The Bulgarian Stone Forest

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It’s definitely worth it to travel a mere 18 kilometers from Varna heading towards Sofia, and really lose your sense of reality.

And it’s hard to resist not pinching yourself, as well as those traveling with you, so you can make sure you are not dreaming! No, you have not traveled to another dimension and no, you have not become а gnome.

You have just ended up in a forest, where instead of trees, there are stone columns with the most whimsical shapes and sizes. They erect straight out from the sand, which is a substitute for grass in this case. That is the reason why Bulgarians call this phenomenon The Fossil Forest.

There are many theories as to the origin, which can be classified into two main groups – the organic and inorganic. The first group pertains to coral-like organisms and others.

The second group explains the origin as a prismatic weathering of the stones or the formation of sandy-limestone concretions and other. In an effort to be preserved, in 1937 they were named a natural landmark.


With the exception of a couple more words about their height, width and how they look, there is no more information on the matter. Here’s the most famous legend about this extraordinary phenomenon.

The Name of the God

Long, long ago, when God lived in the heavens, and Titans on Earth, the ocean was much more wide-spread than it is today. In the location where the stone forest resides today, there was once a coast and next to it – a fisherman’s village. There lived a righteous young man. With his good deeds and actions, he pleased God so much, that one day He himself descended from the skies and appeared before the young fisherman with a proposal which he could not refuse.

God revealed his name to the young man and along with that, he gifted him with eternal life and in return he wanted the man to swear that he will forever keep this secret. If he didn’t keep his promise, he would lose his immortality. The young man, of course, agreed. And he would surely keep his word, if he hadn’t met a girl with whom he fell in love at first sight.


The girl loved him, too. But the two lovers could not be together – the girl was promised as a bride to the leader of the Titans. The young man decided to have a talk with the future groom. After carefully listening to everything, the groom decided he is ready to let go of the bride only if the young fisherman told the Titans the name of the God and thus make them immortal as well. The man asked for a day so he could think about it. And in that time he thought of a plan how to keep his word to the God and make the Titans happy at the same time.

The next morning, he asked the Titans to position themselves in a certain way and everyone obliged. He was actually writing out the name of the God with the titans. God, who was watching this from above got incredibly angry and turned the Titans into stone.

And that is how the stone forest came to be. On the spot, where the young fisherman embraced his beloved for the first time, now runs a healing brook. The water is believed to be especially curative for sick kidneys.

Architects of the Monument

During the war between Russia and Turkey in 1829, the military correspondent, Victor Teplyakov, had been sent off to serve under Ivan Dibich, commander-in-chief of the Russian Army. Upon his return home, he published “Letters from Bulgaria,” in which he writes about the Stone forest under the name The Gebedji Ruins (coming from the name of the nearby village of Gebedji).


Today, it would definitely be interesting to read a few lines from those letters:

“Colonel L. ordered upon my request for one of the cylinder columns with a smaller size to be taken from the ground. A fraction of our soldiers got to the task. Exclamations were yelled out loud every minute as the column was being taken out: ‘Let’s find the gold! Let’s find a pot of gold coins!’ After some time, they were able to uncover a little more than two meters, but we should have already figured out that its base was far deeper into the ground…”

The Circle of Magic

No matter which version you like best, let us mention, that for the Russian people, the Stone forest of Bulgaria is a powerful source of bioenergy. Some say, that even the well-known Bulgarian prophetess, Vanga, had gone there to recharge herself with energy. For this exact reason, a visit to that place is highly recommended, especially if you are feeling sick or tired. There, under the shade of the stone trees, you will feel much better. It is also recommended for one to walk barefoot – this way you will release the negative energy and fill yourself with positive energy much quicker.

In fact, the center of this place of power is the circle of magic – a term used for the stones composed in a circle formation, where there is a column in the middle. It is more likely that this is a manmade structure – when the locals noticed the schematic outlines of the circle form, some may have finished the job started by nature and may have made a circle of small stones.

However things may be, it is believed that exactly in the Circle of Magic, in the Stone forest, is where the energy recharging happens, as well as the synchronization of the bioenergy rhythm with the rhythm of the Universe. It is also said that the energy of the Circle of Magic is so strong that phones, cameras and other technology go out of order within a 10-meter radius.