Sacred pit of Garlo

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Coordinates: 42°47′13″N 22°50′53″E / 42.787°N 22.848°E / 42.787; 22.848

The Sacred pit of Garlo is an archaeological site located near the village of Garlo in Pernik District, Bulgaria.

The interior of the Sacred Nuragi Pit, Garlo Village, Bulgaria

Description and cultural context[edit]

It was excavated in 1972 by Professor Dr. Dimitrina Mitova-Dzhonova and her team. Professor Dzhonova dates the pit around the 11th[1] century BC and relates the site to the sacred pits found within the remains of the Nuragic civilization in Sardinia. The sacred pit was constructed in a little valley lined with many springs in prehistoric times. The southern part of the pit is dug in the ground. Seven meters long corridor (δρόμος) with thirteen stone steps leads into a round domed room (θολός) at the center over the source there is a well with a depth of 5 meters. Outside Sardinia such sites are excavated in Crimean Peninsula Crimea (Ukraine) and Palestine. The sacred pit is a sophisticated device,[2] established entirely underground. The long axis of the well is oriented North-South bit it was constructed on the eastern slope of a hill, now above a small waterreservoir built in the 1960s. The entrance to the underground chamber is located on the east side of the device. It represents a stair of 24 stairs 1.1 m wide. The first nine stairs are in open air, the next 15 are underground.

The stair leads to an underground vaulted round circular chamber with 4.2 m. diameter. On the top of the vault there is a circular hole to the sky. The opening is 2.3 m. wide. The underground stair joins the vaulted chamber by an arched gate 2.4 m high. The construction is 'almost identical'[3] to the Funtana Coberta from Ballao in Sardinia

Directly above the temple an ancient sanctuary of the sun was organised. Today the rock massif and the terrain of the sanctuary are covered by young forest. According to the memories of the local residents in the surrounding rocks were carved signs, and a small stone basin near the temple well. That information, although acquired from residents of Village of Garlo deserve particular attention because monuments are identified with certain elements of the Nuraghe culture and formed the cult of the Moon and the complementary nature of the sacred pit.

How did the construction of the sacred megalithic facility and the entire religious complex built in the Village of Garlo remains an open question for modern historians and archaeologists. Whether immigrants from Nuraghe culture wished to have a religious facility in their new place of settlement or, local residents, led builders to build them such a facility for some reason it is very difficult to claim.

During the field studies conducted in the 1970s Prof. Mitova - Dzhonova's team have found archeological sites that might belong to similar sanctuaries - in villages of Berayintsi, Rebro, Dolna Melna, Paramun and Dolni Romantzi (Pernik District, Bulgaria).[4]


According to Professor Mitova-Dzhonova in the sacred pit at Garlo was worshiped ancient deities of water, or more precisely of the underworld water resources.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitova-Dzhova,Megalithischer Brunnentempel protosardinischen Typs vom Dorf Garlo, Bez. Pernik, RHM Pernik, 1980, p.10
  2. ^ L. Tsonev, D. Kolev - Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 2014, vol.17, p.222 The Sardinian type underground well temple at Garlo, Bulgaria: an architectural and astronomical survey
  3. ^ (it) Massimo Rassu, I pozzi sacri in Sardegna e in Bulgaria
  4. ^ Dimitrina Mitova Dzhonova "Archaeological Monuments in Pernik Province", Committee of Culture Press , Sofia, 1983, p. 188-189
  5. ^ Mitova - Dzhonova, Dimitrina, Origins and Nature of Proto Sardinian Sacred Pits, III-I Millennium, BC; 2007; p.10, IVRAI Publishing Sofia Bulgaria