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Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari

BULGARIA | Wednesday, 19 October 2011 | Views [2446]

Copy of photo, interior Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari

Copy of photo, interior Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari

What a difference a day makes!  The sun was shining, the snow had melted and the Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari were open.

There are hundreds of tombs of noblemen dating from 2500 years ago near Sveshtari.  Their earthen mounds are easily visible but for some reason they went unnoticed until 1982 when the first was excavated.  Don't feel bad if you don't remember the Thracians.  In truth, little is known about them.  The Thracians had no writing and seemed to be overshadowed by the Greeks and Alexander's Macedonian empire.    

But the Tombs at Sveshtari are amazing.  The main tomb is protected like a high security area. Our guide opened a recessed panel to reveal a switch that activated the door that slid back like a bank vault.  Once inside we had to wear booties over our shoes like we were entering an operating room.  The tomb, probably from an unknown prince, was excavated then protected with a quonset hut-like covering, before being buried again under the mound.  No photos are allowed so you will have to trust me on this.  The "wow factor" was right up there with Karnack, Abel Simbel and Machu Pichu - maybe even higher because, unlike those other places, I had no expectations.  Inside the tomb the sculptures of 12 women, each one different, still have paint on them and the mural above the sarcophagus, though unfinished, shows the prince on his stallion in great detail.  Not sure who the Thracians were, but they really knew how to do funerals. 

We have seen many World Heritage sites but UNESCO has really gotten its money's worth on Sveshtari.


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