The Ancient temple in Balchik is a cultural heritage site of national importance. So far it is the only discovered temple of the Great Mother Goddess Cybele in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula and the best preserved Hellenistic temple in Bulgaria.
Built in the 4th and 3rd c. BC and functional until the 4th c. AD, when it was destroyed by fire and buried by a natural disaster – a landslide or an earthquake. Architecturally, it is oriented in the north-south direction. It is made of cut stone blocks connected by lead solders. The massive platform on which it was placed was once rising above the level of the ancient streets and squares. The upper part of the façade is decorated with relief friezes with bull skulls, garlands and rosettes. The floor is covered with stone slabs. The naos of the temple has a square shape. Near its northern wall there was an aedicule with an opening, framed by two semi-columns with ionic capital and a triangular pediment with an engraving of the sun god Helios. It was probably there that the temple statue once stood. In the middle of the temple was uncovered the marble luterion. The western and the eastern temple walls had stone benches, whose feet were decorated like lion’s paws.
During excavations were discovered marble statues and reliefs of the goddess, coins, bone pins, ceramic and glass vessels and inscriptions in Greek and Latin. They can be seen in the archaeological exhibition in the Balchik museum.
Information on opening hours and entrance fees of the Balchik museum: http://balchik.com/category/sightseeings/temple-of-cybele/
Tel.: +359 / 879/99 89 40
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