The Old Mosque of Momchilgrad was built some 300 years ago. From that time till now it has always been working religious temple for all Muslim people. The mosque features with its two minarets – it’s the only two minarets mosque in the Eastern Rhodopes.
Art Gallery “Stanka Dimitrova” is in the old town of Kardzhali. It was founded in 1961 and housed in a historic building which was a former Turkish konak (police building). The exposures include collections with more than 5000 works of art – icons and plastic arts, paintings and sculptures. This is the third ranged in abundance gallery in Bulgaria. Many of the works are of some of the most famous Bulgarian and foreign artists.
The mosque is unique of construction technology – it’s constructed without a single nail to be used. It’s declared a monument of culture. It was built in1438 in the village of Podkova, Kirkovo area in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is considered one of the oldest mosques on the Balkan peninsula. The legend says that the mosque was built for just one night by seven young women . That is why its other name is “The Mosque of the Seven Girls”. The mosque is acting temple and one more thing – the locals consider the place to be healing.
The impressive complex is near the village of Raven (Momchilgard area), on the left shore of river Kazan dere. It’s an assemble of interesting carvings in the rock at a more than 30 m height. The river forms two picturesque canyons which are called by the local Golemiya Kazan (Big Tank) and Malkiya Kazan (Small tank). Again the rocks and nature form a lovely and unforgettable tourism spot.
The Regional Museum of History in Kardzhali is located in a lovely ancient building which is a monument of culture. It was constructed as a Madrasah (Muslim school) in the beginning of XX century, it was never used for this purpose and in 1980 hosted the exclusive exhibitions of the History Museum. The architecture is oriental – it looks like a Medieval castle. It contains over 45 000 different pieces of art, archaeology, ethnography and culture of the Eastern Rhodopes mountains.
“Saint John the Precursor” is a Bulgarian orthodox monastery, located on the right bank of Arda river in the city of Kardzhali, Eastern Rhodopes. The complex was established in the 6th-7th century AD, became episcopal center in the 9th-10th century, and flourished as a medieval Christian center in 13th-14th century. The tomb which was discovered there was of a highly important person in the Byzantine empire, since he was wearing a golden fabric, extremely expensive, by that time made in Constantinople only.
Nearby the village of Stareyshino (Kirkovo area in the Eastern Rhodopes) there is a beautiful nature area with a dome tomb, a small waterfall, and interesting rocks with drops of water falling on. The local Muslim people call this place “Damla Kaya” and consider it to be healing. There is a tradition to leave part of your clothes there, that’s why some of the branches of the trees are covered with pieces of wear and textile.
Tyrannosaurus rex in the Eastern Rhodopes
This is a wonderful destination for one day easy hiking within a diverse scenery. Chit Kaya in fact is the name of a high rocky peak, all covered with holes, carved in the stone during the Thracian epoch. The village of Lisitsite (Foxes) is the closest one – situated on the south bank of Studen kladenets lake, 7 km away from the city of Kardzhali. It is reachable from the side of Shiroko pole village (north bank, see the map). The itinerary goes on a path in a coniferous forest, passes a pedestrian rope bridge over the lake, another path in deciduous forest and through bizarre rocky formations goes up to the peak called Chit Kaya. From the peak you have one of the most amazing views of the Eastern Rhodopes mountains – to the lake Studen kladenets, river Varbitsa, East part of Kardzhali and part of the Monyak fortress. Many itineraries are described HERE, so that you can easily choose your favorite and explore the mountain.