For Sale: Temple of Cybele, Slightly Used

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 17, 2008 — 2 Comments

Are you a Pagan who has a spare 700,000 Euro burning a hole in your pocket? Then why not head to Bulgaria where Boris Kushlev is selling a 680-square-meter plot in downtown Balchik, home to a recently-discovered temple to the goddess Cybele.


Statue of Cybele from Balchik.

“The ancient temple of the Hittite, Phrygian, and Greek goddess Cybele, which was discovered by accident in Bulgaria’s Black Sea town of Balchik in May 2007 has been declared for sale, the Varna daily Pozvanete reported … The temple of the goddess Cybele is preserved really well, and according to archeologists, is the only one of its type in Europe. The temple is also the best-preserved building from the Hellenic Age in the Balkans. It includes a number of statutes of Cybele, coins from the time of the Roman Emperor Valens, and other ancient artifacts.”

The Director of the Balchik History Museum is calling the proposed sale a “sacrilege”, and is disappointed both with Kushlev’s asking price (too expensive for the city, who have already paid 100,000 BGN to secure and cover the site), and the lack of movement by the Bulgarian state to nationalize the site. Unless the state makes a move, anyone can now swoop in an claim this former temple, and the statues and artifacts within it, for themselves. Potentially robbing Bulgaria of a unique archaeological find.

“The temple of the goddess Cybele is preserved really well, and according to archeologists, is the only one of its type in Europe. The temple is also the best-preserved building from the Hellenic Age in the Balkans. It includes a number of statutes of Cybele, coins from the time of the Roman Emperor Valens, and other ancient artifacts.”

Scientists believe that this temple, unlike other finds from the Hellenic era, can be completely restored and opened to the public. It would truly be a shame if it were dismantled and spread around to museums and private collections across the globe. Will the goddess show her hand and stop the destruction of her temple, preserved for so long beneath the earth? Only time (and an influx of money or political will) will tell if this temple is destroyed, or turned into a place of pilgrimage and learning.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Amanda

    The thing about the article that really disturbs me is that he’s selling it for 1000 Euro per sq ft. He’s not going to DIVIDE up the land, is he? Splitting up sacred ground like that would be more of a sacrilege then selling it all together. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do.For that matter, let’s Pagans get together and put our money where are faith is! Let’s buy it, and restore it! We can all move there and have a real community with a real temple blessed in ancient times! I’d actually sell everything I own if it was enough. Who’s with me?

  • Yvonne

    I would contribute money towards saving this temple – how long have we got to raise the money?