The River Yantra and its vertical cliffs, protect Trapezitza, a hill top fortress from invasion.
Acheologists have excavated the site many times over the years. The earliest excavations were in the late 1800’s. The excavations have discovered many artifacts. Some of these are in the small Trapezitza Architectural Heritage Centre and Museum located on the top of the hill. People believe the first settlers lived on the hill in the Middle Ages when soldiers, called Trapezits, were based there to guard the area.
There is evidence of up to 18 churches, a military complex and many houses. The churches were richly decorated with frescoes and colourful mosaic tiles depicting scenes from earlier centuries. One of the churches is also linked to a monastery complex.
People believe the settlers abandoned the Trapezitza the hill top fortress sometime during the 1700’s when people started to settle to the west in the area that is now modern day Veliko Tarnovo. However, in recent years the hill top has been renovated and made more accessible for visitors to enjoy. The site has been cleaned, pathways laid and old ruins have been fortified and protected for future generations to enjoy.
To the east of the hill there is an entrance with ticket office. A steep path, but wide and easy to walk, takes you to the top of the hill. Alternatively, there is a funicular, a type of railway carriage, that climbs steep hills which you can get from the north side of Trapezitsa.
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For more fun things to do in Veliko Tarnovo see our blog post. You might want to have some lunch after your hike to the top, so see our suggestions for the 5 Best Restaurants.