Popa (priest) Martin’s cave

Above Venetsa, near the town of Belogradchik, on the southern side, is situated the cave “Prăpastia” (The Precipice), also called the Popa Martin’s cave or the thieves cave. In the bottom of the gallery were found human bones, and in the cave, which is a well about 10 meters deep, were the bones of four more bodies, which the legend relates to the facts of Popa Martin … Popa Martin had the most beautiful woman in the village. Once, Vidin’s pasha, passing through the village, visited Popa Martin. Popa Martin welcomed him as he came, and the Pasha and his companions departed. Not a week passed and Popa Martin’s wife was taken by the soldiers of Vidin’s Pasha. It didn’t take long and Martin was gone – he left the house, church and liturgy. It was heard that he became an outlaw and went to the Balkan Mountains. He rejected church clothes and instead of the Gospel, took the war rifle, instead of crosses and prayers, used the scimitar. Instead of prayers, the cartridge belts crossed his chest. The gentle and kind priest changed that day. And he set off with his faithful band. The outlaw went through the mountains, crossed paths, found caravans with money going to the treasury, taking back the money of the enslaved people.

He attacked the Turks, the criminals and killed those who tortured the people. Father Martin’s glory was passed from mouth to mouth. The wealth taken by him and his loyal band carried it and hid it in the inaccessible cave in the Venetsa area. Together with his band, Popa Martin appeared as a ghost, unknown and untouchable. One day, when valuable things and gold were hiding, one of them failed to get out of the cave, he was killed and he fell to the bottom of the narrow gallery. Legend says that the murdered man was Popa Martin. One of his comrades, to become the master of this extraordinary wealth, most likely remained behind Popa Martin and killed him, threw him into the gallery, took the gold and went somewhere to a village where he lived a quiet and modest life. Then he himself told the legend of Popa Martin’s cave to remind us of this name even today.