Hiking to the Summit of Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Fortress

One of Bulgaria’s most interesting historical monuments is the Belogradchik Fortress. It’s located on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains, and the area’s phenomenal rock formations serve not only as natural protection but also as an integral part of the fortification itself.

It’s believed that these ancient rock formations were formed over a period of more than 200 million years, and they’ve now become unique obelisks, reddish sandstone castles, and oversized stone figures that soar high into the sky.

A fortress has existed here since Roman times, and it was originally built so that the highest part, known as the Citadel, used these gigantic rock formations for natural protection. To complete the fortress, thick fortified walls were added on a couple of sides, blending in with the rocks themselves. The walls are over 6.6 feet thick and rise 39 feet in height. The rocks, of course, extend much higher.

The ancient Roman fortress was later expanded by the Byzantines, Bulgarians, and Turks, and several towers, gates, and walls were added. Its present appearance dates back to the 19th century, when it was added to by the Turks. Now it’s the area’s most popular tourist attraction.

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