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The Rayuv Stone (Eco-Alley), ElenaCod 2556

The Markov – Rayuv eco-alley begin at 3 km from Elena and continue to the passage of Elena – Tvarditsa. Then the route continues to climb the mountain ridge. It passes through the tourist site “Markov’s Stone.” Further it starts climbing the rock fragments of which magnificent views of the valley Elena reveals. Therefore, another natural touristic site- ” Rayuv Stone”overlooks the Lake of Yovkovtsi. The final destination for eco-alley is the city of Elena.

The rock Sanctuary “Markov Rayuv – Stone” is located on the the peak of a hill above 740 meters, surrounded on all sides by mixed broad-leaved forests, oak and hornbeam.

The Markov Stone is one of the landmarks in the vicinity of Elena. The stone is a big piece of rock and looks set by human hands on several smaller stones on ridge. Its dimensions are – 6m in length, 3,5 m width and 3,2 meters height. This unusual natural feature provides an insight into some unknown magical powers.

One legend says that King Marko scourring the Bulgarian lands. While he was walking, he reached a big stone, which appears on his way. The huge stone was on the top of Ostrets. The powerful Bulgarian, with a titanic force tried to move the stone with his foot, but the stone was secured. Then he grabbed it with his hands and threw it through the valleys and hills of that mound. Immediately afterward, Marko Kral made some giant steps and he himself appeared on the scene, before falling of stone. He arranged several smaller stones on which the big stone falls, that flipped his the little finger of the hand, the finger began to bleed – it is said that blood can still be seen on that stone.

Another legend says that this piece of stone was thrown by Krali Marko before the Turkish posse, who led the Bulgarian girls linked with a chain.

The Rayuv Stone or Raev Stone si made of many rocks scattered to the south of Markov Stone on the ridge.Two of them look like a turtle and they call them Little Turtle and Sea Turtle. On the large one is carved a diameter of above 100 cm and smaller ones around it. At the foot of the rock it is carved a vertical niche (Scythian), which today is used for prayers according to the Christian traditions. On the opposite side of the rock again near its base, is carved the figure of a shaman with a pointy hat or a sacred crown and a scepter in his left hand. Above the figure is carved an ancient Bulgarian symbol – IYI.

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