Prime Minister Boiko Borissov visited Bulgaria’s ancient sacred site of Perperikon on August 25, saying that archaeological discoveries would encourage children, students, tourists and every Bulgarian to turn their attention to history.
Perperikon, in Bulgaria’s eastern Rhodopes region, about 15km from the town of Kurdjali, has been the site of various forms of religious activity from about 7000 years ago, having first been used by the Thracians. The site is a popular tourist attraction and long-term archaeological work continues to unveil new discoveries.
Recent excavations have uncovered the largest known early Christian church in the Rhodope mountains. The three-nave basilica is 35 metres long and 14 metres wide. It has entire columns, capitals, cornices, and other architectural details. The church was the seat of local bishops and was established around the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixty centuries.
Near the church, archaeologists also have uncovered many ancient and mediaeval buildings, as well as a vast necropolis from the 13th to the 14th century.
Borissov said that archaeological settlements are still being found in the places where infrastructure projects are being built in the country. He said that he was “delighted because this historical heritage of Bulgaria would lead to the development of tourism”.