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Thracian Sanctuary in Tatul Served as Observatory

Stadart daily, 25 Feb 2011, 11.52

About 14 km to the northeast of Momchilgrad there is a village by the name of Tatul. The steep mountains around make no hint at the existence of one of the most remarkable Thracian sanctuaries in Bulgaria.
The Thracian system of rituals and beliefs revolved around the solar cult. For sure, the sanctuary in Tatul was used as an observatory of a kind for studying the movement of the Sun on certain days of the year.
The sanctuary is dated back to the 12th century BC. The complex consists of an ancient pagan sanctuary and a medieval fortress.

There are other rock massifs to the north where trapezium-shaped niches and rock vaults were found. In the nearby field tombs and stone objects have been unearthed bearing antique and medieval inscriptions. The research work that is still going on will determine if a temple of the famous Thracian musician and hero Orpheus really was situated at that place. In 2006 a sensational announcement was made – on the grave of Orpheus a grape-vine of the legendary Thracian ‘zela’ variety grew out, which has been thought to disappear ages ago. The most intriguing fact is that there are no vines growing on this hill and within a 10-km perimeter no grapes are grown. Maybe this is a message Orpheus sends to his successors. The variety has been named the “Tear of Orpheus” and is a blend of Mavrud and Cabernet flavors.

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