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Ancient Thracian and Roman sanctuary – BadzhaliyataCod 2425

The ancient Thracian and Roman sanctuary – Badzhaliyata is located along Taban river in Dobruja, in the forest steppe near Strelkovo Village, Silistra region.
Badzhaliyata is a cave sanctuary dedicated to Zalmoxis – mythic king, priest and God of the Thracian tribe – the Gets. The Sanctuary dates back in the 6th century BC and is part of a cult rocks including altars, religious fields and caves grouped together on a 4 km surface.
The central sanctuary called by the locals “Badzhaliyata” is located in a large natural cave measuring approximately 7X10 meters and with a height of 6 m. It can be reached through a steep path carved in the rocks and a tunnel, which was once closed through a wooden door. An arched niche was carefully carved into the rocks to the south of the cave. It served as the temple’s altar. It was facing east and was 3,5 m in diameter. Under the altar a mound of artefacts related to sacrificial rituals was discovered (ceramics, objects and bones, including parts of human skeletons). There is a cult throne carved in stone nearby and a cult pit was located above the cave.
At about 200 meters south of the cave is a rock whose top was perfectly aligned. The trapeze on this land is very carefully carved, the flute having 0.18 meters wide and 0.45 meters deep and is oriented north-south / Atanasov, 2006 2-32 /.
The ancient river that dried out until the end of the 18th century carved deep in the limestone forming caves, picturesque canyons, caves and rocky banks. The spectacular natural phenomena captured the attention of Dobruja inhabitants since ancient times. The Thraco-getae started to rule in the region since years 7-5 BC and were certainly impressed by the natural attractions of the river. Taban was used as a center for public practices and they included it in their religious beliefs. At this moment the river valley is dry and there are dozens of caves naturally carved in the rock. The most impressive and the largest of them is “Badzhaliyata.”

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