Home » Tourism » Perperikon – the ancient Thracian city

Perperikon (also Perpericon) is situated in the East Rhodope Mountains, 15 km northeast of Kurdjali town. It is easy to get to Perperikon from Sofia through the well-maintained roads Sofia-Asenovgrad-Kurdjali and Sofia-Haskovo-Kurdjali.
Perperikon is situated on a rocky hill at 470 m above see level. In the foot of the hill lies Gorna Krepost village (the name means Upper Fortress). The gold-bearing Perperashka river flows nearby, forming a fertile valley about 10 km long and 3-4 km wide. This favourable river valley has created incredibly good life conditions since ancient times.  Due to this reason it is dotted with numerous archaeological sites from different epochs, Perperikon appearing to be the natural centre for all of them. 

Not far from Perperikon Perperashka river flows into Studen Kladenets dam (the name means ‘Cold Well’), built along Arda river bed. The exact place where the river flows into the dam, by Kaloyantsi village, is very beautiful and is built-up as a mountain water resort. Here you will see one of the largest Rhodope fortresses  (12 000 sq.m.), situated on Kamennik hill, in the East Rhodopes. The area is known as Gin Tepesi (or the Mountain of Ghosts). The remains of ancient walls are preserved, as well as the 10-metre wall of the hexagonal tower. In the beginning of the century the famous fortress researcher Ivan Velkov discovered the tower well-preserved. He climbed the stairs and watched through the loop-holes. An ancient cistern is also preserved. It is 12m by 5m and 6m deep.

The complex includes a Castle-Sanctuary from IV-V c. BC, a reinforced Thracian Fortress, a village and a circular temple – a pagan sanctuary for prophesying. It is believed that this was one of the many residences of king Teres and king Sitalk, father and son, respectively.
The castle had the shape of the letter L, 3 or 4 floors and 40 rooms. Two hallways and 13 rooms are preserved. The throne room is 25m by 6m. But the most important discovery is the famous circular temple, which, according to the Roman historian Suetonius had no roof. Here Alexander the Great met with the prophets and listened to their prophecies before heading towards what is today Turkey. It is believed that there is huge wealth lying somewhere in the area.

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