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The ancient well and temple near Garlo is one of the oldest structures in the Balkans

For over 3000 years, the ancient well near the village of Garlo has been hiding its mystical secrets. Although one of the oldest in the Balkans and unique in the world, remaining about the “nurages” of Sardinia, the attraction is almost unknown even in Bulgaria. The difficult accessibility of the landmark also contributes to this. Not because of the fact that you have to walk to it, but because of the lack of signboards and directions, including online.

Garlo

However, because of the bad roads and the wandering before you reach it, visiting the ancient temple well is a real adventure. If you trust the GPS coordinates, it is likely that after just over 60 kilometers from Sofia you will end up in a dead end in the villa zone of the village of Garlo. Apparently too many adventurers have bothered the occupants of the last home, so they also had to make a handmade metal sign with something like a map-plan on how to get to the ancient sanctuary.

Garlo

The road to the temple runs past an old cemetery whose monuments and crosses are over 500 years old according to the locals. Then again you have to be careful about where you are going, because if you choose the right branch of the forest road again you will not reach your final destination. The Krasava Dam can serve as a starting point. Shortly before reaching it you can park your car in one of the surrounding meadows.

Garlo

Then you should walk up the dam wall and cross the small stone bridge so that you find yourself on a barrier above the left side of the dam. Followed by a steep but accessible climb, turn left, walk along a wire mesh, again left turn and a slight climb. When you see something like an abandoned building, you have reached your goal. There are signs along the way, but they are handmade and hidden so you may not see them. The last, when you already see the modern columns above the ancient city, even points in the opposite direction.

Garlo

If you are lucky you can already enjoy the ancient construction, built around the 12th century BC. No one knows for sure what purpose the sanctuary was erected for and what purposes it was used for. But according to the first researchers, led by Prof. Dimitrina Mitova-Johnova, who examined the temple in 1972, the well is dedicated to the god of the underground ocean and the fresh waters of Abzu and to the Sumerian god Enki, who is one of the four creators of the universe according to ancient beliefs.. He was the god of magic, crafts and wisdom, and some go further in believing that Enki is actually an extraterrestrial who changed Earth’s history and created humans as a result of a scientific experiment in the search for cheap labor.

Garlo

In addition to the hypothesis that the well served as a sanctuary, there are also theories that it was also an ancient astronomical observatory, telescope, calendar and reservoir, a source of drinking water. The corridor leading to the actual well is 7 meters long. It is covered with a false vault. You reach the round hall at the bottom by 13 steps.

Garlo

Shortly after the 15 meters deep ancient  well was discovered it was thought to apply for the well to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, but this idea was subsequently abandoned. This is hardly possible since the opening of the temple dome has been expanded further and the staircase has been almost completely replaced. However, this does not change the mystical feeling of admiring the 3000 old dry masonry, which seems to magically shape the dome and the walls, resisting the natural elements and the influence of the weather, which seem to separate the upper from the lower world.

Garlo
Written by

piggyschwainhen@gmail.com

My greatest pleasure in life is to travel. Undoubtedly there are a lot of amazing places around the world worth visiting at least once in life. However, Bulgaria is such a place where you will wish to come back again and again. In every season and every region of this small country, you can find unique wonders. So share my travels.