One of the places in Bulgaria that many people overlook when travelling to Bulgaria is the fortress of Belogradchik, a magnificent fortress built on the impressive rocks of Belogradchik.
Built by man on a fortress created by nature, it would be of magical beauty if it had not been the scene of many battles. The fortress of Belogradchik has existed for more than two millennia in a constantly changing form. Initially, there was only a small rampart in the place of today's Belogradchik.
The name Belogradchik literally means “white construction,” standing for the shining fortress rising above the town, while the official name of the fortress is Belogradchik Kale (kale meaning a fortress in Turkish).
Later, in the middle of the 14th century, under the supervision of the ruler of Vidin, Ivan Sratsimir, the rampart was transformed into a real fortress, made more functional by two dividing walls, some other buildings, a wooden suspension bridge and stone stairs. Despite all these reinforcements, the fortress fell into the hands of the invading Ottoman army in 1396. At the beginning of the 19th century, interest in the restoration of the fortress was rekindled and the Ottomans engaged French engineers and Italian fortification specialists to develop and strengthen the fortress.
Today, the Belogradchik Fortress is no longer a functional fortress, but a historical monument. The walls have a thickness of 2 metres and a height of 12 metres, in addition to the natural reinforcement by the rocks of Belogradchik. There are three fortified courtyards, each connected by a gate that can be closed when needed to defend the fort. Today, it is a jewel of Bulgarian tourism, little visited but highly appreciated.
The rocks of Belogradchik are at least as interesting as the fortress!
It is a natural geological formation about 3 km wide and 18 km long (over an area of 50 km²).
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