Ancient mines ” Stremski labyrinths”

Ancient mines “Stremski labyrinths”are located in the land between the villages of Rani list and Stremtsi in the Eastern Rhodopes. You can get there by a stone-paved path that leads to the village of Sipei. The entrances can be seen above. It contains many well-preserved galleries of gold mining mines /III-I BC. Hr./ with a total length of 460 m. The galleries resemble a labyrinth, hence their name. The cult of the god Dionysus was one of the characteristic features of the Rhodopes. The other is the mining of gold and silver, the precious metals in which the ancient mountain is extremely rich. And one of the largest mines in the ancient world was located only 2 km from Perperikon, next to today’s Stremtsi village.

How they look

Even today, the visitor remains amazed, entering through the dozen preserved entrances into the now accessible more than 500 m of galleries. An entire hill is literally pierced with a dense network of tunnels. In most places, one walks upright in them and one can easily get lost in the labyrinth of galleries. In the Pleistocene era, this was the bed of an underground river with sands extremely rich in native gold. Later it was buried and gradually a single rock mass was formed. The work of future prospectors and miners consisted in breaking up gravel on this rock and washing it down the nearby river.

The open galleries have five entrances and several chimneys. The galleries are driven in hard, conglomerate rock. Excavations from open ore mining can also be seen on the surface. According to archaeologists, it is an ancient gold mine. A silver coin of Alexander the Great was discovered in it 15 years ago. The possibility that the mine dates back to a pre-Roman era is all too attractive. The removal of the crushed stone mass took place through dozens of artificially drilled vertical chimneys, near which there are holes for the lifting mechanisms and pulleys. At the same time, the chimneys also served to introduce oxygen into the underground horizontal galleries. The broken rock was washed with special equipment, and the traces of the discarded unnecessary gravel (the so-called dump) are still visible today. Read More…



village of Glavatartsi, №1, Kardzhali