Ginina Mogila

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Useful Information

Location: Between the villages Malak Porovetz and Sveshtari. 42 km northeast of Razgrad.
Open: At irregular times. Call the museum in Isperih or at Aristour in Shumen.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Tomb
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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3rd century built.
1982 discovered.
1985 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
1988 new tomb discovered.
1989 new tomb discovered.


The Thracian tomb at Sveshtari was built suring the first half of the third century B.C. The Thrakians, believing in a live after death built eternal houses for their dead, especially for the important ones. The famous Thrakian tombs like this one were built for kings.

The tomb consists of three chambers, an entrance chamber, two antechambers, and a dromos, a corridor leading to the tomb. In the center of the main chamber was the deathbed of the emperor, who was buried with his wife, his horses and several grave offerings. After the chambers were built they were covered by an eleven metre high mound, to protect the grave from thieves. It was forgotten for a very long time and rediscovered in 1982. Because of its outstanding quality it was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

The burial chamber is decorated by an unique blend of art and architecture. The stone architrave around the walls is supported by ten half-female, half-plant caryatids. The wall opposite the door is painted in navy blue crayon and depicts the heroicisation of the deceased. The tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings, an unique architectural decor with caryatids. Still the ten high relief caryatids and the decoration of the lunette in its vault are the only examples of this type found so far in Thracia.

This tomb was built by the Getae (Getes), a Thracian tribe living in northern Bulgaria. According to ancient geographers they were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds.

The tomb is only one of several mogili (tumuli) in this area. It is the largest of a group of 26 tumuli about 2 km from Sveshtari. The mound of earth was locally known as Ginina Mogila, today it is called the Royal Tomb. Two more tombs have been discovered near Ginina Mogila. A much larger mound named Omurtag closer to the village is currently excavated. Archeologists believe that around Sveshtari five necropoles with more than 100 mogili may have existed.