Bulgaria is located on the crossroad of nations, which resulted in many wars. The Bulgarian people have fought against Byzantines, Crusaders and Ottomans. For this reason many stunning castles were established in different time periods. Although some have been forgotten, there are some well-preserved forts from the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Here are a few of them.
Tsarevets Fortress of the Tsar
Tsarevets is perhaps the most famous fortress in Bulgaria, it is located in Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria and was built in the 12th century. It serves as the main fortress and strongest Bulwark between 1185-1393. The tsar of the Bulgarian Empire and the patriarch lived there. Today the castle plays the role of a tourist attraction.
According to a legend the Tsarevets castle served as a royal mint. Under the mint there was a vault where the Treasure of the king was hidden within it. The entrance was covered with a stone slab, that led a stairway leading to an iron gate. The gate couldn’t be opened by anyone who doesn’t know the secret. Only the king and the guardian of the treasure knew the secret. One day attacked when the Ottomans, the tsar Ivan Shishman ordered his servants to hide everything in the vault. All gold and silver coins, the unprocessed gold and silver and many precious stones were closed in the vault. After the Ottomans destroyed the city, the vault remained under the stones unopened and full of treasure.
This castle was called after tsar Asen II, who rebuilt it in 1231. However, the castle is much older, it has existed since the time of the Thracians and was re-built by the Byzantines. The castle itself had its own administrative center and guard. According to a legend, when the Ottomans attacked, the mother of King Constantine fried fish. The tsar said that if the fish survived the cooking, they would be killed by the Ottomans. A few minutes later the fish jumped out of the frying pan into the water. At this moment the king said to his mother, "Arise mother, we must go." The castle is also a 100 national tourist objects
Baba Vida fortress
Baba Vida is the best preserved fortresses in Bulgaria. It was founded in the 10th century on the ruins of the Roman fortress "Boloniya". In the following centuries, the fortress was rebuilt several times and expanded. The undeveloped moat surrounding the fortress has two ramparts. The inner wall has four main towers. Baba Wida withstood an eight-month siege before it was destroyed. Under Ivan Strazimir Baba Wida was rebuilt. After Baba Wida lost its importance as fortification in the late 18th century, it served as an arsenal and prison during the Ottoman rule in Bulgaria, again it had a significant role. Today the fortress is used once more as a historical museum.
According to legend about the construction of the fortress, there was a Bulgarian Tsar, who reigned in Vidin and had three daughters named Wida, Kula and Gamza. Before his death he distributed his kingdom among the three. Wida, the oldest of the three, received Vidin and the lands in the north of the Carpathians, Kula received Zaječar and the Timok Valley and Gamza received the land in the west to the Morava. While Gamza and Kula were in a constant quarrel and married drunken nobles, Wida remained unmarried and built the fortress in Vidin, which then was called from bulgarian the "Granny Wida".
Euxinograd is a former summer residence of the Bulgarian Tsar on the Black Sea. It is located 10km from Varna and 2km from Konstantin and Elena. The palace gets its name in 1893 from Princess Marie Louise. It comes from the Greek "Euxeinos Puntos" - Black Sea and from the Bulgarian "grad / Град" - city. So Euxinograd can be translated as a city on the Black Sea.
As Prince Alexander Battenberg went to the monastery "Constantine and Elena", he decided to build a summer residence. A wine cellar and a park were built as well. The winery produces 3145 liters or about 120 bottles of wine. There are 12 varieties of white wine and 7 varieties of brandy. Nowadays you can visit the palace almost every day:
Summer Time - April to October 8:00 to 20:00, Holidays - none
Winter Time - November to March 9:00 to 17:00, Holidays - 31st December and 1st January
The Castle of Ravadinovo
The Castle of Ravadinovo is a very fascinating building, located on a very odd place. It stands in a field just next to a highway. The architecture of the building is quite extravagant, unusual and exotic for Bulgaria. The castle, also known as Castle "in Love with the Wind" known. The castle took more than 20 years to finish and was. You can visit the wine cellar and a tower and a walk in the beautiful park. There is a small chapel, wonderful fountains, ponds and bridges. In the summer you can enjoy outdoor concerts in the evening.