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

The stronghold has been besieged, conquered and burnt down by the Ottomans in 1393. The restoration of the fortress continued from 1930 to 1981.

Work continues on the restoration of Trapezitsa

Work continues on the restoration of Trapezitsa

Part of the outer walls with the Baldwin's tower in the distance

Part of the outer walls with the Baldwin's tower in the distance

At the right corner of the image above you can see the southeastern tower, also called “Baldwin’s tower”. The legend says that Baldwin IX Count of Flanders, the first emperor of the Latin Empire, was imprisoned in it after he was defeated by the Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan in the battle of Adrianople.

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

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

The main entrance had 3 consecutive gates, protected by towers. Nowadays only the first and the third towers are partially restored. The first gate had a draw-bridge.

The main entrance gate from bellow

The main entrance gate from bellow

The second entrance – Small Gate (Asen’s Gate) is located on the northwestern part of the wall. It provided a link between Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and the new town. Above the gate is a small tower on two floors.

The small gate of the stronghold

The small gate of the stronghold

The Patriarchate, as well as the royal palace, was self-contained fortress in the form of an irregular polygon, surrounded by fortified walls, gates and towers. The entrance is located on the west side. In the central part,  at the highest point, rises the Patriarchal Church. It was built on the foundations of an early Christian church, dating from the end of V and the beginning of VI century.

The reconstructed patriarchal church "Ascension of Christ"

The reconstructed patriarchal church "Ascension of Christ"

Another view of the church “Ascension of Christ”

Another view of the church “Ascension of Christ”

The St Forty Martyrs Church was built during the reign of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Asen II in honor of his victory in the Battle of Klokotnitsa on March 9, 1230 (the day of Saint Forty Martyrs) over Epirus Despot Theodore Komnenos. In the church are buried tsars Kaloyan, Ivan Asen II and Michael Shishman.

St Forty Martyrs Church as seen from Tsarevets

St Forty Martyrs Church as seen from Tsarevets

St Forty Martyrs Church

St Forty Martyrs Church

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply