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Tsarevets Fortress

Tsarevets Fortress

Category   Fortress

The medieval fortress, located in the old part of the town of  Veliko Tarnovo, use to be the primary fortress of the old capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 - 1393). Situated on the Tsarevets hill, it was having three entrances, two battle towers, castle church, all surrounded by stone wall. In 1393 Veliko Tarnovo was conquered by the Ottomans and the fortress was burned down. In the recent days the fortress is among the most visited historical sites in Bulgaria.

Main entrance of the fortress
Main entrance of the fortress
The main entrance of the fortress is located in the western part of the hill, with direct access to Veliko Tarnovo. It is built on a narrow rock massif and consists of several gates. The first gate was partially rebuilt in 1932 - 1934, but without the old battle tower that was above the gate. There are remnants of the second and third gates, with the third gates restored in 1971.

Northwest Fortress Wall
Northwest Fortress Wall
On this wall is located the second entrance of the fortress (the Little Gate), which connected Tsarevets with the adjacent Trapezitsa Hill and the New Town (Asenova Mahala). The small gate and the tower above it were restored in 1975.

View from the Baldwin Tower
View from the Baldwin Tower
The Baldwin Tower is located in the southeastern part of Tsarevets, next to one of the three entrances of the fortress (Frankhisar Gate). The modern tower was built in 1930 similar to a medieval tower. The upper part of the tower offers an incredible view of one of the defensive walls of the fortress and the Yantra River, which runs on the side.

Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God
Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God
The architectural complex Bulgarian Patriarchate is lcoated at the highest part of Tsarevets Hill and is occupying an area of ​​about 3000 square meters. It was found that the Patriarchate was an independent fortress with walls, gates and towers. In the middle of the complex is located the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God.

Tsarevets Fortress
The church was rebuilt in 1981 and the frescoes were completed in 1985.

Tsarevets Fortress
The restoration of Tsarevets Fortress began in 1930 and was completed in 1981 on the occasion of the 1300th anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian state. The architectural and museum reserve is accessible to tourists all year round.

Audio-visual performance Sound and light
Audio-visual performance Sound and light
The spectacle can be watched for free all year round on national holidays and on the holidays of the city. Individual performances may also be ordered for a fee.
The first show was in 1985 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Assen and Peter uprising. The purpose of the performance is to tell part of Bulgarian history through visual effects.

Photographer: BulgariaView, License: Creative Commons License