Here is your guide to the Belogradchik Fortress & Rocks. We’ve included how to get to the Belogradchik Fortress and what to see while you are there. Plus, we have ideas on where to stay in Belogradchik, Bulgaria.
If you enjoy seeing ancient structures when traveling, the Balkans are some of the best places you can visit in the world! However, Belogradchik in Bulgaria is an unrivaled location that provides its guests with a breathtaking view and a memorable experience.
If you plan a trip to Bulgaria, consider including the Belogradchik Fortress. This beautiful structure was built on a natural rock formation by the Romans and is still in superb condition. Belogradchik means “white construction” and refers to the gleaming stones used in the fortress’ construction. And you can keep reading the post to learn everything you need about Belogradchik Fortress!
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History Of Belogradchik Fortress
In the 3rd century CE, the Roman Empire covered an area from Britain to Spain and from Spain to the borders of Persia, encircling the whole Mediterranean. In such a vast empire, administration of the regions and providing supplies for all areas were two serious problems. However, Romans had their ways of dealing with these problems. Constructions like Belogradchik played a significant part as transfer points in the movement of products at this time.
Initially, Belogradchik was merely a watchtower and a safe haven for supply caravans, yet, it became a defense against invaders and local rebels. The fortress was complicated for opponents to siege due to its naturally advantageous location, which helped it to maintain its status during the Byzantine period. Belogradchik Fortress was devastated during the Slavic conquest of the Balkans and remained in ruins until its restoration in the Middle Ages. The fortress served as an Ottoman bastion against Hajduks, outlaws who desired independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire captured the bastion in 1396 and held it until the eighteenth century.
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Belogradchik Fortress Structure
It is worth noting that the location the Romans chose for a bastion virtually didn’t require much construction. Belogradchik rests atop a unique rock structure with artificial walls on only two sides due to rocks covering the other sides. The rock verticals reach 70 meters in height and 30 meters in length.
How To Get To Belogradchik Fortress
There are a few ways one can get to Belogradchik Fortress. The easiest way for tourists staying in Sofia is to take a bus from the central station of Sofia. There are direct buses to Belogradchik that operate once a day. Plus, between Vidin and Belogradchik, regular buses run throughout the day.
If you want to watch the spectacular Bulgarian scenery, you might prefer taking a train trip. A line between Sofia and Vidin stops at Orestes, a village located 10 km east of Belogradchik. The line follows one of the most scenic routes in the Balkans, taking you on a trip through unfathomable mountains, verdant plains, and beautiful Bulgarian countryside. After you take off the train, you can either take a taxi or wait for a bus to take you to Belogradchik.
Taking a car is another option for those who want to arrive at Belogradchik without hassling with public transportation. From Sofia, the trip usually lasts for three hours.
What To See At The Belogradchik Fortress
Belogradchik Fortress is located near the settlement of the same name, and there are a lot of natural and artificial structures worth seeing. Here are some of the locations you should visit in Belogradchik.
- Belogradchik Fortress: The neighborhood got its name after the historic Belogradchik fortress. It was initially a significant stronghold for several empires that controlled the area and is now a symbol of the glorious past eras.
- History Museum: You should visit the history museum in the town center, which is an excellent chance to learn about the area’s history and the fortress. Local folklore and art are also on display in the museum.
- Art Gallery: If you enjoy art, there is an art gallery in the town center that displays the works of local and regional artists. Around 200 paintings and drawings can be seen in the collection.
Ottoman Mosque: A neighboring defunct Ottoman mosque, named Hadzi Hyuseyin Mosque, serves as a reminder of Ottoman sovereignty over the area. The mosque was constructed in the 18th century and is Bulgaria’s sole mosque with a ceiling decorated with Bulgarian wood carvings.
- Natural History Museum: In the town of Belogradchik, there is a small museum dedicated to local wildlife. If you are interested in nature and animals, visit this modest but well-stocked museum to make the most of your time in Belogradchik.
- Magura Cave: Incredibly, such a small town has unique formations all around it. Magura Cave, located in Belogradchik, is one of the most notable European-painted caves, with over 800 paintings going back to the Neolithic Age (8000-10000 years ago).
Where To Stay Near The Belogradchik Fortress
If you want to make the most of your vacation to Belogradchik, consider splitting your trip over two days. Visiting all of the routes in town may take some time because you need to hike to see the fortress, which often takes longer than one might think. You may choose to spend the night at a nearby hostel. But don’t worry, Belogradchik has many hotels and guesthouses. Among the guesthouses to consider are the following:
- Guest House “Geto”: An affordable 2-star guest house, Geto offers you the perfect Bulgarian stay. This guest house is only 12 minutes from the fortress. The place also rents the kitchen so you can cook your own food. However, you have the opportunity to taste local dishes at nearby restaurants
- Guest House “Djaia”: A friendly and clean guest house, Djaia offers a fantastic stay with its calming environment and high-quality facilities. Djaia is located in the eastern part of the town, far from the fortress. However, there are small taverns and restaurants where you can taste delicious local food
- Guest House Bedrock: Bedrock is a one-star hotel. It does, however, provide its guests with a tranquil stay. The guest house is located on a residential street and has surprisingly good amenities. Among the amenities available to guests are an outdoor pool and a BBQ