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Entertainment

If you stay in:

Sometimes the bad weather may surprise you and change your plans for a walk around the vicinity - then take the chance to admire the landscape surrounding the houses or read a magazine or a favorite book. In case you are not in a mood of doing anything - just enjoy the silence...

Hiking trails:                                                                                                         

  • Belintash White Rock Sanctuary                                                                                                                                         

Location: Vrata                                                                                                         

Approximate distance: 3.7km, Direction: Southeast

  • Krastova Gora (Holy Cross Forest)

Location: Borovo

Approximate distance: 2.1km, Direction: Southwest                                             

  • The Karadzhov Boulder Rock Sanctuary

Location: Mostovo

Approximate distance: 3.2km, Direction: Southeast

  • Haidut Kaya Rock Sanctuary

Location: Mostovo                                                                                                   

Approximate distance: 2.8km, Direction: Southeast

  • Hambartash Rock Sanctuary

Location: Borovo

Approximate distance: 3.2km, Direction: South

  • Pitvoto Rock Sanctuary

Location: Vrata

Approximate distance: 3.7km, Direction: Southeast

  • Hunting Area Kormissosh

Location: Belitsa                                                                                                     

 

Approximate distance: 5.7km, Direction: South                                                         

  • Shapran Dupka Rock Bridge (Shapran Hole Rock Bridge)

Location: Belitsa

Approximate distance: 4.8km, Direction: Southwest

Short road trips by car:

  • Bachkovo Monastery – 35 km

Location: Bachkovo

Approximate distance: 35 km, Direction: Northwest

  • Asen’s Fortress – 27 km

Location: Asenovgrad                                                                                  

Approximate distance: 27 km, Direction: North

  • Arapovo Monastery – 35 km

Location: Kozanovo                                                                                     

Approximate distance: 35 km, Direction: Northeast

  • Saints Cosmas and Damian Monastery – 30 km

Location: Kuklen

Approximate distance: 30 km, Direction: Northwest

  • Saint Petka Muldava Monastery

Location: Muldava

Approximate distance: 25 km, Direction: North

  • Slivodolsko padalo Waterfall

Location: Bachkovo

Approximate distance: 35 km, Direction: Northwest

Belintash

Belintash is 30km away from Asenovgrad. It is a beautiful rock, shaped like a small plateau in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria, bearing traces of human activity. It is supposed that this is a cult site of the ancient Thracian, though its very nature and purpose are not yet fully clarified. There are assumptions that the sanctuary was dedicated to the god Sabazios of the Thracian tribe Bessi. Its name means “the white stone” and derives from the adjective  „бял“ (white), which due to the triple definite article in the Rhodope dialect is pronounced „белиън, белън“ (“belian”) and the Turkish word “tash” (stone).

According to another theory Belintash means “war stone” because of the sacred war for the main sanctuary of Sabazios/Dionysus in the Rhodopes – a war waged by the Bessi presbyter Vologhez. On top of the rock there are round holes, grooves, alcoves and stairs, which according to some researches form a map of the starry sky. The length of the rock platform is about 300m, at an altitude of 1225m. Here is the so-called Belintash script, confirming the thesis that our ancestors from the Rhodopes had a writing script earlier than the Greek.

From Asenovgrad drive off in direction Kardzhali, pull to the right through the village of Cherven, crossing the village; pass through the villages of Gornoslav and Oreshets. Keep straight at the turnout of the village of Mostovo (Mostovo should remain on the right). When you reach the turnout to Vrata and Kabata, there is a gravel road on the right to Kabata (the Old Houses); to Belintash you should go along the asphalt road, pass through Vrata neighborhood, then reach an unpaved exit to the right, where you can see a stone waiting room. You should go to the right (there is a road sign) on the gravel road (in good condition) for about 2km until you reach a cemetery and see a blue sign of Nature Conservation Park. You can go to Chotrova mahala and Chotrova Kashta (Chotrova House) on the left and Belintash and Holiday Village Sabazios on the right. In around 2,5km along the gravel road you will reach a newly built church where the path to Belintash runs to the right and up the hill, and after 20-30min it takes you to the top of the rock.

Krastova Gora (Holy Cross Forest)

Krastova Gora is a sacred area in the Rhodopes, Bulgaria.

It is also known as “The Rhodopes Holy Mount”. It is famous for the Christian sanctuary located on Krastov Vrah (Cross Peak/Krastov Peak), which is a major Christian pilgrimage centre of international prominence.

The name of the monastery complex is Krastova gora – Holy Trinity. On the same Rhodope hill, where the monastery complex is today, there was once an old monastery, destroyed centuries ago. We gain evidence from the preserved walls, processed stones, excavated foundations of the old church, and stones with candle traces as well as excavated travertine crosses. The monastery complex is especially popular when people celebrate the Christian holiday Krastovden (Holy Cross Day).

The Legend

Once upon a time there was a big monastery on this hill that kept a piece of the Christ’s Cross. Prior, this piece, which was attached to a cross or a cross was made of it, had been kept in Sultan's Treasury in Istanbul. The Russian Tsar heard about that and sent envoys loaded with gifts to the Sultan and ordered: “When the Sultan wants to send me gifts in return, do tell him that your Tsar wants nothing but the wooden cross that is kept in Sultan’s treasury”.

The envoys did as they were asked and the Sultan gave them the desired cross. But the Sultan’s mother, upon hearing about that, told him: “What have you done, my son? Don’t you know that the cross empowered your reign and your strength? Let hordes catch the envoys and bring the cross back.”

The Sultan sent hordes after the envoys but they could not catch them. When the envoys realized that the Sultan’s hordes were after them, they did not return the way they had come earlier, but headed for the Middle Rhodopes. On Krastov Vrah there was a monastery where the Russian envoys gave the cross to the local monks and set for Russia, thinking, perhaps later to come and take it back. 

Before long, the monastery was invaded by the Ottomans and destroyed to the ground, and the monks were killed, hiding the cross beforehand in the underground monastery den.