The Legend of Urdoviza and Atliman


When Sultan Murad conquered the Strandja villages, he proceeded to besiege the fortress of the Black Sea- Urdoviza. Since it was an unconquerable fortress, the sultan had decided to marry its mistress – the beautiful noblewoman Stana Urdoviza.

The Lady agreed, but on condition that the Sultan would give her as personally owned and would unburden from taxes as much villages as a fast horse could  circled around from sunrise to sunset, starting from Urdoviza and concluding there. The Sultan agreed also.

The Boyar woman decided to outwit him and she ordered to the Strandja peoples to leave in several locations fine horses. In this way, changing the horses, the girl rode all day and circled almost the whole Strandja.Starting from the peninsula she went in a southwest direction (The Goshelek hill), after that she went down to Veleka on the opposite bank of the river. Then turned west against the tide and its opposite heights.

So throughout the whole day she was riding through the wooded hills, ravines and valleys of Strandja. The horse was constantly covered in a white foam. At dusk, after the rider skirted the villages - Urdoviza Urgari (Bulgari) Marzevo (Kondolovo) Gramatikovo Zabernovo, Stoilovo, Kolovo  Konak (White Water) Gaok Tepe (Star) Sarmotnik (Ivy) and several more in western direction, she rided along the wooded Strandja ridge: Bosnia-Urga-Hadjiikata towards the seaside.

The Sultan kept his word. He gave to the Boyar woman the villages as "royal land" or Hasekia - from "has" - clean, free of taxes and "sturdy" - land. The land was freed from all taxes except dimnina.

In honor of the horse, that sacrificed its life, the people from the region named the beautiful northern gulf- Atliman: The Gulf of The Good horse or The Horse Bay.

We can not know for sure how much of this story is true, but it is a fact that the Hasekia

(the Strandja area, comprising 17 villages) was personally owned by the Turkish Sultan until1834.