Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Favorites from Bulgaria

Two favorites from Bulgaria sent by Lilia.

Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in northwestern Bulgaria.
Vidin boasts two well-preserved medieval fortresses, one of them is Baba Vida.
Baba Vida was raised upon the remains of the ancient town of Bononia. The construction of the medieval castle began during the second half of the 10th century, but during the Second Bulgarian Empire (the end of the 12th – 14th century) the basic construction was performed. The last Bulgarian king before the falling of Bulgaria under the Ottoman dominion, Ivan Sratsimir (1324– 1397) had lived in the fortress.
According to a legend, Vida had been the eldest daughter of a wealthy Bulgarian boyar. Due to the unsuccessful marriages of her sisters – Kula and Gamza, Vida rejected all of the proposals for marriage, built the castle and remained in it for the rest of her life.
The first excavations in the fortress from 1956 to 1962 uncovered remains of the Roman, Byzantine, early Bulgarian, late Bulgarian and Ottoman age.
Baba Vida was opened to visitors in 1958 and a museum was arranged in the fortress.
In 1964 the medieval castle was declared a monument of culture, having national significance.
The fortress is surrounded by a moat, which was sometimes filled with water from the river Danube, and the bridge was mobile. Baba Vida had nine corner and intermediate towers with the walls and the towers ending with loop-holes.
The grounds of a chapel from the 13th-14th century were found during excavations in the fortress.
At the moment two of the towers are accessible for visiting. There is a prison in the fortress, in which torture devices can be seen. The figures of an executioner and a prisoner with which the tourists often take pictures are attractive. Cannons and gallows are exposed on one of the terraces.
Baba Vida is among the most preserved medieval fortification constructions in Bulgaria, which is why it is not accidentally often chosen as a set for shooting movies. The summer theatre of Vidin where concerts, theater performances and other shows are conducted, is also situated in the fortress. - in:

The Monastery “St. George the Victorious” is situated at a distance of about 17 km from the village of Glozhene, where its name comes from.
It is believed that in the 13th century the Kiev Prince Glozh, who obtained the region as a gift from Tsar Ivan Asen II (ruling from 1218 to 1241), constructed the monastery St. Transfiguration of Jesus in the region, as well as a small fortress. The Monastery existed by the 17th century, and in the beginning of the 18th century the monks built a new monastery, dedicated to St. George the Victorious, on the high rock, in order to protect it from the raids of the Ottomans. For some time the two monasteries existed simultaneously, being connected by a tunnel in the rocks.
In the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the Monastery St. George the Victorious developed education activity – near the village of Malak Izvor, as well as in the town of Lovech the monks established a convent and a monastery school.
The monk residents were constructed in 1858 on the place of old buildings. The initial monastery church was demolished by the earthquakes in 1904 and 1913. The new church of the monastery was constructed in 1931, and the wood-carved iconostasis saved from the demolished old temple was moved inside it.
The Glozhene Monastery was declared an architectural, constructional and historical monument by Protocol of the National Cultural Monuments Council of 19 June 2006. The monastery is an active male monastery.  - in:

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