Date:

The Belogradchik Fortress

Belogradchik Fortress, also known as Kaleto, is an ancient fortress and Roman stronghold, constructed within the Belogradchik Formation on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains in the Vidin Province of Bulgaria.

The Romans constructed a stronghold at Belogradchik during the 3rd century AD to protect the transport of goods and gold from Thracian lands. This early fortification was situated on the highest naturally inaccessible part of the rocks now called the citadel, remaining in use throughout the Byzantine period for surveillance of the surrounding region.

- Advertisement -

Emperor Justinian I made further additions to Belogradchik during the 6th century AD, however, the Slavic invasions of the Balkan Peninsula led to the destruction of the fortress, leaving Belogradchik an abandoned ruin until a period of reconstruction in the 7th century AD and the Middle Ages.

Ivan Stratsimir, the Bulgarian tsar of Vidin extended the old fortress in the 14th century, making Belogradchik second in importance only to the tsar’s capital fortress of Baba Vida. After the disastrous battle of Nicopolis in 1396, the Ottomans marched to Vidin and captured Ivan Sratsimir, imprisoning the tsar in Bursa, before executing him by strangulation.

shutterstock 112558628
Image Credit : Ilko Iliev

For a short period, the fortress was under the rule of the Hungarian King Ludovic I, but in 1396 Belogradchik was conquered by the Turks and incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Further periods of reconstruction followed to ensure Ottoman rule, but in part was due to the hajduk and insurrectionist activity in the region.

The stronghold had an important role in the Ottoman suppression of the Bulgarian Belogradchik Uprising of 1850. Bulgarian peasants opposed to the feudal oppression which, as practiced by the Ottoman regime, involved a direct robbery disguised as tributes levied by Turkish feudal lords, rose up and marched on Belogradchik but were unable to take the fortress.

- Advertisement -

Belogradchik was last used in warfare during the siege of Belogradchik during the Russo-Turkish war in 1878 and the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885.

Header Image Credit : Todor Stoyanov

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.

Revolutionary war barracks discovered at Colonial Williamsburg

Archaeologists excavating at Colonial Williamsburg have discovered a barracks for soldiers of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence.

Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Archaeologists have found that Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

Groundbreaking study reveals new insights into chosen locations of pyramids’ sites

A groundbreaking study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, has revealed why the largest concentration of pyramids in Egypt were built along a narrow desert strip.

Soldiers’ graffiti depicting hangings found on door at Dover Castle

Conservation of a Georgian door at Dover Castle has revealed etchings depicting hangings and graffiti from time of French Revolution.

Archaeologists find Roman villa with ornate indoor plunge pool

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Cultural Heritage have uncovered a Roman villa with an indoor plunge pool during excavations at the port city of Durrës, Albania.