Located only a few kilometres from the border zone, just before the Tundzha snakes into Turkish territory, lies Solena Voda, the rarely visited and ancient salted mineral spring- revered for millennia for its healing properties.
Solena Voda was all but lost to the modern day, but with the continued and concerted efforts of local museum director, Veselin Kalvachev, it looks like it might just be regaining some of its popularity.
The spring has been known for its ‘healing’ properties since the Thracian times and in fact, there are several Dolmen complexes situated around the site.
However, with increased border police presence and the continued depopulation of local villages, the spring was destined to be forgotten. That was until Kalvachev, made it his mission to renovate access to the spring, have the waters analysed and encourage people to once again visit.
In recent years he has overseen an improvement in the access road and added new signage to the area. Speaking to FocusNews.net, “this spring has been known since ancient times. Thracian’s have made their rock shrines in places where the earth energy is present and around healing springs. Positive earth energy is found everywhere in the fragments. There was a Thracian rock sanctuary which was built for the fertility of women, and some rituals have been performed in it since distant times.”
“According to the tales of old people from the town of Radovets (the nearest Bulgarian town), the spring was used by people… fires were lit under the waters… then the border shifted and the springs were forgotten.”
Named Solena Voda by the locals, legend has it that God was walking around the earth, took a moment to sit down and wash his eyes in the spring. A single tear fell as he washed and since that day, the water in the spring has been salty.
What’s it Like?
Solena Voda is not a big spring. The water bubbles up from a crack in the earth into a pool around a metre square. From here it flows down the hillside into the Tundhza below. There’s a pipe for water collection, a rack of rags (we’re not entirely sure what for though), several Christian shrines and a rustic yet intricate picnic and BBQ area located only a few metres away.
The water is cool, even on hot days, and when applied to the skin does feel refreshing and quite unlike normal water. It’s a perfect place to bathe feet, especially if like us, you get lost and end up walking miles around the border zone!
The picnic area has been lovingly constructed and is considerably more intricate than most in the region, with a fully constructed roof, seating, table and large BBQ facility.
Chemical Composition of Spring Water at the Site
“After six years of work, I present the result of the balneological expertise of the mineral spring “Solena Voda”, the village of Radevets, Topolovgrad Municipality.
The mineral water is characterized as hypothermal – 26 degrees C, highly mineralized – 1401 / mg / l, sulphate-sodium and silicate water without sanitary-chemical signs of pollution according to Protocol No. 297 / 23.11.2016. of a Specialized Laboratory for Mineral Water Analysis.”
“Water studies have shown that it retains a constant physico-chemical composition and properties. Further research is needed on arsenic content during another year.
Indicators of microbiological study Protocol №297-М / 31.10.2016г. of the Specialized Laboratory for the Analysis of Mineral Waters show microbiological contamination. It is recommended to source the spring to stop the microbiological contamination.”
“According to the radiological parameters Protocol № W461a / 22.12.2016г. and W461b / 22.12.2016. of the NRDP are within the limit of the mineral water norm.”
Regarding the Healing Properties:
“The healing and prophylactic properties of the mineral water from “Soleata Voda” spring – are determined by the high mineralization and the presence of sulphate, sodium ions and metasilicic acid in a colloidal state.”
“Drinking balneotherapy with this type of water has an effect on the gastrointestinal tract, the gallbladder, and the renal and excretory systems. They slightly reduce gastric juice hyperacidity and stimulate the kinetics of bile ducts. The persistence of the metasilicic kerosene in a colloidal state has a detoxic effect.
Based on the physico-chemical analysis and the conducted clinical and experimental studies with similar mineral waters, we believe that the water from the source “Solena Voda” – Radevets village, Topolovgrad municipality, Haskovo district is useful for:
- Drinking balneotherapy and balneo-prophylaxis in the following diseases with tempering up to 35-37 gr. C and use for not more than 6-8 weeks under medical supervision.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: chronic gastritis, gastroduodenitis, enterocolitis, ulcerative disease, etc.
- Hepatic-liver diseases: Biliary-stone disease, chronic cholecystitis, cholangitis, cholangiohepatitis, chronic hepatitis, biliary dyskinesia, etc.
Kidney-urological diseases: chronic pynephritis, cystitis, nephrolithiasis, urolithiasis, conditions after lithotripsy, etc.
- Metabolic diseases: gout, diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc.
- Skin diseases
- Outdoor balneotherapy – with adequate tempering up to 35-37g Degenerative and inflammatory / remission / joint diseases: arthritis, spondylarthritis, arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and others.
- Diseases of the peripheral nervous system: discopathies, radiculitis, plexitis, etc.
- Orthopedic diseases: for movement in post-traumatic and post-operative conditions.
- Skin diseases: chronic non-specific dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and others.
- Gynecological diseases: Chronic inflammatory processes of female genital organs.
- Exchangeable diseases: gout, diabetes, obesity, etc.
The use of mineral water from “Solena Voda” spring – village of Radevets, Topolovgrad municipality, Haskovo district is possible in systemic chemical, microbiological and radiological control.
The report was issued on 04.04.2017 by Dr. Dobrinova – Deputy Director,”The National Specialized Hospital in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Sofia.
Advice for those wishing to visit the springs: The spring is located in a border area, guarded by cameras and border police 24 hours a day. It can be reached by the border villages of Radovets, (5Km from the village) in the Topolovgrad municipality.
Head towards the eastern side of the village and locate the track heading east towards a large radio mast. Continue on this until you come to the old border zone fence. Take the track to the left, (inside the zone there are cameras the length of the road and the road is not advisable in anything but a 4×4). The track running on the exterior of the fence is less rutted and can be travelled by car.
After several kilometres you will find a parking area inside the fence zone. Take the track straight ahead, (NOT to the left- as we did initially) and after a few 100 metres you will see the spring.
You WILL BE intercepted by the border police and asked for ID, however, they are approachable and pleasant and speak English.