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Millennia-old dolmens – the unfathomable secret of Bulgaria’s Sakar Mountain

The Dolmen at Nachovi Chairi locality near Topolovgrad is one of the best-preserved in Bulgaria’s territory
Photo: Veneta Nikolova

Sakar is a mountain in Southeastern Bulgaria, close to the border with Turkey. It is the lowest mountain and one of the most sparsely populated regions in the country. There have been claims that Sakar used to be a cradle of an ancient civilization that has still not been researched extensively by scientists. Nowadays, remnants of hundreds of menhirs, sanctuaries and dolmens scattered across the remote and inaccessible corners of the mountain, kindle the fantasy of explorers and mystery seekers. No wonder that lately Sakar has started to be referred to as the Megalithic Park of Europe.

As it turns out, there is an exceptionally rich concentration of facilities that date from the dawn of humanity. Among them prevail the so-called dolmens - horizontally-fixed massive stone slabs, or capstones, supported by vertically-situated megaliths, all weighing a few tonnes each. These monolithic “chambers” have been inexplicably fixed in their position by a human hand, seemingly with ease. Tombs, astronomical observatories or sanctuaries… Their real purpose remains unknown. Veselin Kulvachev, director of the Municipal history museum in the town of Topolovgrad, has his own theory about their origin. According to him, the Sakar dolmens are energy centres. Our ancestors have constructed them on that specific location due to the massive deposits of granite plutonium, but mostly due to the quartz veins, which emit thermal energy.

“The archaeologists who research the dolmensclaim that these are the earliest monumental buildings and that they were ancient Thracian tombs. I believe, however, that the Thracians did indeed use some of them as funeral chambers, but this happened at a later stage. Prior to this, the most likely purpose of these dolmens was for meditation and astronomical observations. The most widespread thesis is that the dolmens in Sakar date back to 12th-6th century BC. In reality, the Thracian funerary artefacts found in them are from this period, but whether the chambers themselves were constructed in that period or earlier, by an ancient civilization, is yet unknown.”

Dolmens are also sometimes called “dragon holes” or “dragon houses”. Some time ago, people used to believe that dragons, embodying male strength, were living there. There are many songs and legends of young maids having being abducted by dragons with golden wings, inhabiting these stone houses. According to another local belief, the dolmens possessed healing powers and women who could not conceive, had to go through the opening of the stone holes with the hope of having a child.

“Once upon a time, people used to feel the earth’s energy, they understood the force of the Cosmos,” claims Veselin Kulvachev. “They used to feel the forces of the natural properties of the granite, the quartz and were using them. In these megalithic structures, they used to meditate and heal. And they were searching for a connection with the gods. These are extraordinarily ancient and unexplained constructions, which possess a huge and useful force.”

English version Boris Totchev

Photos: Veneta Nikolova

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