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Thracian cult complex - Heroon

Thracian cultic settlement complex (tomb, shrine and temple).


Different eras have left their imprint in Strelcha in its old history. The first traces are reserved by the steps of the Thracians. From this epoch dates one of the most impressive historical monuments in the territory of Strelcha - unique Thracian cult complex "Frog Mound" composed of tomb-mausoleum-shrine and temple. The complex dates back to the V-IV century BC. The tomb was discovered in the mid 70-ies of XX century by the archaeologist Georgi Kitov and is one of the largest and most impressive Thracian tombs in Bulgaria and in the area of Strelcha, where there are about 300 Thracian tombs. It is located 2,5 km south-eastern of the town of Strelcha  on the right bank of the river Luda Yana in the Galata site. The tomb is surrounded by a moat of 30 meters wide and 3-4 meters deep. Remains of this ditch have so far filled with water which has impeded access to the holy place and the facilities in it, and the pit gradually turned into a swamp with frogs squawking which gave it the name "Frog mound." The tomb is part of a unique religious complex called heroon.  It is believed that here was buried a Thracian king from the tribe Besi. Although it has been repeatedly robbed, there were interesting findings, including a fully preserved chariot with the remains of two horses, remains of a saddle horse and parts of horse-trappings (most likely used by the man who lead the funeral procession), perfectly preserved silver ornaments and more. In front of the chariot the remains of a third horse were found, which was not in harness to the chariot and most likely it was in the driver of the funeral procession. The tomb entrance is surrounded by stone plates on which a very rich decoration is engraved. The sanctuary is situated at the back hill side and has not a public access yet. It is lined with white limestone blocks, decorated with colorful paintings in black, red and yellow.


Ministry of Culture, National Institute of immovable cultural heritage, Municipality of Strelcha, Historical Museum of Strelcha


Thracian mound necropolis are the most important monuments left as a sign of this ethnicity for both Bulgarian and foreign researchers and tourists. The Frog Mound is of great importance enriching the knowledge about the beliefs and religious traditions and customs of ancient Thracians inhabiting Bulgarian lands. The objects discovered in the tombs often tell about the way of life of ancient Thracians, their habits and rituals. Therefore, these cultural values are important for studying Eastern Europe historical past and human development. National and international importance.

Potential usability

Strelcha is close to the cultural systems "Plovdiv Roman Empire" and "Valley of the Thracian Kings" but remains outside the main focus of tourist visits for not sufficiently developed cultural and historical monuments in terms of their quality and delivery infrastructure . There are projects to restore the tomb in a form resembling that in ancient times in order to make it more attractive to visitors. These projects, however, involve many resources. A new development plan for this archaeological site is prepared, commissioned by the Municipality of Strelcha and approved by the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments. However, first the infrastructure to the ancient hill has to be improved. One problem is the lack of targeted funding for the conservation of immovable cultural heritage. One of the hotspots of conservation problems is the lack of a Trust Fund to serve as a financial guarantee of protection.

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