|Coordinates: 42.315393, 27.734256
The rock phenomenon Lavskata Glava (Lion’s Head) is of volcanic origin and was formed in Syenite of the palaeovolcano Rosenski 65-70 million years ago.
It is assumed that on the hill, where the Lion’s Head is, was located the ancient town of Ranuli. The remains of the castle wall surround an area of about 30,000 square kilometers, making the town one of the largest fortified in this region. It is believed that first it was built by the Thracians and later rebuilt by the Romans, Byzantines and Bulgarians.
Judging by the structure of the building, the researchers relate the construction of the castle wall and the oldest buildings to the era of Crete-Mycenaean civilization – 16-14 century BC.
From the same period is dated Perperikon. Even thousands of years before that, at the top there was life, but the large scale construction had destroyed much of the artifacts. It is believed that during the Roman Empire Ranuli was one of the major centers on the Black Sea coast. Life in the fortress continues until the fifteenth century. Inside the fortress are preserved the remains of a small medieval church.
Nowadays, the castle is known as Valchanovo Kale because Valchan voivode used the enclosures of the fortress as his headquarters during the Ottoman Empire. Regular archeological studies have not been conducted because the castle is located in the Ropotamo Reserve. As of now the only site which has been studied is the Beglik Tash sanctuary, located a few kilometers from the town, used to perform functions similar to those of today’s monasteries.
At this place was also discovered a womb cave, located above the mouth of the river Ropotamo. It was discovered by the archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov under the Lion’s Head rock phenomenon. The cave is five meters deep and it is only accessible by using special climbing equipment. Inside pottery was found, dated from the Early Iron Age (X-VI century BC), from antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the most remote part there is a stone bed or altar, carved by human hands. There is no doubt that the cave is a natural phenomenon, converted from the ancient into a temple. Exactly at noon, from a narrow slit, a sunbeam penetrates inside and projects onto the rock.