Ancient rock niches near the village of Dolno Cherkovishte

The massif of Kovan Kaya near the village of Dolno Cherkovishte, Eastern Rhodopes, is one of the greatest complexes of ancient rock-hewn niches in Bulgaria. It is still unknown what were they created for. There is a hypothesis that the niches were used for burying the death. Yet the size and their inaccessible location high up on vertical rock walls put this hypothesis to question.

Whatever was their function was, the rock near Dolno Cherkovishte is not the only place where they can be seen. There are more than 1500 of these niches in the central part of the Eastern Rhodopes, concentrated mostly in the area close the river Arda.

Not far from Kovan Kaya there is a second, much smaller rock. Several niches are cut in it as well but what is more interesting are the remains of the tombs cut in the rock. They can be seen if you climb to the top of it, which can easily be done from behind.

There are two more places of interest in the area. The first are the tombs by Pchelary village, located about 3 km to the west. The second is the megalithic monument near the village of Dolni Glavanak, few kilometres to the east.