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Bulgaria - Did you know?

Did you know? 

Noah's Ark

Is Noah's Ark a fact or fiction? Is there credible evidence to substantiate the biblical claims that Noah's ark is a historic reality and not a myth? Whether Noah's ark is a fact or fiction -- the unexplainable thing is that every culture and civilization in the past and in the present have been immensely influenced by the story of Noah's ark.

History is replete with accounts of scientists, archaeologists, explorers, critics and skeptics of the ark story embarking on expeditions and scientific investigations using satellites, computers, powerful cameras and other sophisticated equipment and tools attempting to pinpoint the exact location of the 5,000-year-old wooden ark atop a mountain in Eastern Turkey - despite insurmountable odds. Many have failed, others have died, and not a select few executed documented testimonies that they were awed to see personally proofs of the existence of Noah's ark that according to biblical account landed on top of Mount Ararat.

One may ask: Why is the search for the biblical ark that has challenged many people of different creed, races and professional background concentrated only in Mount Ararat? Simply because in the ancient biblical story of the mighty and universal flood narrated in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament, Noah's ark is supposed to have rested 'on the mountain of Ararat'? Or have archeologists and scientists been searching in the wrong place?

Mount Ararat, the site mentioned in the Holy Bible as the place where Noah's ark landed after the universal flood is a mountain in western Asia. The place is now part of Eastern Turkey. To the Turks, the mountain is called Aghri Dagh, meaning 'the painful mountain.' To the Hebrews, the place called 'the mountain of descent.' To the Persians, Mount Ararat is 'Kuhl-nuh' or the mountain of Noah or Saad Dagh, 'the blessed mountain.' The Armenians call the place Masis which means 'mother of the world.' However, the ancient Armenians name was Masis Leusar meaning 'the mountain of the ark.'
Compelling evidence that there was a Great Flood, as told in the Old Testament story of Noah's Ark, has been found far below the waters of the Black Sea by an American expedition. Underwater surveyors, led by Robert Ballard, the renowned oceanographer who found the Titanic and other sunken ships of the 20th century, have discovered an ancient coastline at a depth of 450ft. 'I am not sure whether it is Noah's flood or not Noah's flood, but I do buy that there was a flood,' said David Mindell, one of the surveyors. The Ballard team was working from a theory about the biblical flood of antiquity propounded by two marine geologists from Columbia University in New York, William Ryan and Walter Pittman, in their new book, Noah's Flood. As Dr Ballard explained: 'During the last great Ice Age glaciers advanced across the surface of the world. That lowered the sea level by 400ft. Then, 12,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age, the glaciers began to retreat.'

With its lower sea level, the eastern Mediterranean was cut off from the Black Sea so that when the oceans started to rise, the Black Sea did not. Dr Ballard continued: 'Around 7,600 years ago, guess what happens? The Mediterranean breaks through a natural dam at the Bosphorus and catastrophically floods the land surface. People living there are 400ft below sea level are in trouble. They are facing a flood equal to 10,000 Niagara Falls.' This flood was on a far greater scale than the one described in Genesis, which is said to have lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, covering every living thing on Earth beneath 24ft of water other than Noah, his family and his pairs of animals carried to safety on the ark.

In the new theory, it is believed that each day for two years ten cubic miles of ocean water cut through the widening Bosphorus channel as it flowed into what was then a fresh water lake, raising the level by six inches a day. The incoming salt water, denser than the fresh water it displaced, plunged to the bottom of the lake bed, transforming it into a sea where the depths support no life. This area of inert darkness is known as an abyss that is anoxic, meaning that the trapped water could not circulate and has lost its oxygen, according to an account in Washington Post. 'Such conditions exist nowhere else in the world,' Dr Ballard told the newspaper.

The theory supposes that in this dead zone wooden ships will be preserved intact, possibly still with their Bronze Age sails, and just waiting for Dr Ballard and his team. 'I want to find the story of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece,' he said. But this search for ancient mariners may have to wait until next year when Dr Ballard wants to employ the US Government's remotely operated undersea exploration vehicle. The explorers are convinced that there may be many ships on the bottom because the Black Sea served as a commercial waterway from Ancient Greece to Byzantium. But the waters were known to be hazardous, according to Roman historians.

From the Black Sea, the legend takes us a bit further west in Bulgaria – to the rock phenomenon of Belintash – 60 km away from Plovdiv.
Belintahs is a rock plateau, about 800-850 m long and between 20 and 40 meters wide in some parts. It is a cultural as well as a natural phenomenon. The plateau, formed as a result of volcanic and tectonic processes, reveals a 360° panorama to the surrounding mountain tops.
The hands of the compass practically ‘go berserk’ under the influence of the strong magnetic anomaly in the region, and snow melts as soon as it touches the surface of the volcanic rock, which seems to have preserved some of the heat of the molten lava.
Translated from the ancient Turkic languages, Belintash means ‘rock of knowledge’. Here the web of fissures in the rock face and traces of volcanic activity interweave with the millennia-old traces of human activity. Even today you can clearly see the profile of a male head, ‘ring’, caves, wells, canals, etc., as well as numerous traces of ritual constructions which have survived the impact of time.
Legend has it that during the great deluge, this awe-inspiring rock provided shelter to Noah and his Ark. The rings to which Noah moored his Ark can still be seen today in the walls of the rock.

Later the place used to be a prehistoric and Thracian sanctuary, perhaps even an ancient observatory, where Thracian high priests predicted the future according to the stars. Man-made steps cut into the rock in ancient times lead to the plateau with its sacrificial altars.
Archeologists and historians have proved that here was the sanctuary of the Thracian God Sabasius.
Sabasius was the symbol of the dying and reviving nature. He is defined as a Phrygian-Thracian God of the sun, agriculture and healing power. He was also known as Zagreus, son of Zeus and Percefona, whom Zeus seduced in the form of a dragon. As a result of the contacts between the Tharcian tribes and the ancient Greeks, in the 5th century BC this cult of Sabasius spread to Greece and later to Rome, and was incorporated in the cult of Dionysus and Bacchus.


 

The oldest gold in the world – Unearthed in Bulgaria

A team of archeologists headed by Associate Professor Chohadzhiev unearthed the oldest gold treasure in the world in an excavation site near the village of Hotnitsa /Veliko Tarnovo region, Bulgaria/. The golden adornments date back to 7000 BC, that is, they are 2000 years older than the Varna gold treasure, so far believed to be the oldest in the world.
The Hotnitsa treasure was found under a mound, at a depth of 6 meters. Tools and other artifacts were also found in the diggings. This treasure is not only older than the Varna treasure, but it is also made in a different way – the 24-carat gold was hammered, whereas the Varna gold adornments were made through drawing out.
What is important is that here for the first time gold was discovered not in tombs or necropolises, but in its real environment. The golden adornments were worn by the people who lived there in their everyday life. This, of course, gives rise to numerous questions. Were there any goldsmiths’ centres? What was the exchange value of gold? Was there any monopoly on the mining of gold, etc. So archeologists have a lot on their hands.


 

One of the greatest painters of the 20th century got his inspiration in Bulgaria


Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869 – November 3, 1954), one of the best-known artists of the 20th century, was a French artist, noted for his use of color and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship.
Few, however, know that when he visited Bulgaria, he stood dazzled in front of the Rhodope rugs, dumbfounded with their colourful magic. He had come all the way from Paris to the Rhodopes in his desire to transfer the local sense of beauty and colour to his masterpieces. After his return to France, some Bulgarian artists asked him about the origins of his unusual colours, Matisse said: ‘I have borrowed them from you, from the Rhodopes… women there are doing such incredible things!’


 

The popularity of the Bulgarian rose oil



 

Spartacus, the famous gladiator, was born in the lands of present Bulgaria


Spartacus was born in Thrace (now Bulgaria) and became a soldier but was captured by the Romans. He was sold as a slave to be made a gladiator. With 70 comrades, he escaped, hid on Mount Vesuvius, and raised a large army of rebel slaves. With his army he defeated two Roman legions. Spartacus intended to lead the slaves over the Alps and out of Italy, but they forced him to march on Rome. A fresh Roman army under Crassus finally defeated Spartacus and his men. After his defeat, 6000 men were crucified along the Via Appia as a warning to other slaves.


 

The mystery of the Bulgarian voices

(Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares)

Bulgarian voices probably need no special introduction, as many Bulgarian singers and musicians have enjoyed world fame since the time of Orpheus. It is a proven fact that thanks to the structure of the oscular-maxillary cavity, designed in such a way as to provide environment for producing perfectly formed sounds, Bulgarians are exceptionally talented singers. That is claimed by Herbert von Karajan, the world's best-known conductor and one of the most powerful figures in classical music, who worked with Bulgarian singers throughout his career.
The Bulgarian polyphony is not something to be performed or listened to – it is sublime lyricism that is to be shared. The Bulgarians, proud of the fact that their Rhodopian songs are carried by the ‘Voyager’ as an archetype of humanity, say that their songs strive to reach the Cosmos.


 

The Balkans Park is one of the four certified PAN parks in Europe


In October 2003, National Park Central Balkans was certified for membership in the European network of protected territories – PAN Parks, and therefore was granted the right to use the reserved trademark of PAN Parks. Thus, National Park Central Balkans became the fourth park authority in Europe holder of this certificate. Visitors with environmental awareness know that the mark of PAN Parks guarantees high quality service and unique experiences in the wild nature. At the same time, this certificate guarantees that both the visitors to the park and the local residents who provide tourist services do not damage nature, on the contrary, they contribute to its conservation. The same refers to the cultural-historical heritage of the region. 


 

The oldest spiritual school


The area between Beli Iskar and Rupite – the area known as ‘Skakavtsite’ – is the sanctuary of Rila. There are places there which are absolutely inaccessible.
This area is the home of the oldest spiritual school. The Himalayas are relatively newly-formed mountains so even spiritual mentors from the Himalayas come to Rila. There is a very old institute in Rila where the ‘enlightened people’ from the Himalayas come to accumulate knowledge from its libraries. There is another school in the Alps, but the one in Rila is the oldest in the world. All the knowledge of Egypt and India is gathered there.


 

There are three saints patrons of the old continent


Three are the saints, patrons of the Old Continent – St. Benedict, St. Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher, and St. Methodius. While the deeds of Benedict linked him with the Latin world, the deeds of St. Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher and St. Methodius were mainly linked with the creation of the Cyrillic alphabet and with Bulgaria, which adopted the pure Cyrillic alphabet.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II pronounced the two brothers – Cyril and Methodius patrons of Europe. And this is the greatest, though symbolic recognition of the contribution of Bulgaria to European civilization.


 

The oldest copper-mines in Europe

If you go for a walk in Stara Zagora Spa Resort, you may go to the beautiful area of ‘Mechi kladenets’ /‘Bear’s well’/. There you can see the remnants of the first metal mines from the oldest European metallurgy (the end of the 5th millennium BC). Of the mines explored so far, 11 were for the mining of copper ore. Over 400 copper tools were found there. The carbon analysis of the excavated organic remains has established their exact age: 5568 years. The ruins of a number of ancient settlements were excavated in the area, traces of dwellings and funeral places.

Copper from these mines and copper artifacts, made by skilled metal-workers, were wide-spread in Europe.


 

Paneurhythmy

The entire world renders homage to me, and I render homage to the Master Petar Danov from Bulgaria
Albert Einstein

One of the most interesting philosophers and spiritual leaders of the 20th century is the Bulgarian spiritual teacher Petar Danov. The Mission of the Master Petar Danov (Beinsa Douno) was to open the epoch of the cosmic-spiritual spring on Earth and to provide practical knowledge for the ascent of humanity into the Kingdom of God. He created The Dance of Angels – Paneurhythmy. The dance is based on a deep knowledge of the laws of energy, radiation, frequency and the correlation between tone, form, movement, color, geometry and an idea. Movements correspond to tones, and as we dance the concept of giving, receiving and renewal, we allow the Earth and Cosmos to do the same. Through us, the Earth opens her portals, her point of power, to give off her energies, to receive the light. Paneurhythmy is an inter-dimensional doorway that revitalizes our entire being. Every year, at the end of August, the White Brotherhood gathers near the Seven Rila Lakes. Thousands of people dance in 3 circles of light and love.


 

The oldest salt-producing centre in Europe

Latest archeological research and excavations have proved that the finds unearthed near Provadia are from the oldest salt-producing centre in Europe – sensational data on the earliest production of salt on the old continent. The centre dates from circa 5400 BC, the late Neolithic Period when a group of Thracians crossed the Balkan Mountains and settled in the vicinity of the salty springs near what is today the town of Provadia. These settlers started boiling the water from the springs and producing salt, as evidenced by the numerous excavated fragments of thin-walled pots, typical of this settlement only, with salt deposits on their inside and outside.
So far, there has been no evidence of salt-producing on the Balkans. But these findings indisputably prove that those Thracian settlers in the 6th millennium BC engaged in the production of the ‘white gold’ and traded their produce for food and other goods. This fact opens a new field for exploring a vital aspect of the economy of the earliest European civilization.
The production of salt continued successfully well into the bronze-copper era (5th millennium BC), including during the period to which the Varna Necropolis was dated. The unearthing of this necropolis, only 20 km east of the salt producing centre, hit the headlines and was world news several years ago. Until now, scientist could not establish with certainty the reason for the accumulation of the overwhelming treasure of prestigious objects made of gold, copper, horn, flint, sea-shells, etc. Now the unearthed salt-producing centre provides a plausible explanation – the salt trade of these Thracian settlers thrived.
Undoubtedly, the continuing excavations will establish the salt-producing centre as one of the most interesting and most valuable archeological monuments in Bulgaria.