Thracian sanctuaries as a milestone for promoting cross-border cultural and tourist heritage in Madan and Keramoti municipalities (Madan Municipality)

Project duration: 24 months

Project summary:

The project has been financed by PHARE Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria – Greece 2004, “Promotion of the cultural, tourist and human resources in the cross-border region”.

The project has aimed at fostering the economic growth of the cross-border area through promotion of the cultural and tourist resources of Madan and Keramoti municipalities. The project activities have been designed to establish tourist and cultural co-operation between the border regions and to promote sustainable development of the cross-border relations to the benefit of both municipalities. The encouragement of the cooperation in cultural, tourist and human resources promotion have been accomplished through preparatory studies in Keramoti and Madan in the beginning, reconstruction, conservation and security activities of three Thracian sanctuaries, which are part from the Madan Ore-Dressing Complex, on-the-spot infrastructure improvement, establishment of Information zone, conduction of training for unemployed, engaged in the reconstruction activities and vocational training course for tourist guides as well as organisation of a large-scale promotional campaign including tourist guide, tourist map with Madan and Keramoti regions, cultural sites brochures with mini-maps of the caves, DVD and website.

Sharenka Cave

Sharenka Cave that had been inhabitable during the Late Bronze Age (XVI-XII B.C). During excavation works in the cave was discovered a fireplace with mine debris. This indicates presence of ore-mining activities in the past. Besides, there are fragmented ceramics from the same Age. Near the cave there is a big arbour with a tap-fountain.

In the cave through scientific method are presented three museum complexes. The first one – “Dwelling place” – shows how the ancient inhabitants of the cave lived. The second one – “Ore-mining” represents an oar extraction workshop that show how the ancient Thracians had extracted oar from the cave walls. The third one – “Ore-melting” pictures a glaze kiln and illustrates how the oar was melt and used in the ancient times.

Triangle Cave

“Triangle” Cave is called so after the triangle form of its entrance. The cave is a small one – approx. 30 sq.m. It is situated close to the rock sanctuary Gabata. Near the cave is the sacred spring that was improved and turned into a place of interest. Under the project the cave has been made assessable for tourists and a shelter close-by was built.

Tourist Route 1: Madan – Kechikaya – Rim Papa

The route starts from the Information zone and has length of 5.8 km. It passes through Kechikaia place, the rock sanctuary Rim Papa, the rock sanctuary Gubata, the Triangle Cave and ends at the rock sanctuary Babata and the Roman gallery. 

Tourist Route 2: Madan – Sharenka

The route starts from the Information zone and has length of 1.1 km. It continues to the Sharenka Cave that has been transformed into the first cave museum in Bulgaria. 

Information Zone

A municipal building was reconstructed and transformed into a Information zone with exhibition with pictures of the cultural and tourist sites in the cross-border region.

Human Resource Development

Two courses were conducted during the project. Training for unemployed people provided 15 young people with professional qualification to participate in reconstruction activities. Vocational training for tourist guides educated 10 young people for efficient promotion of cultural heritage, tourist sites and services.

Project partners:

  • Madan Municipality – Bulgaria
  • Keramoti Municipality – Greece
  • Rudozem Municipality – Bulgaria
  • Thassos Municipality – Greece