Places To See, Veliko Tarnovo

Trapezitsa – Hill Top Fortress

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Trapezitsa is a hill top fortress naturally protected by the vertical cliffs and the river Yantra that flows around the hill.
Over the years many archaeological excavations have taken past. The earliest excavations were in the late 1800’s. The excavations have discovered many artefacts some of which are housed in the small Trapezitsa Architectural Heritage Centre and Museum located on the top of the hill. It is believed the hill was first populated 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.

It is believed that the hill was abandoned 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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