“Discovery” wants to make a film about the castle near Ravadinovo

Source: Екип от „Дискавъри“ поиска да заснеме замъка край Равадиново

Translation by Madlen Nikolova

The businessman from the village of millionaires called Polenitza, near Sandanski, Georgi Toumpalov has built a giant, strange, romantic and glorious building near the village of Ravadinovo. From above it looks like a cross, from the lake - as a fairy tale. The owner of the unique construction - Georgi Toumpalov, is perhaps the only Bulgarian who can boast that he has built a real castle.

He started 13 years ago and it was almost like a joke in the beginning. He travelled around the world, he observed, read and learned. Despite the fact that he worked with architects, he invented and decided everything alone. His inspiration is Antonio Gaudi, but he feels that the line between fine arts and kitsch can be easily crossed.

“I don’t want it to be over the top - and it won’t be like that”, says Georgi.

Despite the fact that the building is not fully finished, each summer hundreds of tourists are coming to see it. Four towers, arcs, swimming pools, lake with swans, walls and ceilings decorated with over 16 000 tons of stones. Some of the towers are already built.

The building is decorated with brass ornaments, that send us back to the legendary times of the knights. They are covered all over by ivy, which was planted on day one of the construction. The towers are decorated with copper and brass.

“In fact the architecture is extremely simplified, I drew everything myself with the shovel in the sand when I started everything 13 years ago. Since then every single stone had gone through my hands” tells Toumpalov and explains where he took the stones from. They are from the Strandzha mountain, near the border with Turkey. He educates himself with the construction - he has calculated every single detail, he has drawn it thousands of times; he walks and checks every little stone, he meets anyone who wants to see his creation.

He also explains that “the stone is not like humans as it has only one face... You need to find its face and lay it in a way that it points outside, to be able to look.”

The arc of the cellar’s entry is 12 meters under the ground. It was built by a technology used in Melnik and it is decorated with brass. In the heart of the cellar one finds dripstone (casted in the workshop) that has actual water dripping over it.

Georgi states that it is “here where wine will be sold, but not just any wine! Only wine from Melnik, mavrud from Asenovgrad and some local sorts. This is a good wine”

All over the garden there are statues, huge wooden lights with beautiful carvings, stone birds, and mermaids. One can enter the estate via a huge stone gate and then take a walk inside the unique castle. What follows is a beautiful arc, reproduction of the Hadrian arc in Istanbul. Behind it, there is a fairy lake with a two white and four black swans swimming in it. The swans create a unique atmosphere in the aristocratic setting.

There are even ostriches in the castle. The largest eats from his hand. Further on one can find deer. In the yard there is an impressive church, built also from Strandzha’s stones. It is called “Saint George”. Between the stones there are pieces of ancient amphoras that were found in the sea near Sozopol. The amazing sight near Ravadinovo is famous even beyond our national borders. Bulgarian and foreign businessmen, politicians and artists have come to visit it. The owner of the unique estate admits that he does not really know what to do with the castle once it is fully finished.

Most probably it will become a tourist resort with spa, swimming pools, possibilities for fishing and a myriad more “aristocratic” amusements. Georgi says that he already has had many offers from large companies so that he can finish the construction faster. Last summer a rich French woman directly asked how much does it cost to buy it. But Toumpalov is not willing to sell even one centimeter from his estate.

Recently a team of “Discovery” wanted to make a film about the unique building, but the owner declined, as it is not fully finished. In the same time Toumpalov wants all the country to know that anyone can come and visit the castle at any time. He states that he “did it in Bulgaria, because we are born here and we will die here, but the castle will stay…”

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А vampire was found in Sozopol


Source: Изровиха вампир в Созопол

Translation by Madlen Nikolova

A medieval vampire was discovered by archeologists in Sozopol. That is the most recent success in the long list of sensational archaeological finds in the historical part of the town. The unusual discovery was made yesterday, during excavation of the “Sveti Nikolai Chudotvorec” monastery. The discovery was made by the director of the city museum - Dimitar Nedev. Bozhidar Dimitrov, the director of the National Historical Museum, personally examined the artefacts.

Our native Count Dracula was found in a necropol next to the semi-round part of the building. It is clear that the well known ritual against vampirization has been applied. The chest of the body was stuck with a metal pole. Once that practice was used by people who feared the undead. The vampire was probably a noble, because he was found near the church. That is where, according to the medieval christian tradition, only the nobles were been buried. The team of experts was amazed by the unprecedented archaeological discovery, as this is the first buried vampire discovered in the region.

Near the vampire’s grave there are few other coffins, but they are not yet fully examined. One of the graves is substantially smaller, perhaps a child is lying there. At the same time the archaeological team has found a IV century church. It is in the layer beneath a medieval monastery that dates from the X century. According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, an ancient temple is hidden beneath the church. The unusual find provoked, once again, the government’s interest. Sozopol’s mayor, Panayot Reizi, announced that Simeon Dyankov, the financial minister, promised to give 270 000 BGN to continue with the excavation. The money will go not only for the work in the vicinity of the “Sveti Nikolai Chudotvorec” monastery, but also to start excavations near the northern tower of Sozpol, as well as in the area of Akin and Chervenka.

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kama_sutraAncient erotic images were found in Sozopol


Source: В Созопол откриха антични еротични рисунки

Translation by Madlen Nikolova

A Greek vase with erotic motives was discovered by archeologists during excavations near a fortress wall in Sozopol.

Bozhidar Dimitrov, the director of the national museum, stated “on the fragments of this vase one can observe a particularly strong erotic scene - a group of nude young men and women having nontraditional sex.” He also explained that “it is the first finding of similar images in Bulgaria.”

In Greece such scenes are quite common. The ancient greeks believed that sexuality is a free gift from nature. “What is wrong and what not has been imposed later by Christianity” - adds the historian.

The Church imposed total limitations, only one position between a man and a woman was allowed. It is not accidental that its name is monastery position. Everything else was banned as a perversion.
Dimitar Nedev, a director of the Sozopol Archaeological museum in Sozopol, explained in an interview, that the fragments of the vase date back to VI century B.C. According to initial analysis, the author is probably a famous artist that used a technique that is associated with eastern Greek ceramics, which the scientists attribute to the first inhabitants of ancient Apolonia.

The archaeologist Nedev said also that: “The painting includes seven figures, the scene is strongly erotic, with a very good command of technique and expressivity. The scene itself is very rare. I work in the field of images precisely from this epoch. There are erotic scenes generally, but not as big and not as expressive from and such a talented artist”

The vases that are found in the region of Sozopol usually have images associated with the mythology or with everyday life. Nedev also explains that “this piece can be found only in Apolonia, in the region we usually call Pontian Tracia, and more precisely - in its western part. This is not typical for Nesebar, Varna or the other large city-states. This is understandable because Apolonia is the most ancient city within the borders of contemporary Bulgaria. Its establishment is linked with the spread of urban culture throughout ancient Tracia”.