Perperikon is an archeological complex which includes a sanctuary, a medieval fortress and others. This complex is located in the eastern parts of the Rodopi Mountains, 470 meters above sea level. This place has significantly changed its appearance through the centuries and has been inhabited by different civilizations. So, you will find here archeological evidences of different cultures and centuries.
One of the theories about the name of the complex is that it comes from the Thracian god of stone, called Per. An acropolis can be found here and other signs that this has been a sacred place.
Besides the acropolis, Perperikon has three more basic parts – a fortress wall, a palace and suburbs.
The palace is carved in the rocks and occupies an area of 10,000 square meters. It is really interesting to see the rocks and imagine its prehistoric inhabitants, their culture, beliefs and way of living.
The parts which are considered to be suburbs of the ancient settlement consist of small streets, residential buildings and temples.
A lot of coins, ceramic objects and other artifacts were found here by the archeologists at the beginning of the 21st century. According to the searches, the first signs of human presence here date from the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 5th century b.c. At these times, human beings still could not carve the rocks with their primitive tools.
In the next historic period the development of Perperikon continued until it was destroyed in the middle of the 14th century and never restored again. There are archeological evidences which support the theory that this place was a sanctuary of the Roman god of wine – Dionysus.
Your guide will help you pay attention on the really interesting features of this archeological complex. He or she will tell you the whole history of this place and how it has evolved through ages.
For your visit to Perperikon, I advise you to choose a day with dry but cool weather. If it is a hot day, you will feel like you are in a stone oven. The rocks reflect the sunlight and this will probably make you feel quite uncomfortable.
In my case, that was the middle of June, the end of spring at 10 am, but still it was pretty hot. I was not feeling ok and was actually wanting the tour to end. There were people in my group who did not mind feeling hot and even a girl who was wearing her swimming suit top instead of a T-shirt. She knew that she would be able to catch some sun tan and she was prepared. If you are of the same type and desire nothing more but sun, do not forget your sunglasses and sun cream. If you are like me and dislike feeling hot, choose a cooler day and you will enjoy your visit to Perperikon much more. It would be a pity for you if the weather prevents you from focusing your attention on the tour because the place is really interesting and with a rich history.
One more advice – watch your feet because it is really easy to stumble on the rocks, fall and get hurt. I did, so this warning comes from my personal experience.
If it rains, you need to be careful because the rocks will become slippery. Be sure to wear comfortable and stable shoes and some water with you. Also, this is a nice place for taking pictures because of the beautiful view.
You can reach Perperikon by car if you use the road which connects the cities Sofia and Kardjali.