The archaeological complex of Perperikon rises above the valley of Perpereshka River in the Eastern Rhodopes, about 20 km. from the town of Kardzhali.
Perperikon’s significance lies in the absolutely unique overlap of various culture and civilization layers accumulated during the lifetime of the place.
The valley’s fertility and abundant natural resources have been offering excellent life conditions ever since Antiquity. The spectacular rock formation has been deified by people who inhabited the region ever since the late Stone Age (late c 6,000BC – beg. of c. 5,000. BC).As they steadily settled the area and their masonry skills grew better, ancient people started working towards acquiring more land and were able to cultivate it- the first rough-hewn units in the rock are dated back to the beginning of c 4,00 BC. During the Bronze Age, the complex flourished, respectively a number of occult goods and pottery have been excavated from this period.
The Thracian period of the sanctuary is associated with the cult of Dionysus and there'satemple in honor of the God. Legend has it that here, in an interval of 300 years, two great generals heard the same prophecy - that they would soon conquer the entire known ancient world - Alexander the Great in 334 BC and Gaius Okavian August in 60-59 BC. Obviously they both succeeded.
In time, the complex expanded; fortress walls, royal palaces and suburbs were established.The mysterious place accommodated Romans, Goths, Byzantines, and Bulgarians. During the Ottoman invasion in the region the fortress of Perperikon was destroyed. Thanks to decades of extensive archaeological work, the complex has been literally resurrected and is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria. It is part of “The hundred national tourist sites” initiative and we can boldly say - one of the wonders of the world. Much of the artifact collection, discovered during the archaeological research is now on display atthe Historical Museum of the Kardzhali