Vanga Dimitrova, or Baba Vanga, as all the Bulgarians refer to her (Baba means ‘grandmother’ or ‘elderly woman’ in Bulgarian), is a world-famous prophet and fortune-teller who has changed the life of thousands of hopeless and sick people. Although she is not with us since 1996, her influence is still tangible in Bulgaria, Macedonia and parts of Russia. A lot of information about her due to extensive research, recollections of her visitors and relatives, interviews with her etc. is available and her controversial gift is still discussed and explored. Let’s try to give a brief summary of most important points.

                Vanga was an ordinary girl before a strong windstorm took her away. She was found in a field, blind and all covered with soil and rock. When she turned eighteen, she heard a voice – a voice that was with her till the end of her life. She gained popularity at the beginning of WWII when the owner of the mysterious voice helped her predict who will die and who will return from the war. Since then, a lot of people visited Baba Vanga every day, asking her to help them with missing relatives, unknown illnesses and other problems. During the socialist regime in Bulgaria Vanga was highly-respected by the soc-leaders in Bulgaria and USSR and was visited by lots of them frequently, her house being guarded and listened in on all the time.

                Vanga lived and accepted people in the Bulgarian town of Petrich, but in 1970 she got a small house built in a village called Rupite. When the house was ready, she started receiving her visitors there in the days and in the evenings went back to her house in Petrich. She always claimed that Rupite is a special place and that she recharges herself with energy and spiritual strength.

                The village of Rupite is located about 8 km away from Petrich. Above it there is a hill, called Kojuh (which in Bulgarian means ‘a coat’) and Vanga maintained the idea that ‘it keeps a huge secret’. In the area there are mineral springs with hot water, which are a result from volcanic eruptions in the past. The temperature of the water is 75 degrees Celsius and it has the ability to heal and cure different illnesses of the digestive, endocrine, skeletal, nervous and reproductive system as well as the dermatology problems.

                In 1992 Baba Vanga invested for the building of a new church in the area of Rupite. Today the church ‘St Petka from Bulgaria’ is ready and a lot of people visit it every day to find hope or way out of a hard situation, or just to express their respect and gratitude towards Vanga. The church is not canonized by the Bulgarian patriarchate as it does not meet its requirements. Vanga wished that the church will help everybody who visits it despite his or her religion. The icons, created by prof. Svetlin Rusev, are quite realistic and different from the official images of the saints, but the visitors like them and their originality.

                If you want to visit Rupite, the house of Vanga, the mineral springs and the church, you can do it in various ways – on foot from Petrich (the distance is 8 km), by car or by bus. There are different options for spending the night, the most adventurous of which is in a tent. The area of Rupite is on the list of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.