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  Museum of History
  The Belogradchik fortress
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Archeological excavation

The fortress of Belogradchik occupies a strategic position between the Balkan passages “Sveti Nikola” and “Kadu-Boaz”. It is situated at an altitude of 610
m above the sea level, occupying an area of 10 200 m2. It has risen during the 1st – 3rd A.D. centuries as a small fortress-rampart. The builder has used skillfully
the inaccessibility of the elliptic rock terrace – “first plate” and has organized a structure that fulfilled defensive, observation, protective and communication
functions. During archeological excavations were found bases of walls, ceramic fragments, iron spear and arrow gads, coins from Roman emperors – from the
rulling of Vespasian, Trajan, Septimius Severus, Gordian III, Decii Trajan. The fortress was active also during the late antiquity. The ruler of Vidin – Ivan Sratsimir (1355 – 1396) evaluated its strategic significance. During his time it was additionally
reinforced and enlarged. Two partition walls and auxiliary buildings were built.
The Hungarian annalist who was describing the campaign of Ludovik I Anjuiski
first mentioned the name of the fortress. The chronicle tells that within three months from the conquest of Bdin (Vidin) on 2 June 1365, all remaining in the area fortresses were also captured, including the fortress Fehervar (Belogradchik).
The garrison, which was placed in the fortress, was expelled by rebelling Bulgarians in 1369.
In 1396 the fortress was captured by Ottomans and partially destroyed. Till the beginning of the 19th century the new masters made only minor repairs and improvements of the fortress. The overall reconstruction and enlargement has been
started in 1805 by French engineers and was completed by Italian fortification experts in 1837. The newly erected fortified walls were 12m. high, made of properly processed white stone blocks that were 2.5 m wide in the base and were bound by mortar. Battle paths were securing speed and mobility to the defenders. Three fortress’s yards and three portals were formed that were strongly reinforced with massive doors, bound with iron bands. Three canon embrasures
and three canon platforms increased the defensive capacity of the fortress. In immediate vicinity to them there were underground rooms for storing of food and war supplies.
The guard of the fortress was occupying three guardrooms having fireplaces and stone beds along the walls. A barn resembling an “Indian hut”, a flour- and salt- mill and stables occupied the free area of the second yard. The needs of water were satisfied by a well located n the southern part of the middle yard and two cisterns that were collecting atmospheric water.
In order to strengthen the western sector of the defense’s structure, in 1862 was erected the so-called Syuleiman fortification. The fortress is connected with the heroic deed of haidout Velko, who for a short period has gained command of the fortress in 1809, with the heroism of the Bulgarian rebels in 1850, and the actions of the Panayot Hitov’s band in 1876.
During the Russian - Turkish Liberation War (1877 – 1878) it was besieged by Russian and Romanian troops.
On 25 February 1878 it was handed over to the allied forces. The fate foreordained an important role to this fortress during the Serbo – Bulgarian War on 1885, when under its walls were defeated the Serbian forces that had penetrated
through Balkan passages.