Ancient villa Armira
Ancient Villa Armira is 4 km away. southwest of Ivaylovgrad. It was discovered during construction work for the dam in 1964. The studies were conducted under the scientific guidance of Assoc. Yanka Mladenova, and later by Assoc. Dr. Gergana Kabakchieva from the National Archaeological Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Villa Armira is one of the earliest and most accurately dated Roman villa complexes studied in Bulgaria. It is an exceptional architectural monument from 2000 years ago. This is the most lavishly decorated private house (palace) of the Roman era, discovered in the Bulgarian lands. The villa was the center of a landed estate founded by a wealthy Thracian aristocratic family.
The location for the construction of the villa has been specially selected. It meets the requirements for similar constructions described by ancient Roman authors Varon and Columela, who say that a villa should be built up a large road, but not on the road itself, but in a beautiful area near the water, on a southern slope and most importantly - to good neighbors.
The wasteful use of sparkling white marble in the decoration of the pool, colonnade and mosaics proves that even with the creation of the villa farm near the Arda River, the marble was extracted from the bowels of the Rhodope Mountains.
The walls of the corridors and rooms were decorated with murals in red, white, black, green and yellowish-yellow. The schemes and decoration corresponded to the last Pompeian style in painting.
In the 1970s, Mladenova produced a graphic restoration of the marble decoration. Facing the palace with the marble - the pool, the corridors around it, the premises in the northern part of the complex, occurred in the first quarter of the I century AD. At that time, the floors of almost all the rooms were covered with mosaics. These mosaics use cubes of pink, beige, red and brown.
It was also explained why so many pieces of marble decoration and such a large area covered with mosaics were found in the ancient villa Armira. A strong earthquake caused landslides to slip away from the hill, and so the ruins of the Armira Villa were covered with a thick layer of clay soil to be rediscovered nearly two thousand years later.