THRACIAN TOMB IN KAZANLAK
THRACIAN TOMB IN KAZANLAK
by Catia Ramos
What foreigners know about Bulgaria – its history, culture? Most of them probably nothing. In Poland we know about seaside (because during communism time it was the most popular holidays abroad) – Златни Пясъци, that our king died in Varna and that rose oil, which was popular long time ago came from Rose Valley. Being here allow us to learn much more and appreciate how rich and diverse culture it is.
One of the places we visited recently was Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak or, to be exact, the copy of the original tomb, as it is forbidden to come inside the real one, because it is very old object, which needs a lot of care and is protected. However, it is almost exact copy. Before coming inside there is a small museum with some original artefacts and general information about the place. There is also a person, with whom you can talk and ask about things interesting for you. Unfortunately not all of them speak English. We went to Thracian Tomb twice. For the first time there was young lady, who told us about the place, for the second time, there was another woman, who told us that she doesn’t know English well enough to explain us. But! There is always a solution! I asked her to speak slowly in Bulgarian and tried to understand her (after all, we both use Slavic language!)
So, what did we learned about the place? It is a burial place for one family, who lived at the end of IV century or beginning of III century before Christ. This particular tomb was used only as a burial place, however around the area there are others and some of them were also a religious places. After Thracian period this tomb was forgotten for a long time and finally, during Ottoman reign there was build another, Muslim one. It is just next to Thracian Tomb and it is possible to see the original one, however it looks rather like arbor and it is nothing interesting comparing to the Thracian one. What happened next to this place? During ages it was still forgotten and finally the ground covered it. It was found accidentally during war in 1944 and since then it is one of the most important places in Kazanlak city.
After our short conversation and visit in museum part, we get inside the copy of the tomb. In front of it there was an instruction that only four people can come at the same time. It was quite surprising – after all it is just copy – but maybe Bulgarians doesn’t like crowds? We understand the meaning of this information after coming inside. The tomb is really small, going inside with more people could be just dangerous. It seems people in Thracian times had to be really short, because it is impossible to cross “the door” without lean. Inside the tomb looks like a very small chapel, but instead of saints and crosses there are paintings, which look similar to ones you can see in monument of Ancient Greece… wait. It is partly a monument of Ancient Greece, because Thracians and Greeks lived the same time and lived in peace. Even Homer was writing about Thracians in his famous “Iliad”! So, we have a great opportunity to discover ancient world, the part of it, which is much more unknown and mysterious – for me, as a person who studied history for some time, it sounds just perfect! That was the first place we visited and it already looks like beginning of great, historical and cultural adventure!