Thracian kings valley

Thracian kings’ valley

Many years ago Kazanlaks’ valley was a part of the Odrysian state.
That’s why today it is called the Thracian kings’ valley. Here is Seuthopolis - the capital of the Odrish kings, as well as a whole complex of submilitary facilities of the ancient Thracians. A big part of the mounds have been explored through excavations. Some of them have been destroyed by treasure hunters and others are still hiding their secrets.

One of the first studied dome tomb in Kazanlak’s Valley was this situated in Kazanluk. It is modest in size, has a very simple plan, but it is remarkable with beautiful frescoes.

During excavations in the last decade, archaeologists have found that the submilitary facilities in the valley have varied architecture and decoration. Also they were designed not only for the last dwellings of the Thracian kings but many of them were cult temples. Some of them are Sarafova mogila, Shushmantzi, Helvetzia. An impressive tomb is Ostrusha (Shipchenska) where some Thracian rituals have been done.

Some of the mounds are pre-accumulated, and then part of the embankment is taken to build the tomb-mausoleum. Thracian builders followed the mycenaean tradition of embedding tombs in natural heights.

The representative tombs were famous for their impressive appearance and rich gifts. Therefore, from antiquity to today, they are subject to looting by robbers and treasure hunters. So far, archaeologists have found the tombs intact in Sashova, Malkata, Goliama Kosmatka, Svetizata.

Curious: Although not well preserved frescoes in Shipka's tomb, along with those from Kazanlak and Alexandrovska, prove the artistic knowledge of Thracian artists. Apparently a talented artist is also the creator of the partially preserved frescoes in the Maglizh tomb, where amphorae with plant decorations are painted and expressively presented chariots run by the goddess Nike and scenes with human figures. Traces of frescoes and multicolored decorations are found in other Thracian tombs.

The Odrys were mentioned by Herodotus in the description of the Darius I Persian King's campaign against the Scythians in 512 BC. The Odrysses create one of the first Thracian states placed from Tundja river to the lower stream of Maritsa river. Most famous Odrysian king was Terez, followed by Sparatok, Sitalk, Sevt, Amadok, Kotys. Their kingdom was defeated in 345 BC. by Philip of Macedonia, and in 45 AD. All these territories were joined to the Roman Empire.

In Kazanlak town we can see Kazanlak Tomb, Historical Museum and Rose Museum. If you want to go somewhere for a day you can visit: Maglizh Monastery, Shipka peak, Shipka Monastery, Tomb of King Sevt the Great Kosmatka, Tomb in the Ostrusha Mound. As main departure point you can choose Plovdiv or Veliko Tarnovo town.