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Green Center in Shabla reveals prehistoric secrets to visitors

Photo: Darina Grigorova

The place that welcomes sunrise in Bulgaria first is one of the few areas of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast that has preserved its natural beauty. An attractive place for lovers of camping and non-standard adventures, the town of Shabla offers both opportunities for diving and fishing, as well as for rock climbing and cycling in the wild. Far from the hustle and bustle of noisy seaside resorts and extravagant luxury hotels, the feeling of timelessness takes you to a unique journey back in time, even to times when the European civilization was born. The journey begins in one of the oldest buildings in the town of Shabla, also known as the Old School, which now houses the Green Center. Its building, which is an architectural monument of local cultural and historical significance, has been completely renovated and adapted both for educational activities and for various cultural events.

"In addition to being beautiful, it has a special place in the hearts of local people,” Daniela Todorova, head of the Green Center says.

“Until the end of the 80s, it functioned as a school and almost all residents were once students in it. We are glad that this center was able to inherit the educational traditions and continue them through activities that promote culture and nature in Dobrudzha."

In the Internet hall of the center visitors can learn more about the inhabitants of the Shabla Lake, thanks to the online monitoring system.

The center offers information about all tourist sites in the area and workshops are organized for children. In some of the halls of the center visitors can see interesting collections provided by the Regional History Museum in Dobrich. They present artifacts from the Big Island in the Durankulak Lake, where an emblematic archaeological complex for Dobrudzha and Lower Danube region is located - a settlement mound from the Chalcolithic Period. "This is a site of global significance," Daniela Todorova says and adds:

"A culture was born here 7000 years ago, in the VI - V millennium BC. We show original artifacts from this era and on this large island you can actually see the first stone architecture in continental Europe. Something that is truly exceptional - this is a culture that arose before ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The culture is called Hamangia and provides the initial substrate for the growth of the Varna culture. The two cultures are genetically linked, with Varna building on the legacy of Hamangia."

According to Daniela Todorova, this is a culture that was the first in the world to start processing gold. Ceramic objects produced by people during this era are distinguished by incredible aesthetics. "It is important to know that Europe started here and this information should be included in the history textbooks," Daniela Todorova says with the hope that the place will be popularized thanks to the projects developed by the municipality of Shabla:

"We are doing our best to show this unknown Northeast. Shabla is also beautiful with its rock formations near Tyulenovo – something very characteristic of the area and at the same time not typical for other coastal places. The oldest lighthouse in Bulgaria is also on our territory. Shabla is linked with Kavarna and Balchik and one cannot help but visit all these places. Indeed, the region is rich in culture; it is beautiful, unknown. As the head of the Green Center in Shabla, I always welcome groups that leave fascinated and enriched with new knowledge.”

In then hot summer days, the park space around the center is like a small oasis where visitors can hide from the hot rays of the sun under the thick shadows of old trees. In three different gardens, the local flora is presented and in the two lakes one can see the aquatic vegetation characteristic of the Shabla lakes.

Author: Darina Grigorova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Darina Grigorova
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