Dedicated to My Sister. I love you!
I remember visiting this place as a child but nothing more. As we were leaving I noticed these three heart shaped stones laying close to each other. Kaliakra gave me a gift. Or were these the hearts of the girls from the legend…
“Cape Kaliakra – the place, where you can listen to legends, buried in sea shells and sea wave’s rumor.
One of the most beautiful and strangest places along the Bulgarian North Seaside is definitely Cape Kaliakra. A narrow rocky peninsula cuts 2 km through the sea and impresses with its 70 km long rocks, embracing it alongside. The iron oxide composition of the rocks gives red color to the cape, which is usually compared to a fiery sword, cutting the blue- green sea waters. For its natural beauty this place was called Kaliakra- “Beautiful Cape”. In ancient times the inaccessibility of the rocks became a reason for the building of a fortress around these lands. The Thracian used to call it “Tirizis”, the Romans- “Akra”, and the Byzantines- “Acres Castelum”. The rumours tell that plenty of treasures from Persia were buried in the caves around the cape. This myth is attracting treasure- hunters and divers now. The name of the cape is connected to many legends.
The most popular legend about the place is one about 40 Bulgarian girls, who preferred to tie their hair together and jump into the Black Sea rather than face the prospect of being captured by the Ottomans. An obelisk dedicated to this legend is placed at the entrance to the cape, called The Gate of the 40 Maidens
Along the sea coasts of Kaliakra plenty of enemy’s ships have sunk. Kaliakra is also the spot, where the greatest sea battle of Black Sea happened. The Russian squadron defeated the Turkish Armada and this victory marks the end of the Russian – Turkish war (1787 – 1791). The ancient town was embraced by three rows of fortress walls, some of them still being present today. The walls used to separate the town in three parts- suburbs, outer and inner town. The first strengthening line is found at the very beginning of the cape. It was built by the Roman Imperator Justinian. Beautiful tower from the 13th Century is situated at the entrance of the wall. In the suburbs a Roman tomb – necropolis and water – main are preserved. Except for rich history, the beautiful region treasures unique nature as well. “Kaliakra” Nature Preserve spreads on 688 decares. The park is home of starlings, blackbirds, and cormorants. Interesting view are the rare dolphins, swimming about in the sea. Via Pontica – one of the main birds’ migration paths is situated in Kaliakra too. The region is very attractive with its bright – coloured flowers, blossoming during spring and summer.
Interesting site worth to be seen in close vicinity to Kaliakra is the Plateau of Dobrudja. Between Kaliakra and Shabla a couple of bays, embraced by stone blocks and greenery have formed picturesque terraces. They are called Kamen Briag (The Stone Coast). Nearby the archeological preserve “Yailata” is situated. Here the oldest 8000 – years – old ancient stone tombs are found. Scores of cave homes with two, three and five rooms are found as well. According to the historians these lands were inhabited by Thracian, Hellenes, Romans, Slavs and Old Bulgarians. An ancient church, built in the rocks is also preserved in the area. “St. St. Constantine and Elena” Church was actually a cave home, which became a church later on during the Middle Ages. Yailata keeps an antique wine – cellar from the fifth century. It represents a tub- shaped room, where the grapes were squashed. Traditionally each year on July, 1st many people meet together to celebrate Bulgaria’s July Morning in Kaliakra. Exotically dressed people come together to meet the sun- rise. Girls with hairs braided in flowers and boys with guitars, all covered with finery and tattoos meet to spend some unforgettable time at the unforgettable Cape Kaliakra.”
The Thing Is
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
– Ellen Bass, Mules of Love