Active Communities for Development Alternatives

Momchilovci Honors Local Spiritual Leaders with a New Tourist Attraction – Eco Trail "Tornal e Todiu …"

Thursday, 27 October 2011

On October 31st at 10 am in Momchilovci an official launching of the eco trail "Tornal e Todiu ..." will happen. How an eco trail relates to the local spiritual leaders and why it is launched in the eve of the Day of the Bulgaria's Spiritual Leaders? You could learn the answer to that question and many others if you visit Momchilovci and within two hours and a half walk on the route of the new eco trail.

The idea to develop an eco trail and promote it as a tourist attraction came out of the discussions within the local community at the end of 2010. For the implementation of the idea, the community gets the support and cooperation of Chitalishte "Svetlina 1925", Smolyan municipality, the Momchilovci Mayoralty and AGORA Platform under its project "Activating Communities through the Chitalishta in Bulgaria", funded by America for Bulgaria Foundation. In the process of working on the eco trail the Momchilovci community got involved as well as 10 young people from the village who participated in the summer camp of the youth initiative "Beautiful Smolyan".

It is considered that "Tornal e Todiu na gurbet da ide" is the only Rhodopes song where labor has been mentioned. The song was written in 1949 by two young people from Momchilovci - Dimitar Radichev and Georgi Mandov, who even nowadays are laughing remembering the way it happened. In the poor years after the WWII they were not able to go to the prom. Instead, they decided to make fun laughing over their poverty and inability to go to the prom matched the military melody to the funny verses. Professor Mandov and Dimitar Radichev have yet another occasion to celebrate in 2011 - celebrate their 80th anniversary.

The eco trail "Tornal e Todiu ..." follows the route of the famous Rhodopes song going around in perfect circle along the combs over Momchilovci and revealing spectacular scenery. The trail starts at the village center, goes along the Kardjaliiski kamak where the journey of Todiu ends. There is a plate with the text of the song and the guides talk about the history of its creation. Along the Kardjaliiski kamak is the most direct path to Kardjali and the east settlements where the people going to search for work said goodbye to their families.

The trail encompasses two of the total 27 Momchilovci chapels - "St. Pavel" buid in 1916 and „St. Petka" build in 1993. Behind the chapel there is a shelter with pavilion where about 20 people could rest. The fireplace has been restored and encircled with stones and is perfect for a barbecue or a picnic.

The route goes along another rock phenomenon - Dupchov kamak, that could be seen best from the eco trail. There was the biggest quarry for construction material that was used to build most of the houses in Momchilovci, the bell tower of the church, the lining of the main buildings in the village.

In the rocks there are specific niches that give the name of the natural phenomenon where hundreds of bats live.

The cross on the rock formation was mounted by Orthodox Christian citizens in 2004 and could be seen by most parts of the village in the evening illuminating the sky.

The trail goes along a unique fountain build during the 20ies of the last century by the local mason hadji Nedelcho Kanev, who has studied at a prestigious Italian school at the time. The greatest achievement of the construction of that time is the bell tower of the local church that was built by hadji Nedelcho's design.

The old stone fountain was restored as well as its authentic wooden bed. There is a place to rest for a while, take a deep breath and drink from the clear mountain water. That is the place where the pathway of Todiu leads us.

Materials from the weekly newspaper for politics, society and culture  „Gaida"  were used.