List of castles in Bulgaria

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This is a partial list of fortifications in Bulgaria, including castles, castra, defensive walls, etc.

Partial list of fortifications in Bulgaria[edit]

  Sites included in the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria
Name Image Description Location within Bulgaria
Anevo Fortress
castle
Anevsko Kale 06.JPG Anevo Fortress or Kopsis is a medieval castle in central Bulgaria, the ruins of which are located some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the village of Anevo in Sopot Municipality, Plovdiv Province. Constructed in the first half of the 12th century, it lies on a steep hilltop at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains, not far from the Stryama river. In the end of the 13th century, the fortress was the capital of a small short-lived quasi-independent domain ruled by the brothers of Tsar Smilets of Bulgaria, Voysil and Radoslav.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Asen's Fortress
castle
Asenova krepost church 1.jpg Asen's Fortress, identified by some researchers as Petrich, is a medieval fortress in the Rhodope Mountains, 2–3 km south of the town of Asenovgrad, on a high rocky ridge on the left bank of the Asenitsa River. Asen's Fortress is situated at an elevation of 279 m. The earliest archaeological findings date from the time of the Thracians, the area of the fortress being also inhabited during the Ancient Roman and Early Byzantine period. The fortress gained importance in the Middle Ages, first mentioned in the statute of the Bachkovo Monastery as Petrich in the 11th century.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Baba Vida
castle
Крепостта Баба Вида.JPG Baba Vida is a medieval fortress in Vidin to the north-west of Bulgaria. It consists of two concentric curtain walls and about nine towers of which three are preserved to their full medieval height, including the original battlements. Baba Vida is situated at an altitude of 39 m. The fortress was among Bulgaria's most important strongholds in the Middle Ages and served shortly as a capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire before it was seized by the Ottoman Turks in 1396.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Belogradchik Fortress
fort
Belogradchik.JPG Belogradchik Fortress, also known as Kaleto, is an ancient fortress located on the north slopes of the Balkan Mountains, close to the northwestern town of Belogradchik and is the town's primary cultural and historical tourist attraction, drawing, together with the Belogradchik Rocks, the main flow of tourists into the region. It is one of the best-preserved strongholds in Bulgaria and a cultural monument of national importance.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Byalgrad
castle
Gugutka medieval castle2.jpg Byalgrad is a medieval fortress located eight kilometres from the village Gugutka in Haskovo Province, southeastern Bulgaria. Byalgrad's walls reach up to eight metres in height and are two metres thick. The fortress was built in the 12th century and its best preserved part is the dungeon. The fortress' name (meaning "white town" in Bulgarian) comes from the bright colour of its limestone walls. It was reconstructed during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Castra Martis
castrum
Kula (Кула) - Castra Martis.JPG Castra Martis was a Roman fortress (castra) in the Roman province of Dacia ripensis on the modern site of Kula, in Vidin Province. It used to protect the road through Vrashka Chuka pass in the western Balkan mountains. In 408, the Huns under Uldin took control of the site during an attack on the Eastern Roman Empire, apparently by treachery.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Cherven
castle
Tower stronghold of Cherven (Bulgaria).JPG Cherven was one of the Second Bulgarian Empire's primary military, administrative, economic and cultural centres between the 12th and the 14th century. The ruins of the fortress are located near the village of the same name 30–35 km south of Ruse, northeastern Bulgaria. During the second half of the 14th century, the stronghold's area exceeded 1 km² and had intensive urban development. Cherven was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1388 during the Bulgarian-Ottoman wars, initially retaining its administrative functions but later declining in importance.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Gate of Trajan
castle
Крепост Траянови Врата - 2015-09-02.jpg The Gate of Trajan is a historic mountain pass near Ihtiman in western Bulgaria. It was named after Roman Emperor Trajan, on whose order a fortress by the name of Stipon was constructed on the hill over the pass, as a symbolic border between the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia. The pass is primarily known for the major medieval battle of 17 August 986, during which the forces of Byzantine Emperor Basil II were routed by Emperor Samuel of Bulgaria, effectively halting a Byzantine campaign in the Bulgarian lands.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Hisarlaka
castle
Kyustendil TB (8).jpg Hisarlaka is a late Antiquity and medieval fortress occupying a hill at 2 km to the south-east of Kyustendil. Originally constructed by the Romans, it was among the most important castles of the Bulgarian Empire in the Middle Ages before it was partially destroyed by the Ottomans in the 15th century.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Hisarya city walls Hisar kapia.JPG The city walls of Hisarya date from the Roman Empire, when the settlement was known as Diocletianopolis. Hisarya has the best preserved Roman walls in Bulgaria and once of the best preserved in Europe. Their length is 2327 m, the width varies between 2.60 and 4 m, and the height reaches 12.5 m. There were 44 towers, 4 main gates and 6 smaller entrances. Two of the gates, the southern and the western, are well preserved.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Kaliakra
castle
Kaliakra Fortress.jpg Kaliakra is a long and narrow headland in the Southern Dobruja region of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, located 12 km east of Kavarna and 60 km northeast of Varna. The coast is steep with vertical cliffs reaching 70 m down to the sea. It features the remnants of the fortified walls, water-main, baths. It was an important fortress of the Bulgarian Empire and in the late 14th century served as the residence of the Bulgarian Despot Dobrotitsa, ruler in the short-lived semi-independent Despotate of Dobruja.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Kovachevsko kale
castrum
Kovachevsko kale Popovo.jpg Kovachevsko kale is a late Roman fortress, whose ruins are located 6 km west of the town of Popovo, near the modern road Popovo - Byala. The ancient name of the settlement is unknown. The Czech archaeologist Karel Škorpil called it Kovachoveshko kale, after the name of the nearby village, Kovachevets. The fortress is located on a flat terrain, naturally protected by low-water rivers. It has a roughly triangular form. The defensive stone walls are fortified with 17 U-shaped towers. There are two gates, one to the west, to other one to the north-east.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Krasen
castle
Krasen or Krasen Kale is a fortress near the village of Bata in Pazardzhik Province. It is situated at around 3 km of the village and 6 km to the south of the municipal center Panagyurishte. The castle has been dated to the 10th century AD and is currently in ruins. The remains of the walls reach up to six meters.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Ktenia
castle
Ktenia is a ruined Roman and medieval fortress, situated 2.1 km to the north of the village of Lozarevo, Burgas Province in south-eastern Bulgaria. In the Middle Ages, Ktenia often changed hands between Bulgaria and Byzantium. The ruins of the fortress lie north-east of the town of Sungurlare, in the Grebenets section of the Eastern Balkan Mountains. In ancient and medieval times, it served as an important defensive position guarding the Karnobat Pass through the mountains. Neighbouring castles included Rusokastro to the southeast and Aytos to the east.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Lardea
castle
Lardea or Lardeya is a ruined late Roman and medieval fortress, situated near the village of Lozenets, Yambol Province, in south-eastern Bulgaria. In the Middle Ages, Lardea often changed hands between the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empires.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Lovech fortress
castle
Ловешка крепост.jpg The fortress of Lovech is a medieval stronghold that gained prominence during the Second Bulgarian Empire. After Byzantine unsuccessfully besieged Lovech in 1187 they were forced to recognize de facto the restoration of the Bulgarian state. It remained an important economic and commercial centre until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in the early 15th century.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Lyutitsa
castle
Lyutitsa 25.jpg Lyutitsa is one of the largest and best preserved castles in the easternmost part of the Eastern Rhodopes, located 3.5 hours' walk south-west of Ivaylovgrad in southernmost Bulgaria. It is also known as the "Marble City" because its walls are made of white marble. The fortress occupies an area of 26,000 m2 (280,000 sq ft) and has 12 towers of which eight have been preserved. The walls are up to 10 metres (33 ft) high. The ruins of two churches have been excavated as well as a necropolis with 15 graves. Among the numerous archaeological finds are rare coins, ceramics of Preslav, jewelry and tools.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Markeli
fort
Водно съоръжение "Маркели".JPG Markeli was a medieval Byzantine and Bulgarian frontier stronghold, the ruins of which are located in Karnobat Municipality, Burgas Province in the south-east of the country. Dating to Late Antiquity, the castle lay some 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) from the modern town of Karnobat. It was the site of two notable medieval battles between Byzantines and Bulgarians, the Battle of Marcellae of 756 and the Battle of Marcellae of 792.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Matochina
castle
Bukelon Fortress Matochina Bulgaria.jpg Matochina Fortress, also known as Bukelon, lies on a plateau to the northeast of the village itself. The only well-preserved part of the castle today is the inner fortress with the keep, which is 18 metres in height and dates to the 12th–14th century. The keep is a three-storey tower with arrow loops on all sides. The third storey was reportedly used as a chapel for the defenders. The keep was constructed out of stone and bricks. A cross-shaped brick monogram to the side of the entrance indicates that the fortress may have been reconstructed by the Bulgarian Emperor Michael Shishman (r. 1323–1330).
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Mezek
castle
Mezek Fortress 2011 PD 011.JPG Mezek Fortress, 6.5 decares (6,500 m2) in area, is among the best preserved Bulgarian medieval castles. It dates to the 11th century. Along with the Thracian tombs located nearby, it was studied by a team under archaeologist Bogdan Filov in 1931–1932. The castle has nine towers, five of which lie at the vulnerable south wall. The fortress was built out of stone, with two decorative lines of bricks on the outside. It suffered some destruction around 1900, when stones from the fortress were used for the construction of Ottoman barracks in Svilengrad.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Momina Kula
castle
Momina kula IMG 0839.jpg Momina Kula is a Late Antiquity and medieval fortress, situated in the Momina Klisura Gorge along the river Mesta near the village of Kremen in Blagoevgrad Province. It is situated on a peak with vertical cliffs to the north, east and south. The only access is to the west where the walls are preserved at their entire length at the hight of 5 m. To the east are located the remains of a quadrangular tower.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Montanesium
castrum
Област Монтана - Гр. Монтана - Антична крепост - Кастра ад Монтанезиум - (6).jpg Montanesium is a Roman castrum founded in 1st century AD, situated in the town of Montana.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Nesebar fortifications Nesebar14part.jpg The first fortifications of Nesebar, the ancient Messembria, were constructed in 8th century BC. They were improved by the Ancient Greeks in the 5-4th century BC, and subsequently by the Byzantines in the 5th century AD. In the Middle Ages the city often changed hands between the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empires and the fortifications were frequently reconstructed. The last reconstruction was in the 14th century by Emperor Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Ovech fortress
castle
Крепост Овеч (11).JPG During the Middle Ages Ovech was a key centre of the First Bulgarian Empire with an important monastery at the modern village of Ravna and a major scriptorium of the Preslav Literary School. During the Uprising of Ivaylo the rebel leader and subsequently emperor of Bulgaria Ivaylo defeated a 10,000-strong Byzantine army near the city in 1279. During the Second Bulgarian Empire Ovech was the seat of a metropolitan in the 14th century. Ovech was captured by the Ottomans in 1388 after a long siege.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Peristera fortress
castle
Southeast church-tower (7), Peshtera, Bulgaria..jpg Peristera is a fortress dated from the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages situated in the Rhodope Mountains near the town of Peshtera in Pazardzhik Province. Peristera had three lines of defensive walls and six towers. It was destroyed by the Ottoman invaders in the 14th century.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Plovdiv fortifications Nebet tepe 7.jpg The fortifications of Plovdiv were centred on Nebet Tepe, one of the seven hills of the city. The earliest settlement is dated back to the 6th millennium BC but the remains of the fortifications are mainly from the Roman and medieval periods. Partially preserved remains of the defensive system are Hisar Kapia and the Eastern gate of Philippopolis.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Shumen fortress
castle
Shumen Fortress Main Tower.jpg The origin of the Shumen fortress can be traced to the early Iron Age and was later owned by the Thracians in the 5th century BC. From 2nd to 4th centuries AD, it was controlled by the Romans who built towers and walls, and it was refurbished by the Byzantines as a garrison town. Shumen thrived in the Middle Ages as an important stronghold of the Bulgarian Empire. In 1444 it was destroyed by the Ottomans after their victory in the Battle of Varna over a Christian army under Władysław III of Poland. The fortress remained deserted ever since.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Sostra
castrum
Sostra Fortress E982.jpg Sostra is an ancient Roman castrum situated near the village of Lomets in Lovech Province. It was constructed c. 147 AD by order of Emperor Antoninus Pius but was ravaged by the Goths in 249. Sostra was destroyed completely by the Huns in the 5th century AD.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Storgosia
fort
Storgosia TB 4.jpg Storgosia was a Roman road station located in the vicinity of modern Pleven, north-central Bulgaria. It accommodated detachments of Legio I Italica's Novae (modern Svishtov) garrison. The station grew to become a fortress in Late Antiquity due to Gothic and other Barbarian raids after 238. The fortress existed until the end of the 6th century, when the settlement of the Slavs apparently led to its abandonment.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Tsarevets
castle
Tsarevets-Panorama11.JPG Tsarevets is a medieval stronghold located on a hill with the same name in Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. Tsarevets is situated at an altitude of 206 m. It served as the Second Bulgarian Empire's primary fortress and strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the imperial and the patriarchal palaces, and is nowadays a popular tourist attraction.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Tsepina
castle
Tsepina Fortress 57.JPG Tsepina was a castle and town in the western Rhodope Mountains, now in ruins. It is located at 6 km from the Dorkovo village in the north-eastern part of the Chepinska valley. Tsepina was built on a steep height at 1,136 metres above sea level. Its outer walls closed an area of 25 decares and was dominated by a citadel located at the top of the cliff. The foundations of three churches have been excavated as well as four large water storage tanks up to 10 m deep.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Urvich
castle
Remains of the Fortified church of St. Iliya in the Urvich Fortress near Sofia, Bulgaria.png Urvich, also known as Kokalyane Urvich after the nearby village, is a medieval fortress in the territory of today's quarter Pancharevo of the capital Sofia. It is located on the right bank of Iskar River, on the hill of "Sredobardie", in the Lozen mountain, about 20 km from Sofia downtown on the road to Samokov. The fortress was constructed in the 13th century during the Second Bulgarian Empire.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria
Ustra
castle
Крепост Устра (2).jpg Ustra is a castle in the eastern Rhodope Mountains in southern Bulgaria. Its ruins lie 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south-west of the village of Ustren situated on a hill at approximately 800 metres (2,600 ft) above sea level. The fortress was built in the 10th century AD to protect an important trade route. It was taken by the armies of Simeon the Great (r. 893-927), but after his death, it was among the lands given back to Byzantium in return for recognition of the imperial title of the Bulgarian rulers. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, it frequently changed hands between the two empires, but the Byzantines held it most of the time.
List of castles in Bulgaria is located in Bulgaria
List of castles in Bulgaria