Assen’s Fortress

The famous Assen’s fortress is situated in the Rhodope mountains. The first archeological findings at the spot date back from the V – IV century BC, when the Thracians built a small tower, to guard the nearby road. Later it was used by the Romans and become a part of Byzantium, after the Roman Empire split in IV century AD. The fortress fell into Bulgarian hands in the second half of the IX century. The biggest construction was done during the reign of the Bulgarian tsar Ivan Assen II, when it was used for protection against the Latin Empire. The stronghold bears his name, because of an eight-line inscription in Old Bulgarian, carved into the rocks.

A side view of the fortress

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Tarnovgrad

Tarnovgrad (nowadays Veliko Tarnovo) was the capital of the second Bulgarian kingdom from 1187 to 1393. It was situated on 3 hills – Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora.  The main stronghold of the capital was Tsarevets. The palace of the Bulgarian tzars (kings) and the Patriarchate were located on that hill.

Main entrance gate of Tsarevets and the southern part of the stronghold

Main entrance gate of Tsarevets and the southern part of the stronghold

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