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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov


Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Dearest friends of "Photo moments", welcome to Zabardo!

The white dove, made from soldiers military helmets and the sign "Welcome to Zabardo"
The white dove of Zabardo

This charming village is hidden deep in the bosom of the beautiful Rhodopes - the houses are perched on the steep slopes of the two banks of the river Zabardska at an altitude of 1250 meters.

How to get to the village of Zabardo, Chepelare municipality?

I take the road Asenovgrad - Chepelare - Smolyan.

I watch for the turnoff to the village of Zabardo and for the natural phenomenon Marvelous Bridges.

The turnover to Zabardo village
The turnover to Zabardo village

It will be difficult to miss this detour, because there I am waiting for a bagpiper and a beautiful girl - a sculpture-symbol of Rhodopes hospitality.

The sculpture-symbol of Rhodopes hospitality
The sculpture-symbol of Rhodopes hospitality

While listening to the Rhodopes song (the song is set to play automatically five times a day), the girl greets me with "Welcome", serving me a warm, freshly baked honey cake.

As you can see from the sign to Zabardo is 13 kilometers. The road is good, with more turns, but it travels great because I am surrounded on all sides by the magically beautiful Rhodopes.

An unexpected surprise!

After passing the turnoff for the Marvelous Bridges, I am greeted by a charming waterfall on the right and by the road.

The waterfall before Zabardo village
The waterfall before Zabardo village

The road winds along the Zabardska River. The majestic green slopes of the Rhodopes surround me on all sides. The waterfall rumbles pleasantly. It's fresh, nice and charming!

I'm in Zabardo soon!

It is important to note that the name of the village is pronounced with an emphasis on the first syllable - Zа̀bardo.

Welcome to Zabardo sign
Welcome to Zabardo

Here is the famous inscription, through which the village has recently become quite known on social networks.

The white dove of Zabardo
The white dove

Beneath the sign and to the left of the road just entering Zabardo, I am greeted by this white dove of peace, made of 250 obsolete military helmets.

The Earth globe of Zabardo
The Earth globe

The white dove, as well as the peculiar globe at its feet, are a monument - a composition glorifying the peace of the globe, officially opened in early May 2022.

The white dove of peace has spread its wings along a canopy with benches, tables and a fountain, from which fresh Rhodope water gushes.

I pass the inscription and I am already in Zabardo!

Roses of Zabardo village

Colorful, glamorous, green, fresh, pleasant, quiet, calm - complete relaxation, solitude and harmony with nature I feel here!

I drive my car along the main street, winding along the river, and on all sides the green, almost vertical slopes of the majestic Rhodopes hang over me.

Zabardo is an old village, steeped in ancient history.

His old name was Chukurkoy.

The city hall building in Zabardo village
The city hall

I am soon in front of the town hall, where another pleasant surprise awaits me.

I stop here first - on the left side of the road and along the river I leave my car, I cross and here I am near a wonderful children's corner, surrounded by flower beds, from which friendly, just like the honest and hardworking people of Zabardo, beautiful colors smile magically at me.

Zabardovo wheel

Zabardovo wheel
Zabardovo wheel

It is 6 meters wide in diameter, made entirely of wood and was invented long before its Viennese equivalent - this is the famous Zabardovo wheel!

Locals say that the first Zabardovo wheel was invented in the distant 1870s.

It is powered by four and can entertain up to eight people.

Its bases are four meters long, and beech and pine are used to make them.

The smiling old woman told me that if you jump on it, a long and happy family life awaits you - "Whoever climbs on it, child, will not divorce!"

Proto-Bulgarian yurt

Behind the Zabardovo wheel I see stairs that lead me to a proto-Bulgarian yurt, located in front of the Hristo Botev community center.

The yurt is made entirely of natural materials and could accommodate about 30 people.

Proto-Bulgarian yurt in Zabardo village
Proto-Bulgarian yurt

The walls are six layers - alternating layers of clay, sheep wool and goat fur.

Its diameter is 6 meters and it is almost 4 meters high. During the hot summer days inside is cool, and during the cold winters it is warm here.

Proto-Bulgarian yurt in Zabardo village
Proto-Bulgarian yurt

There is a wooden sun hanging on the ceiling and a fireplace in the middle.

I keep going on.

There is evidence that here, on the place where I find Zabardo today, there was an ancient settlement in the IV - V century AD. Proof of this are the ruined fortress Zagrad, which can be found on the high rocky peak Chukata (1427 meters) before the village, inaccessible on its northern side, at the foot of which are two of the Human (Cheleveshki) caves - Dark (Tovnata) hole and Slivova hole, as well as the remains of a Thracian settlement.

Near Zabardo there is a very well preserved Roman road. Parts of the ancient road connecting directly the capital of the province of Thrace - Philippopolis to the Aegean coast, known as Via Egnatia, are preserved on the ridge of the mountain range Chernatitsa.

Bulgarian flag in Zabardo village
Bulgarian flag

A huge number of caves can be found around.

A skeleton of a cave bear, armor of a Roman warrior, as well as his weapons were found in the Cheleveshtnitsa cave.

And I continue on my way and soon I am by the singing patriotic fountain and the wheel of fortune.

The singing patriotic fountain in Zabardo
The singing patriotic fountain

Only patriotic songs are heard from the fountain, and at night - the whole is illuminated in enchanting attire.

It's time to say goodbye to Zabardo.

I am sure I will come back here again and again!

My dear friends, do not forget to visit the natural phenomenon "Marvelous Bridges"!

I wish you an exceptional, relaxing, green, fresh and impressive walk!

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