Amphora rhyton

Panagyurishte – a breath of revolution and treasures

Panagyurishte is a pretty town at the foot of Sredna Gora, in whose veins flows the blood of the revolutionaries killed in the April Uprising.

In addition to the magnificently restored Revival houses, you can see the interesting exhibits of the Historical Museum, including the Vault Hall of the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure.

Panagyurishte – Historical Museum

Upon entering Panagyurishte, we first stopped at one of the pubs in the town – “Old House“, because the male part of the group was already showing signs of hunger.

Then we headed to the History Museum, in whose yard were scattered artistically huge clay jars.

For a moment we wondered which of the many buildings in the yard to take, but the hesitation quickly passed when we orientated where is the Vault Hall with the Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte.

Panagyurishte - historical museum
Panagyurishte – historical museum
Panagyurishte - Hadjidimitrova house
Panagyurishte – Hadjidimitrova house

Panagyurishte – The Golden Thracian Treasure

The vault hall was made in an extremely impressive way.

Each exhibit of the treasure is exhibited separately with detailed information about it.

We found out that until November 2020 the original Panagyurishte treasure will be exhibited in the city.

The Panagyurishte golden treasure was discovered in 1949 by three brothers during excavations.

Its permanent location is in the Historical Museum in Sofia.

It is dated to the end of the 3rd century, the beginning of the 4th century BC with a total weight of over 6 kg.

Panagyurishte golden treasure
Panagyurishte golden treasure

It is a cult service, containing 9 vessels: amphora, phial, and rhytons, on the outer walls of which are depicted scenes from Greek-Thracian mythology.

It was used in the royal rituals of the ancient Thracians.

There are three exquisitely made golden jugs with the images of the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite.

We looked at the richly decorated 2 rhytons in the shape of a deer’s head with mythological scenes with the ancient Greek heroes: Heracles, Theseus, and Paris.

There was also a different rhyton in the shape of a horn shaped like a goat.

They were made with a hole at the bottom for the wine to drain during rituals.

The greatest masterpiece of the treasure is the amphora-rhyton.
Its handles are shaped like centaurs.

The main part presents 7 male figures, and most speculations are that this is a scene from “The Seven Against Thebes” related to a fratricidal war.

Amphora rhyton
Amphora rhyton

Apart from its unconventional name, the phial also looked super unusual.

The surface depicts proportionally growing heads of Ethiopians and flowers of palmettes.

It was believed that the Ethiopians inhabited the southern end of the earth and were the first to worship the gods with infusions.

That is why they were considered a symbol of prosperity.

Phial for ritual infusions
Phial for ritual infusions

Memories of the April Uprising

In the Historical Museum, we examined in detail the floor dedicated to the April Uprising of 1876.

The exhibits are arranged chronologically by the spiritual growth, the preparation for struggle and the heroic participation of the population in the bloody suppressed uprising.

History Museum - April Uprising
History Museum – April Uprising

Revival houses

Next to the Historical Museum, we entered the Dudekova House.

It was owned by a merchant killed during the Turkish invasion of the city.

The house is characterized by its rich carvings, decorations, and luxury furniture.

Panagyurishte - Dudekova house
Panagyurishte – Dudekova house

Also in the historic center of the city, we visited the Tuteva house with its facade in bright colors.

From here four revolutionaries set off at the announcement of the April Uprising, and the Room of the Apostles can be seen.

Panagyurishte - Tutova house
Panagyurishte – Tutova house

In the house-museum of Raina Knyaginya we saw a copy of the flag, made by herself, with which the famous flag bearer led the April Uprising.

I was chilling all the time as I read the story of the famous Bulgarian woman.

House of Raina Knyaginya
House of Raina Knyaginya

The most interesting for me turned out to be the Lekova House.

The Apostle of Freedom – Vasil Levski stayed here.

Panagyurishte - Lekova house
Panagyurishte – Lekova house

Apart from the amazing mural facade, it also impressed me with its rich interior decoration in bright, lavish colors.

It shows the places where the owner of the house was – the merchant Ivan Lekov.

Detail Lekova house
Detail Lekova house

I admit that here I found out about the Wheel of Life, painted in the inner hall of the Medical House.

It reflected the philosophy of life during that era, from birth to death.

The stages are depicted in detail: newborn, school, education, wedding, wisdom, rest, death.

In the center of the image is the woman considered the queen of the home.

The wheel of life
The wheel of life

Other interesting places to visit in the area of Panagyurishte include:
Krasen fortress near the village of Buta
Oborishte area, where the first Bulgarian National Assembly took place and the preparation of the April Uprising was discussed

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