23-Aug-2003 -- Perhaps this is one of the most beautiful confluences in Bulgaria, and it’s situated near a very popular year-round mountain resort in Bulgaria, called Velingrad. If we had a map of the area, probably reaching the confluence wouldn’t be that difficult. I decided and I left to the azimuth as an excellent discoverer of confluences, followed by a bunch of friends. It was about 18pm and we were supposed to be at the place of confluence in about 30min. So we left for the place with enthusiasm, walking with old-age speed, resounding the forest with the all-known for the mountaineers “ailaripy” and “echo” exclamations. As we were getting closer to the confluence, all of a sudden there was a huge steep gorge in front of us. Enough with our united team! Just two of us crossed the gorge, the rest of the enthusiasts left for the local pub, so they could tell about their feats. After one hour of wandering around, we finally made it to the confluence, close to which is Momchilova Skala. It is a newly discovered ancient Thracian sanctuary, dating 2500 – 2400 B.C. according to the found exhibits. 48 m2 area with walls with width at the bottom between 110cm and 200cm solid rocks are the base of the sanctuary. Pagan rituals and sacrifices took place there and probably animals were sacrificed in the name of gods. Preserved are the stone altars, which are orientated in the four cardinal points. The main direction of the sanctuary is north-south at length, and no other one from that period is known at the area of Rodopite. It is considered that the Thracians did not have actively presence – virgin forest. The name of the temple known today is St Iliya. After the final archeological study and preserving the ancient bases, a new contemporary orthodox chapel will is going to be built, having the same name. About 200m north-west from that place is situated the biggest Kleptusa, more than 600l per min crystal clear drinking water with temperature 7.2. There are two magnificent ponds nearby, created in 1934 and lots of places for tourism and relaxation near them. Velingrad is a recognized international tourist center with 77 geothermal sources with temperature of the water from 42 to 97C. The capacity of the geothermal springs is 172 l/sec. The unique qualities of the water of one of the spring are used for the recovery and treatment children, suffered by Chernobil’s disaster. The condition of more than 15000 children from Bielarus and Ukraine is getting better.
Long time ago, the roman commanders have used the springs of Velingrad for recovery the health of injured soldiers – an opened wounds.
The connection between Via Ignatia and Via Militaria have passed by Velingrad. Nowadays, this is the contemporary number 8 corridor and coastal road along the Aegean Sea and the White Sea. The mineral springs of Velingrad are famous with healing of an opened wounds.