Misionis is located 7km from the town of Targovishte, on the northern edge of the steep gorge of Vrana river. The town and the castle are reached by paths up to the hills covered by forests, and the views from them are amazingly beautiful. Although it is one of the 100 National Tourist Sites, Misionis is not well known and is not as famous as it deserves to be. That's why we chosed to share his story.
This area has long been known as Krumovo kale and perhaps it is not a coincidence. According to local legends it was here and not in the Varbishki passage that happened the battle between Khan Krum and the Byzantine Emperor Nikifor (it is interesting that during the excavations in 2014 is found a limestone slab, which perhaps proves this legend).
Excavations here began in 1962 and were led by prof. Nikolay Ovcharov. Firstly it was found only a powerful fortress from the 5th-6th century and its walls reached a height of 3-4 meters. Inside the castle were found homes, church baptistery and guard premises and assumptions are that the fortress was guarding the entrance. In the early 70s, however, the excavation of the fort and its surroundings were discontinued.
The reopening began late in 2004 leaded by Targovishte archaeologist Angel Konakliev. He spent a long time on the book of the Arab geographer Mohammed Al-Idrisi which describes and collects places visited by him. In it he tells about an ancient and mysterious town called Misionis, which for long remained unknown to historians. Describing the distances to nearby villages of Misionis, Al-Idrisi helps to Konakliev to locate the ancient city, finding that it matches with the area Krumovo kale.
After initiating his studies, archaeologist completely reverses the idea about the fortresses as a guard of the pass and finds out that the city is much larger than previously thought. In the woods surrounding the castle, was found another bulwark that was surrounding the neighborhoods. Little by little here is formed a big and flourishing medieval city - spiritual and commercial center. The city existed until the Ottoman invasion in the late 14th century, when it was mercilessly plundered and burned down.
The discovered fortifications are surrounding the area measuring 120 hectares, but it is assumed that during its heyday the city extends over an area of 700 acres. Coins discovered during excavations prove that Misionis plays a key role in trade, the Bulgarian medieval state and early Byzantium and the presence of glass talked about the wealth of Misionis.
A curious fact is that here is found the oldest pub in the country. The evidence for that are the remains of many cups found in the single building in that area, which historians believe was the local pub.
The discoveries found during studies of the city Misionis are available for anyone who wishes to see them. They are shown in the permanent archaeological exposition of the Regional Historical Museum - Targovishte, from where you can take your printing. Visits to the castle are all year round and completely free, and if you wish to have a guide talk tour, the fee is 2lv. per visitor.