We all love Sofia and visiting the city center: the National Palace of Culture, the parks, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, etc. However, if you need a deep breath of fresh air and escape from the crowds while enjoying nature and a historical environment, one of the best options is to visit Belogradchik’s Fortress.
As its name indicates, this fortress is located in Belogradchik, a town near the Serbian border, in the north-west part of Bulgaria. The easiest and fastest way to get there is by car, and although the 3-hours (from Sofia) drive may seem tough, the roads are in a good state and the landscape is pretty enjoyable. Just remember to have a good playlist! Once you are in the fortress, you need to go to a white ticket office and get the tickets; the standard price is 6 leva, but if you have your student card it will only be 4 leva.
Entering the fortress is being amazed little by little. At first you see a wide green space but then you start noticing some details that awake your curiosity. There are some “windows” from which you see the fantastic views to the woods and beyond, and there are also points that make you understand why would romans build a fortress in such a place. The height and the distance leave the fortress isolated, as if you were alone in the middle of nowhere. Yet, at the same time, you are in the middle of everything. Wherever you look there are either mountains or standing rocks, one of the most famous traits of this location.
Belogradchik is not only popular due to its splendid views but also because of the fortress’ history. Its strategic location amongst natural walls was first used by the romans. After several reconstructions, in the 14th Century it was used as a strong military defense against the Ottoman empire; however, when this latter conquered Bulgaria and held power, it was reconstructed and reinforced. The last time the fortress was employed for military purposes was during the Serbo-Bulgarian war in 1885.
All the history it conveys, its strategic position and its natural wonders make Belogradchik's fortress a must in the list of places to visit in Bulgaria.
If you are interested, note that there is also an astronomic park just next to the fortress, as well as routes surrounding it to go with bicycle or walking.
Now that you know about it, you can’t miss a trip to this lovely place!
Marina Palau, intern@ICDET