The womb – Cave

45 km from Nicodia estate – near the village of Nenkovo

The cave is in a natural horizontal slit in the rock, 22 meters deep, which was further formed by human hand. The height of the hole is 3 meters and the width – about 2.50 m. Inside penetrates sufficient light. The whole cave is literally shaped like female genitals and it can be reffered to the caves-wombs described by the thraceologist Prof. Alexander Fol.

In the hole we can find a carved altar – about 1.30 meters high, which is in the form of small genitalia lips. The center is a small hole about 10 centimeters deep and 5 centimeters wide, and it is slightly cut. The historian prof. Ovcharov considers that the cave used to be a temple of the Thracians during XI-X century BC. The tunnel is an ideal north-south orientation, with its entrance from the south. There is a particular crevice in the ceiling. Right there, exactly at 12 noon a sunbeam shows and fells at the altar. The phenomenon continues for several minutes. Gradually, the light will take the form of a phallus. In August, when the cave was first studied the sunbeam was about 2 meters. In February or early March, however, the sunbeam reaches 22 meters and ‘enters’ the hole at the altar.The sunbeam remains there for a minute or two, slightly flickering. This amazing phenomenon symbolizing fertilization is shown on video by mr. Gumarov whose hobby is to study caves. It can be seen only once a year, at 12 noon. The exact day is not known, because mr Gumarov didn’t remember when exactly he was in the cave. Moving from the East, the sun gradually enters into a small rock crevice in the form of a long beam. The more the sun goes West, the more the sunbeam grows. From the cave flows water and it goes to a small pool in the foothill.

The area of the village Nenkov is absolutely anhydrous. The water, coming from the cave-womb doesn’t ever stop running. In the religion of the Thracians (called Orpheism) cult places are always top of the mountain in a cave with running water. The cave is a symbol of the Thracians womb conception and rebirth of life. Therefore, Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov is convinced that this cave is the ancient Thracian temple, where rituals, called Dionysus Saturnalia were held. There are thousands of Thracian altars discovered in Bulgaria, but a cave-womb, which explains in such way the Orpheism, is one of a kind. They say they are similar caves are in Delphi and on Samotraki (Greece), but they aren’t well preserved and so accurately formed. The discovery of the Bulgarian womb-cave proves that the Orpheism was a worship of the Sun-god, who ‘fertilized’ the underground Mother-goddess, and this ‘happens’ in the cave. In a fragment from ‘The Vakhans’ from Euripides tells how these mysteries were performed. Folklore also keeps data on beliefs of the Thracians. For example in the Strandzha region people are honoring St. Marina as a direct successor of the ancient gods. She is also described to live in a cave, and it requires a cult where once a year young men and single girls participate in the ritual of sacrament of conception. The ancient historian Herodotus also mentions that Thracian women were involved in orgies that happened in caves.