations…