About Baba Vanga Foundation
Baba Vanga Foundation was established to preserve the temple and the noble deeds of the prophetess. It was founded on December 4th, 1994 and the committee elects Baba Vanga as the president. After she passed away on August 11th, 1996, Dimitar Vultchev was elected as the new president.
Among the founders of the foundation are artists, jurists, writers:
Academic Svetlin Rusev, PhD. Toncho Zhechev, Jordan Radichkov, Nevena Kokanova, Neshka Robeva, Ivan Tatarchev, Alexander Arabadzhiev, and others.
At the moment Ivan Dramov is the chairman of the foundation. The people that were appointed by the prophetess to preserve and continue her deeds are certainly not accidental. The fact that the Rupite complex is very well maintained and is flourishing and brings more people each year speak of itself.
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The main objective of the foundation is to preserve the material and spiritual wealth bequeathed by Baba Vanga, to popularize her life and deeds, and to preserve the natural beauty in the Rupite region. Being just an empty valley, after 15 years the Rupite complex has become a beautiful and improved area. There is parking infront of the complex. A long alley with thuja and trees lead to the temple. Everything is immersed in greenery, with beautiful landscape corners with flowers, stones, and benches. There is a fountain with mineral water nearby the temple. Behind it, there is a small shop where you can buy souvenirs and candles. The grass is always mowed, and cleanness is maintained everywhere. There are 18 people that take care of the complex. There is a small cafe at the opposite end of the temple – the only restaurant in the complex.
History of St. Petka Church in the Rupite
In 1984 Baba Vanga bequeathed all of her properties and possessions to the Government of Bulgaria. Baba Vanga’s house in Petrich is Government owned, and is opened as a museum in 2009.
In 1991 Baba Vanga decides to invest all of the funds collected over the years in the construction of the temple. She shares her desire infront of her spiritual son – Dimitar Valchev and the artist Svetlin Rusev. “I want to raise a white church in the Rupite to be a home for all believers. To be a place where people come and pray, and purify themselves. I want to use all this money that people from all religions and nationalities paid to come and visit me, and to build a temple of God, for people’s salvation.”
In 1992 the construction of the temple starts under the supervision of Baba Vanga. The chosen place for the temple is only meters away from Baba Vanga’s house. After the project was approved by Metropolitan Pimen, on May 31st 1992 the first sod was turned in his presence. Baba Vanga insisted the project to be prepared by the architects – Bogdan Tomalevski and Lozan Lozanov.
Videos of Rupite Complex
The project is accepted with great enthusiasm and trust by the followers of the prophetess – everybody donates according to their financial ability. Together with people’s help St. Petka Church was built in two years. This is one of the first churches built in Bulgaria after the communistic regime fell down in 1989. The beginning of the nineties are marked with a lot of confusion, poverty, and instability. The Government takes a new path restructuring numerous institutions, creating chaos and high unemployment rates. People are starving, but nevertheless a lot of poor families donate small amounts, just so they can invest their “brick” in the construction of Baba Vanga’s temple.
Over 2000 people donate for the cause. People were giving their respect and gratitude to the prophetess. The total amount collected was over 10 million levs (about 6.5 million dollars), where 7 million were used for the construction. Architects Tomalevski and Lozanov have donated their professional labour for creating the project.
Baba Vanga asked for the church frescos to be painted by Svetlin Rusev who also volunteered. The images are very real, taken from real life, and from the life of Baba Vanga – this was requested by the prophetess. These are ordinary people who are sick, anxious, suffering, and desperate. God’s children that are seeking their path and salvation.
This new modern style that was used by Svetlin Rusev, did not match the criteria of the canons of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. At first the priests refused to consecrate the church. The conflict was resolved, but Baba Vanga remained deeply aggrieved.
On October 14th, 1994 the church St. Petka was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Natanail in concelebration of other bishops and priests. It was a bright and sunny day. Baba Vanga had swallowed all insults, and being very tired and in pain (at that time Baba Vanga was very ill) she was seemingly very happy that her big dream was coming true. Thousands of people came to the consecration ceremony. People from all over Bulgaria, politicians, and intellectuals came to pay their tribute to the prophetess. The Prime minister at the time – Lyuben Berov had send a congratulatory letter.
From this day, the white church of Baba Vanga starts to shine as a white swallow nested at the foot of three mountains – Ograzhden, Belasitza, and Kozhuh. Two years later Baba Vanga passed away, but her white swallow continued to “hover” over the people’ despair and pain bringing peace and hope to everyone.
Acad. Svetlin Rusev
“At the consecration ceremony Baba Vanga said: “Baba Vanga is the temple, and the temple is Baba Vanga!” For me these were prophetic words. The temple is part of the mission with which Baba Vanga came to this world. She decided and asked us to build this temple when the end of her life was approaching. This temple had to materialize what Baba Vanga wanted to leave behind her – her presence and energy. She wanted to remain at this place so she continues to help people. This is a temple of salvation. Baba Vanga was carrying the belief, she was a messenger of faith, she was a gift of fate for Bulgaria.”
Meters away from the temple is Baba Vanga’s small house, where she lived the last few years of her life. The house remains intact after her death, and its authentic atmosphere is still kept. In 2011 the house was officially opened for public visitation, and this was done with the cooperation of the Petrich municipality. There are plenty of flowers in the front yard that were planted by Baba Vanga. There are a lot of flower pots that were brought in by the prophetess’s visitors.
The house and the temple are also the home of hundreds of swallows that weave their nests in the area, and there are two stork families that built two large nests, from the time when Baba Vanga was alive.
The grave of Baba Vanga
Adjacent to the temple is the tomb of Baba Vanga. Everyday there are burning candles left by the visitors, as well as flower pots, gifts, and prayer letters. People believe that the spirit of the prophetess lives in the Rupite and pray to Baba Vanga to help them from the other world.
The monastery surrounding the temple
The monastery was completed in 2009. It has 12 rooms with 30 beds, ritual hall room for baptisms, and exhibition hall which displays photos and personal belongings of Baba Vanga. The hotel rooms are very simplified: beds, wardrobes, bathroom and washroom. There are no phones, TV’s or internet connection…The main goal is people to have a quiet stay at the complex, to have baths at the healing mineral hotsprings, and to be alone with themselves, isolated from the dynamic world of the modern civilization.
The park of the complex
The Rupite complex is situated on 23 ha of land. Over the years the Foundation have created a large park with many available places for meditation and recreation. With the idea and initiative of Dimitar Valchev, the Foundation have planted over 2000 trees from over 100 tree species. There are gazebos and benches placed throughout the complex. In the summer, the complex becomes very green with refreshing air, creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and peace.
The memorial cross
In 2009, the Foundation has built a Cross embedded in the rock that is facing the temple. This cross was in memory of all those people that were killed, when the Kozhuh volcano erupted thousands of years ago. The project for the cross was donated by the sculptor Ivan Rusev. The cross is 40 meters high and 30 meters wide, and can be clearly seen from the temple of Baba Vanga. It was made of marble slabs, and they are placed as such, so visitors can climb up. The idea of the sculptor, is that when people climb up the cross, to symbolically repeat the path of Christ to Calvary.
The real reason for the construction of the cross is to fulfill a long-standing request of Baba Vanga. She asked the people from her closest surroundings to build something in memory of those killed when Kozhuh volcano erupted. Baba Vanga had said: “On October 14th (Petkov Day) thousands of years ago, here in the Rupite region there was a big town called Petra, which had three very large temples.” The volcano had taken the lives of thousands of people. Baba Vanga described them as “tall, and big people dressed in thin clothing shining as a tinfoil.” They were very enlightened and spiritual. The river that was flowing through the town was goldbearing, and every newborn was immersed in the water. The town gates of Petra were decorated with gilded winged animals.
“The hot abyss that swallowed this town is now sending us hot vapours, so we can treat ourselves. These are the sighs of all those that were killed. They want us to remember and honour them, and to know that they were living on these lands. Don’t forget that God and Mother nature are stronger than men.”
Baba Vanga started to visit the Rupite in the 50-ties, but she settles permanently in the 80-ties. She had said that the superior powers have shown this place to her, so she can energetically recharge there. “Me and Baba Vanga came to the Rupite 50 years ago when it was just a wilderness – says Peter Bakov, who is from Petrich. Suddenly Baba Vanga reached inside her purse and took out something that looked like a rubber band and threw it away. It turned out that this was a viper snake. She said: The place where the snake falls, this is where you will set-up the tent.” Later, on this same place was built the house of Baba Vanga, and years later the whole complex was established.”