Belintash

Original version
Translated from the ancient Turk languages, Belintash means “stone of knowledge”. Here the compass does not work properly, because of the strong magnetic anomaly in the region and during the winter time the snow that falls melts as soon as it touches the volcanic rocks, which seems to have kept a part of its lava heat. During the 70s of the last century the meaning of the rock phenomenon Belintash was rediscovered as a sacred and cult center. A local shepherd discovered a silver plate, on which a man seated on a throne is depicted, with snakes climbing upwards in the background. It is believed that this represents the progress of humans and the eternal turnover of nature. According to scientists the plate represents the Thracian god Sabazios and connect the megalithic monument with the cult towards this god. The Thracian god Sabazios stands for the dying and then returning to life nature. He is a son of Zeus and Persephone, with whom Zeus got close after taking the shape of a dragon. As a result from the contacts between the Thracian tribes and the ancient Greeks, during the V century the cult passed on towards Greece and later on towards Rome where it merged with the cult towards Dionisius and Backhus. When he was a little baby Sabazios was breast-fed by a nymph called Nisa. Following Tyrrants’ orders Sabazij was torn in three parts, but Athena /Minerva/ managed to save his heart and gave it to Zeus. Sabazios is a cosmic God, initiatilly identified with the hard element of the universe – the stone. Thus, as a stone god, he rules over both the living and the non living matter. This is why he can be torn apart and then put back together again. The celebrations and rituals, connected with the cult towards Sabazios included night baths and body and soul purifications. Years later the myth and the cult towards Sabazios returned to the lands of the Thracians but this time speaking of Dionisios, as a part of the Greek mythology.
Alternative versions
The legends, which is being told in this part of the Eastern Rhodopes, says that during the great flood the huge stone formation of Belintash gave shelter to Noa’s arc from the horrendous waves. The rings of rock to which the ship has been tied are clearly visible.
Main characters
God Sabazios, Noa, ancient Thracians and ancient Greeks
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
Rock formation Belintash; numerous engravings on the rock, pits, wells and others, all connected. The rocks of Belintash have formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. The rock formation is almost 800-850 meters long and its width varies between 20 and 40 meters in the different zones. It is positioned East-West. Its highest part has an inclunation of about 8 degrees and in its lowerst part it is directed towards south. From the east there are eroded stone steps leading to the peak of Belintash. The formation has a number of lines and pits, as well as shallow craters, holes and others. The pits are connected and when it rains the water goes from one to the other. The formation has two wells, positioned in the center of the system. The bigger one in 2.10 meters diameter and is almost 2.50 meters deep. The smaller one is 1.50 meters in diameter. Both wells are always full of water even when there is a long draught. It is considered that this is due to the energy fields in the rock, which change the qualities of liquids and diminish evaporation. At the bottom of the rock there are several comfortable rock niches, which were inhabited in ancient times.
Local traditions or historical connections
The locals go to Belintash to send the sun away and to connect with the magnetic energy of the rock formation. The location of Belintash and the strange shapes and maps on its surface are also considered as a proof that this place was used as a landing spot for visitors from more advanced cosmic civilizations, who managed the development of life on Earth. Belintash is the connection between the ancient and more recently the Thracian tribes with the Universe according to all researchers of the region.
Didactical Relevance
The legend can be used by teachers and students to study beliefs of what is considered to be one of the most ancient cultures in the world - the Thracian one. It is interesting to see how ancient beliefs are transferred nowadays and how people still use that place to worship nature. The rocks of Belintash have formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. Translated from the ancient Turk languages, Belintash means “stone of knowledge”. Here the compass does not work properly, because of the strong magnetic anomaly in the region and during the winter time the snow that falls melts as soon as it touches the volcanic rocks, which seems to have kept a part of its lava heat. During a study visit teachers can discuss these natural phenomena with students and to find how they formed the beliefs of people, legends and rituals.
Didactical Activity
As a didactic activity teachers can organize an excursion to visit the place and study the natural phenomena that happen there, on site. Another way to use the legend is to watch the video attached (EN subs are available) and again discuss the main topics, which it talks about – the so called mysteries of Bulgaria. The legend and video to it can also be used in literature or history lessons – on the one hand students can use their imagination and fill in the “gaps” of information in the legend with actual events that they create, which happened there (creative writing) or in history classes they can connect the legend with the migration of ancient people, of their knowledge and how they formed their sacred places.

Video

Belintash one of the Bulgarian mysteries

Images

Belintash 2
Belintash

PDF version of the legend in national language

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