HomeEuropeAncient Belogradchik Fortress of Balkan Mountains
Ancient Belogradchik Fortress of Balkan Mountains
Belogradchik Fortress is located on the north slopes of the Balkan Mountains, nearby to the northwestern Bulgarian town of Belogradchik. Belogradchik Fortress is also famous as Kaleto Fortress. The fort is nestled on the base of a remarkable rock formation belonging to the “Belogradchik massif” which comprises oddly-shaped sandstone and conglomerate rock formation that are believed to resemble shapes of objects and people. Therefore, some rocks reach up to about 200 meters in height; however, the ones serving as the backdrop to the fort are 70 meters tall.
Although this fort existed here since Roman times. Because in the 1st to the 3rd century AD, the Romans were used to construct roads across the new provinces of the empire on the Balkan Peninsula, as well as some fortresses to guard them. So, the mission of Belogradchik Fortress was to control the road. At that time they built the highest part of the fortress, famous as the Citadel, using the rocks as natural protection. Moreover, fortified walls were built only on the northwest and southeast sides, with the rest of the sides around the yard being surrounded by rocks.
Also, as time passes with several centuries, Belogradchik Fortress has been used by a succession of not the same forces including the Byzantines. However, in the 14th century, the Bulgarian tsar of Vidin Ivan Stratsimir stretched the old fortress, building fortified garrisons before the existing rock massifs. Thus, the fort became one of the most significant strongholds in the region. So, by the end of the 14th century, Belogradchik Fortress was taken control by the Ottomans, who extended it further and used it to overpower local uprisings.
Besides, Belogradchik Fortress continued to be used for military and defensive devotions, so until the 19th century. In the mid 18th century, Belogradchik Fortress played a vital role in the Ottoman suppression of the Belogradchik uprising, being the place where decapitation of captured activists was performed.
Therefore, the Belogradchik Fortress was last used in warfare during the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885, so after that, the Belogradchik Fortress is now one of the best-preserved strongholds in Bulgaria, and together with the Belogradchik Rocks, it is the town’s main cultural and historical sightseer attraction.