Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Bulgaria

Belogradchik Fortress

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Belogradchik Fortress

About the site

Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Bulgaria, Belogradchik
Type: Fortress, Cultural Landscape
Epoch: Middle Ages
Theme: Fortresses
World Heritage:
Middle AgesFortressesFortressCultural Landscape

The Belogradchik fortress was built during the Roman period as castle-observatory – part of the system for early warning, maintained in the Roman empire. By its constructions the Romans built only two walls – from north-west and south-east, while from the other two sides they use the natural inaccessibility of two huge stone massifs, 80-100m high each. In the vicinity of the fortress were discovered the remains of Roman aqueduct.
During the second half of the 14th c. the Bulgarian ruler Ivan Srazinir expanded the existing fortification and settled a military garrison there.
During the Ottoman domination the fortress preserved its Medieval character until the beginning of the 19th c. From 1805 to 1837, under the supervision of French and Italian engineers, it was enlarged and entirely reconstructed in accordance to the European requirements for fortification construction of the time.
The fortress covers an area of 10 211 square meters. It is encircled by outside defense equipment made of wooden stakes and baskets with stone and earth, At the foundation the fortification walls were 2.5m thick and up to 12m high. Guard premises were built along, as well as cannon platforms, embrasures, 365 loopholes, premises for storage and fighting equipment. The fortress possessed flour and salt mills, well, two cisterns for rain and snow water.
The fortification walls and gates were decorated with various elements – niches, columns, rosettes, palmettos and stylized relief images of plants and animals. In the vaults of the entrances alternate successively white and black stone.
The fortress was restored and is now an attractive site of cultural tourism.

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