Strandzha Mountain is the most mystical and exotic Bulgarian mountain. It has always attracted attention with its fabulously beautiful nature, rich prehistory, ancient Thracian sanctuaries, and local cuisine. The ancient name of Strandzha mountain is Paroria, which means “border mountain”.
Strandzha today is the least populated region of Bulgaria, but it was once inhabited by Thracian tribes. They built their stone observatories and sanctuaries, performed priestly rituals and Orphic mysteries, mined honey and gold, and predicted fate through rituals with wine, honey and milk. In the early Middle Ages, thanks to Gregory of Sinai, Strandzha mountain became a center of hesychasm, where Bulgarian clergymen such as Theodosius of Tarnovo and Romil of Vidin were educated.
Strandzha is also called the Noah’s Ark of Europe, as it has preserved plant species from the Tertiary era more than 60 million years ago. During the last ice age, the mountain was spared from icing. Thus in the whole European Union, today only here grow Strandzha periwinkle, called a symbol of Strandzha, as well as Strandzha tea. Along with Mursal tea, it has survived the last ice age and is protected in the Red Book of Bulgaria.
Only in this mystical mountain, the Strandzha oak “blagun” is found. Thanks to him and his honeydew, the bees extract the famous Strandzha honeydew honey, which has a registered Protected Designation of Origin under the quality schemes of the European Union. Honeydew honey has high taste and proven healing properties.
In the 1980s, during the socialistic epoch, Strandja, along with Sakar, was renamed the Republic of Youth. Then the government began a priority settlement of both mountains with young people from all over the country. New residential neighborhoods, factories, plants, schools are being built, the treasury financially stimulates everyone who has signed a contract for 10 years of residence. However, the program has not been well thought out and stopped before the fall of Todor Zhivkov from power.