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About us

Below are all the persons and organizations, envolved in the project. We included some highliths and responsibilities of the persons and organisations, within the project.


The foundation is a non for profit organisation, located in the village of Gela, Smolyan municipality of Bulgaria. It was established in 2004 in the town of Smolyan.

The Foundation purposes and objectives

Preservation, development and popularizing of the cultural and natural heritage of the region of the town of Smolyan;

Preservation and development of the local traditions and crafts, through their transformation into tourism products; 

Supporting the activities of the local and national government organizations in the development of the cultural and eco-tourism, increasing the employment figures and the rising the quality of life in the region of the town of Smolyan;

Colaboration with other Non-for-profit organizations for reaching the Foundation purposes and goals, and stimulating the local public's activities regarding the issues of local economical development;

Completed activities and projects by the Foundation

A complete restoration of the local church "Sveta Bogoroditsa" in the village of Gela - 2004;

Constant support of the local folklore troupe "Manol Radichev"

Complete restoration of the local community centre "Saznanie", village of Gela - 2004-2005

Construction of a public bath and launderette, information centre within the community centre, using permanently unemployed young persons from the region;

Development of a project for composting in the village of Gela, completed by the Smolyan municipality;

Development of a project for eco-traces from Dospat to Borino to Gela, completed by the Dospat municipality - 2007-2008

Putting signage and popularizing of 5 local tourism routes - Gela - Orpheus Peak, Gela - Perelik Peak, Gela - Lednitsata Cave, Gela - Turlata Fortress, Gela - Gradishte Fortress;

Creation and maintenance of website, and design, print and distribution of Western Rhodopes Guide

Complete change of glazing of the churches "Sveta Troitsa" in the village of Gela and "Sveti Georgi" church In the village of Varbovo - 2009

Establishing a partnership with Norwegian NGO, The Happy End and working together on a project called "Unique Rhodopes", financed by the Innovation Norway - 2009



Professor Margarita Vaklinova - Consultant of the archaeology part of the project, scientific adviser

Professor Valeria Fol - Consultant of the historical part of the project

Nikolay Boyadzhiev - Archaeologist

Damyan Damyanov - Archaeologist



Petko Nikolov - Project leader

Atanas Ivanov - Coordinator



The national archaeology institute - Bulgarian Academy of Science

The scientific adviser, Professor Margarita Vaklinova, provides the methodology of the archaeology excavations, as well as the compliance with the all the legislation relevant to this type of exploration.

She is responsible for providing additional experts in case of significant discoveries.

Thracian studies institute - Bulgarian Academy of Science

Professor Valeria Fol, the consultant of the historical part of the project is responsible for analyzing the newly found information and clarifying the role of the micro-region of Gela in Ancient Thrace. She is responsible for the distribution of the information in the scientific circles.

She is responsible for providing additional experts in case of epigraphical discoveries

The Smolyan regional museum

The archaeologist Nikolay Boyadzhiev will be performing the archaeological works in the Byzantine basilica and the Thracian fortress Gradishte, and also documenting the findings.

The archaeological artifacts will be delivered, registered and stored in the Smolyan regional museum. The museum authorities are responsible for the the proper storage, conservation and restoration of the artifacts. 

In case of significant discoveries the museum authorities are responsible for providing additional experts.