When I heard about Tsari Mali Grad, near the Samokov village of Belchin in Bulgaria, I thought that it was another milquetoast attempt of the government to bring fun activities and heritage tourism together so that some EU money can be “utilised”. Well, it turned out that the hill of Tsari Mali Grad (from Bulgarian – the little town of tsars) – called St.Spas, was actually hiding some true ancient mystical treasures.
The whole place is not big and you can easily go through all the corners of the historical complex for an hour or two. Yes, you can see some authentic ruins and artefacts that date back to IV – VI century but most of the buildings of Tsari Mali Grad are entirely reconstructed. Two of the most interesting ones are the old Roman fortress from VI century (which belonged to the Dacia Mediterranea distrct of the Roman Empire) and the church of St.Petka from XIV century.
One thing that I found extremely interesting and mystical about that place is that the hill of St.Spas is located at the exact same distance from various important geographic points (like Musala – the highest peak on the Balkans, and Cherni Vrah – the highest peak of Vitosha Mountain) and various sacred places (like the Rila Monastery, the Monastery of Petar and Pavel, the sanctuary of Mitra near Bosnek viallage, and the Urvich Fortress). Also, there some evidences showcase that precisely in these lands the constants of Ф (the golden ratio) and П were discovered (as early as VI- V millenia BC).
I don’t know how much of all this is true but the place definitely possesses some mystical atmosphere. The entrance fee is only 4-5 EUR and you can use a small funicular to reach the top of the hill.
After the gulp of all the ancient mysticism of Tsari Mali Grad, you can have some fun and fresh air in the park near it – you can ride a horse, or you can simply enjoy the view to Rila mountain. Or you can go straight to any mineral pool you find in Belchin or Belchinski Bani – as the region is famous for its medicinal mineral springs.