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Baba Vanga -The most renowned Macedonian clairvoyant

30 March, 20:55
Baba Vanga -The most renowned Macedonian clairvoyant

Rupite – Baba Vanga’s cosmic energy

18 March 2015

Going through the border crossing Novo Selo towards the Republic of Bulgaria, less than 10 km from the border town of Petrich and just 2 km from the village of Rupite, located in the eastern base of the former volcano Kozuh is the protected area – Rupite.

The region is known for the thermal healing springs which attract many visitors throughout the year, the natural attraction Kozuh – an elevation made of volcanic rocks that is 281 high, the rare flora and fauna and the only oasis of the silver poplar in Bulgaria, located by the river Struma.

The area is best known, however, as the place connected to the world famous blind clairvoyant Baba Vanga, also known as Nostradamus from the Balkan. Her real name was Vangelia Gushterova (3rd October 1911 – 11th August 1996) and she was famous for many of her prophecies which turned to be true. Born in Strumica, Vanga lived here, in Rupite, where she also welcomed her visitors, made the prophecies, cured and was buried. Her life-long dream was also fulfilled here – to be the founder of a religious temple, which was the memorial church “Saint Parascheva”.

A sacred place

Baba Vanga came to live in the area called Rupite, near Petrich, in 1970, looking to escape the city noise. She asked to have a modest home, a house made of wood with a yard, built for her. She claimed that Rupite was a sacred place and source of energy for her.

During the years, Rupite transformed from an empty, rocky plain into a beautiful site. This wonderfully thought out and decorated terrain, called Complex Vanga Rupite, preserving the memory of the clairvoyant, still attracts thousands of believers and tourists every day.

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A big, wide gate made of wrought iron leads inside the complex. The wide, cobble stone trail leads directly into the authentically preserved natural setting spreading across 23 hectares where the modest home of Baba Vanga, where she welcomed the people coming to her for help is located, as well as the church with the impressive bell tower, her grave, the monastery complex and its hospices, the museum dedicated to the life and work of Vanga, souvenir shops, etc.

The entire area is a big park with more than 2.000 trees from 100 different kinds. The park is also a flower garden with benches, rest and eating spots, swings for the children, etc. One of the springs with healing water divided into two fountains is located here, while opposite the church, on the very volcanic rock on Kozuh Mountain, there is a memorial cross in honour of those who died by the Kozuh volcano. The cross was a gift from Bulgarian sculptor Ivan Rusev. The cross is not elevated but set horizontally on the ground, symbolizing that we are all mortal and we are all creators of our destiny. The cross is also a sign that we are not stronger than nature and we should respect it and its laws.

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In a constant battle with the canons

A common story among people is that Saint Parascheva appeared in Baba Vanga’s dream and told her to build a church in her honour in Rupite so that she could be “closer to the people”. But, the truth is that, seven years after leaving her property to the state in 1984, Vanga decided to invest all the money that people who came to her left her in “building a religious temple for human salvation”.

“The design of Vanga’s church was a challenge for my colleagues and me. We tried to build it in harmony with nature and the setting in Rupite. We didn’t copy an existing church because we wanted to create an authentic and unique place, just like Vanga. When we started working on the project, she told us that she wanted the church to have a 12-metre high dome, to be white and beautiful, and we built it that way. Vanga saw everything. She had faith in herself. She knew exactly who she can rely on” – Bogdan Tomalevski, one of the two architects in charge of Baba Vanga’s temple, says.

Like everything else about her, there was also controversy about her wish to build a church. Vanga invested everything in that church and construction commenced in May, 1992. With the help of other people, the church was completed two years later, becoming one of the first in the Republic of Bulgaria after the fall of communism in 1989.

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Vanga personally called Academician Svetlin Rusev, famous Bulgarian artist, to do the painting of the temple. However, the modern style of the characters depicted on the frescos, real and taken from Vanga’s every-day life, to which she insisted, did not correspond to the canons of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church whose dignitaries refused to consecrate the church at first. Baba Vanga was deeply disappointed. And yet, on 14th October 1994, the church was consecrated by the Metropolitan Natanail.

That is how the story about Baba Vanga’s church, nested between three mountains – Ograzden, Belasica and Kozuh ended, or better said – started, becoming to this day a spiritual and tourist attraction.

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Fresh flowers on her grave

Shortly before dying, Baba Vanga was telling her close friends and those who came asking for her help: “I am sick and will leave you very soon”. After being admitted to the “Lozenec” hospital in Sofija on 3rd August 1996, 85-year-old Vangelija Gushterova, or Baba Vanga”, asked that she be buried in the yard of her “white” church. She died on 11th August 1996. She was buried in Rupite, in the yard of her church, with thousands of people coming to honour her. Close friends, strangers, young and old, politicians and public figures were present at her funeral, one of them being the President of the Republic of Bulgaria at the time, Zhelyu Zhelev.

Just like the day of her funeral, her grave is still filled with fresh flowers. People still come to light a candle, leave flowers, gifts and letters of prayers. People believe that Baba Vanga’s spirit still lives in Rupite and they pray to it for help.

Spirit of modesty

The modest life which Vanga led, personified by her intimate, personal nature is what leaves a strong impression when you visit the Vanga Complex in Rupite.

The small house where she spent the last years of her life is more than modest and included only the most necessary things. There are people responsible for taking care of the complex and make sure that the authentic atmosphere and setting are preserved, which can be seen in Vanga’s house, where nothing has changed since she died.

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Her house was not open to the public until 2011, when the 100th anniversary of her birth was celebrated and it has been a tourist attraction ever since. People say that the place is a real paradise when nature blossoms. Flowers of different kinds and colours, which Vanga planted herself, are growing in the front yard, as well as flowers from her followers. The house and church are home of hundreds of swallows and two families of storks which have been flocking there during the summer ever since Baba Vanga was alive.

Godmother of 5.000 children

Much has been written about Baba Vanga’s unusual life and there was also a film about her, which the Macedonian television audience could see. According to a legend she lost her sight, at first partially, then completely, at the age of 12 during a big storm. She went to school for blind children in Zemun, where she learned to knit, play the piano and read the Braille alphabet. After her step-mother died, she returned home to take care of her three brothers and sisters.

Vanga said that, during the incident, she had a vision, which was the beginning of her unique abilities, which she went on to use for 55 years as a clairvoyant. She started being an active clairvoyant in April 1941, “after Saint John Chrysostom appeared in my dream”, as she stated. In 1942, Vanga married Dimitar Gushterov and moved from her birthplace of Strumica to Petrich. Dimitar died very young, at the age of 37, and Vanga stayed in Petrich. Throughout the years, she focused more on giving advice to people, healing with plants and dealing with human destinies, keeping predictions about politics and politicians to a minimum.

Stories about Baba Vanga’s good deeds that she has done for other people are still being told. However, very few people know about Baba Vanga’s role in the birth of around 5.000 children. She performed a ritual containing a doll and diaper to the childless women, after which around 5.000 children were born.

“I have baptised more children that I have hair on my head” – she would say with pride and a wide smile. She was very happy when “her” children were coming to visit her.

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There is still a common belief that her spirit can help those in need, which is why different items are hung to the tree that is almost behind her grave, meant to fulfil different wishes.

Keti Mickovska

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All Rights Reserved.This material may not be stored, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form, except with the prior express permission of Macedonian Information Agency.

 

source: МИА

Comments [1]

Bob BTK

I enjoyed reading this beautiful story about a very remarkable lady.. Baba Vanga.The pictures are also beautiful. If i ever get a chance to visit Baba Vanga's church, i definitely will.

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