The rock-cult complex of Tatul in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

Tatul is a rock-cult complex near the village of Tatul called by the locals Kayabashi (translated from Turkish “stone head”). A sarcophagus in the shape of a truncated pyramid, one of the most puzzling megalithic monuments in Bulgaria, was found here. It has no analog among the many megalithic monuments registered by the archaeologists in Bulgaria and around the world. Tatul is the best-preserved temple complex carved into a monolithic rock.

View of Tatul surface tomb and sanctuary in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

The local historian Nikola Ivanov was the first to describe Tatul in the distant 1933. In 1940 it was studied by Vasil Mikov, a Bulgarian archaeologist, who expressed various hypotheses about the place. Later, in the early 70s of the XX century, Tatul was described in detail by Prof. Ivan Venedikov and Nikolay Vikhodtsevski. According to them, a Thracian king who lived 3,500 years ago was buried there, whose tomb later began to serve as a worship place for the Thracians.  

The sanctuary is a rock massif, and its top – a truncated pyramid. The complex consists of two sarcophagi, a quadrangular bed for the main altar, a three-meter wall, and numerous carvings. Local Thracian tribes have used the complex most intensively from the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th millennium BC, as evidenced by the fragments of pottery found in the area. The rock pyramid and the tombs around date from around the 18th – 11th century BC. There is evidence that locals have used the site for sacrifices as well. The archaeologists found hundreds of cult objects – clay idols and spindle vertebrae, models of vessels, bronze objects, an image of the Sun God, and many others.

The first archaeoastronomical studies of the site were carried out between 1981 and 1987 by Prof. Nikola Nikolov, Slavey Zlatev, and Kalina Vasileva. 

Panoramic view of Tatul surface tomb and sanctuary in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria



The preparation of a guided tour program/offer is free of charge. You’ll get a package price from us up front, which will include the services of a professionally qualified tour guide; pick up and drop off from your hotel/accommodation; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; accommodation, transfers from/to airport and all other additional services you might need.


You will obtain from us a Final Trip Plan of this tour in both web and pdf formats. Please have a look at sample web version with photos, maps and video here. Please download a sample version of a Final Trip Plan in pdf format here.   

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The Final Trip Plan of the trip will contain: a web version of the tour; a pdf version of the tour (see the sample above), а short description (Resume); Basic information about the trip (duration, places to be visited, tour mileage, the period of travel;  а trip budget with detailed expenses table (downloadable pdf file); а Google map with the itinerary and bookmarks for places, hotels and restaurants; а link to a Google Earth interactive map with features like “Street view”, 3D etc; A link to a Google KML file, which can be uploaded to a cell phone and used during the trip; а detailed program day by day with activities and places to be visited, recommendations for accommodation and nice restaurants with links for bookings and reservations.


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Accommodation in Kurdzhali, the nearest city to Tatul: Hotels / Airbnb properties;

Hotels in Sofia / Hotels in Plovdiv

View of Tatul surface tomb and sanctuary in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria


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