Stone Mushrooms of Beli Plast
“Stone mushrooms” is a natural phenomenon in Bulgaria. It is located 1 km from the village of Beli Plast, on the road between the towns of Haskovo and Kardzhali. These rocks are natural limestone formations with height of up to 3 meters, which occupy an area of about 30 acres.
Their age exceeds 70 million years – the formation started in the Cenozoic era. Ice Age relocated the large masses of rocks from another area. Thus, much stronger limestone, uncharacteristic for this region, appeared over the previous layer. Then, nature “placed” the lake on this place, which began to wash away these rocks. So, different material of rocks explains the unevenness of erosion, which like a sculptor has carved such original “mushrooms” of stone. “Legs” were formed from the local limestone, and the “hats” – from the stronger material of the Ice Age. Mushrooms vary in shape and color – pink, black and blue.
Such places always give rise to legends and popular beliefs; this case is not an exception. One of them says that once upon a time the local blacksmith Radun had four daughters. They always helped their father and carried water from the river outside the fortress of Perperikon. One day, as usual the girls went to the river and saw the army of enemies approaching the village. The girls ran back to warn the locals about the impending trouble. They managed to close the gate and the enemies were not able to go inside.
But after a few days, the traitor let the army of enemy attack the village and all of its residents were captured. Daughters of the blacksmith were also in captivity, but managed to escape. Invaders gave chase and caught the girls. One of the invaders was so cruel that grabbed one of the sisters and cut off the poor girl’s head. At the same moment when the head touched the ground, it turned into a stone resembling a mushroom. He killed the other girls in the same way and everything repeated – their heads turned into the stones mushrooms. The invader was so frightened that he decided to run away, but he took one step and also turned into stone. Then, the hostile army, distraught from fear, found this place cursed. They released all the prisoners and left the village forever.
Now, people say that the morning dew on the rocks is tears of the dead girls who saved the village with their lives. In 1974, these stone mushrooms were recognized tourist attraction of the national importance.