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The ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (also Perpericon) is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kardzhali, Bulgaria, on a 470 m high rocky hill, which is thought to have been a sacred place. The village of Gorna Krepost ("Upper Castle") is located at the foot of the hill and the gold-bearing Perpereshka River flows near it. Perperikon is the largest megalith ensemble in the Balkans.

It is thought that the famous sanctuary and oracular shrine dedicated to Dionysus of the Bessi was situated there.

A visitor centre is being constructed at a cost of 2.4 million Euros
Human activity in the area dates back to 5000 B.C. The first traces of civilization on the hill date from the Bronze Age, while the ceramics found on the place date from the Early Iron Age, as well as the impressive round altar, almost 2 m in diameter, hewn out of the rocks.

At the time of the Roman Empire, a giant multi-story palace was erected according to archeological evidence, and an imposing with its size fortress was built around the hill, with walls as thick as 2.8 m. Temples and quarters of residential buildings were also constructed in the fortress.

The megalith complex had been laid in ruins and reerected many times in history.

A church pulpit was found by Bulgarian archeologists at the peak of the Thracian rock sanctuary on 10 September 2005. It is thought of as the first finding of the kind in Bulgaria. The pulpit was probably built at the end of the 4th century AD or the early 5th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Honorius and coincided with the period of the christening of the Thracians in the Rhodopes area.

It has the form of a one-ship basilica of 16.5 m length, which is the most typical form of an early Christian religious temple. The pulpit, which is almost untouched by time, is richly decorated with stone-carved ornaments. An eagle with largely spread wings is clearly seen on the rock.

It also bears five inscriptions in Greek, which are yet to be explained but which archaeologists suppose are liturgical writings.

One hypothesis suggests the church existed until the 12th century when it was levelled by barbarian invaders. At about that time it was probably sealed up and abandoned to the oblivion of time.

Perperek Knoll on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after the settlement of Perperek in connection with the Thracian holy city of Perperikon

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Maria Fuchedjieva (Lanfear) (36)
  • Genre: Plaatsen
  • Medium: Kleur
  • Date Taken: 2009-03-06
  • Categories: Architectuur
  • Belichting: f/1.5, 1/8 Seconden
  • Fotoversie: Originele versie
  • Date Submitted: 2009-06-28 13:23
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