Ancient Thracian sanctuary of the Nymphs near the village of Kasnakovo

Bulgarian sights
Location:  Haskovo Region, Kasnakovo

The sanctuary of the nymphs, also known as Aphrodite's sanctuary, is situated in the picturesque area Gyaur Bunar near the village of  Kasnakovo, Dimitrovgrad municipality, Haskovo Region.

It is located at about 14 km south-west of Dimitrovgrad, 13 km north-west of Haskovo and about 216 km south-east of the capital Sofia city.

The sanctuary was built on the ruins of an ancient cult center which emerged around karst springs in the early Iron age and represents a spacious complex of several buildings and a large amphitheater. The complex also includes religious buildings and buildings for worship.


According to the preserved inscriptions, it was built in honor of the water nymphs and Aphrodite in the II century by the Thracian Roman army veteran Titus Flavius ​​Beytyukent Esbenerios and his wife Claudia Montana.

The theories about the monument's foundation are two. The first is that Titus Flavius ​​was a Thracian given Roman citizenship due to thirty years of military service to the Empire. In the end, generally, the veteran received land and money enough to withstand the end of his days.

The second is that he was superior fictionalized Thracian held an important office in the province of Thrace who built the whole complex for his needs. Whatever the truth might be, the temple was accessible to the population and has been used for the performance of various religious rituals. Due to the intersection of its location, it can be assumed that it was visited by travelers passing through these lands.

The cult complex comprises a temple and a room for the pilgrims, the remains of which are barely preserved. A small spring among the rocks was chosen for the center of the complex. It is formed by cutting the rock to a height of 2.40 m. The water flow is captured by the construction of three pools connected via a stone furrow. They were paneled with blocks of pink marble, decorated with carved ornaments. One of the original blocks, showing the former glory is preserved. The facade of the sanctuary has been styled with marble columns, but only the foundations, the large stone blocks have survived.

Three mineral springs impress with their beautiful architectural design and their waters are famous for their curative effect. Each year on the day of Spas, 40 days after Easter, a traditional fair is held here.

For science the sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite is known since 1898. However, only in 1945-46, were the first studies made  by our eminent archaeologist Ivan Venedikov.

In 1968 the site became a national monument of culture. Furthermore, it is included in the eco-trail, visiting monuments in the region.


The sanctuary is located on the left side of the road from the village of Kasnakovo to the village of Klokotnitsa. It is located on one of the slopes of a hill. The road is asphalt, there are directing plates and a parking lot at the entrance.


The visitors may take advantage of the hotels in Haskovo which offer excellent conditions. There are a few nice hotels in Dimitrovgrad as well.


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