Krumovo Kale

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Fortress Krumovo Kale, Bulgaria

Fortress Krumovo Kale is one of the most ancient monuments in Bulgaria. Built during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the late fifth century, as part of the defense system of the Byzantine fortress, Krumovo Kale today has retained its ruins, telling of its ancient story. It is believed that the fortress Krumovo Kale is part of the famous Byzantine city Misionis, but what is left of it today is a result of construction, in early Byzantium, and in the medieval era.

Krumovo Kale is located in northeastern Bulgaria, about 7 kilometers from the town of Targovishte, on the way to Omurtag. The fortress is located in the hilly region of Preslav Mountains. Byzantine city Misionis existed somewhere in the 5 th century and the fortress Krumovo Kale appears in its prototype in the 6 th century. It was built along the river Vrana. The main objective of Krumovo Kale is to guard the northern exit of Derventski Pass. In other words, the fort was part of the main defensive system of Byzantium, had the task to stop incursions of barbarian tribes at that time who were Slavs, Bulgars and Goths.

Krumovo Kale is totally destroyed before the forming of the Bulgarian State. At the end of the ninth century on the ruins of the Byzantine fortification arises a Bulgarian village with its typical early Middle Ages dug-outs. Between 12 and 14 century Krumovo Kale was rebuilt with a stable wall and began to play an important role in the defense system of the then Bulgarian capital Tarnovo. It was one of three forts that guard the entrance and is mainly Derventa fort in the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

The name of the fortress Krumovo Kale is tied to an ancient legend. The story of the victory of the Bulgarian army led by Khan Krum, over the Byzantine army led by Emperor Nikofor I Genik. This happened on July 25 to 26 811 years. In the years of the Ottoman invasion, between 1388 and 1393 the town and fortress Krumovo Kale were looted and burned by the Turks.

Fortress wall of Krumovo Kale

Today, a walk through the historical site of Krumovo Kale is a good opportunity to relax over the weekend. On both sides of the main portal Krumovo Kale has two U shaped watchtowers.

Inside it are residential buildings. You can see a classic three-nave basilica with room for baptism. Until today, the massive stone walls of Krumovo Kale are no more than a meter and a half - two height and thickness up to one meter.

The notion that Krumovo Kale is the successor of the Byzantine Misionis began after the latest archaeological studies. The evidence is compelling, according to archaeologist Angel Konaklieva, a specialist in the History Museum of Targovishte. Inside the fortress Krumovo Kale was revealed a necropolis of 14 century.

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