Asen’s Fortress is The Church of the Holy Mother of God of Asenovata Krepost near Asenovgrad, Bulgaria a fortress of one of Bulgaria’s most famous kings, Ivan Asen II. It is still in regular use as a Bulgarian Orthodox church.
Take a journey to the Asens Fortress controlled by Thracian,Romans,Byzantines,Crusaders,Ottomans and Bulgarians.
With drops that are almost vertical and at times even overhanging above the river below, it is impregnable on three sides. Its strategic location and natural defenses explain why it has been used since the days of the Thracian, who fortified it in the 5th century BCE.
Asen Fortress is also the most notable examples of Medieval Christian architecture with frescoes dating to the 13th century. The church is one of the oldest in all of Eastern Orthodoxy, and has a tower once used as a belfry and watchtower. Our professional storytelling guide has so much to share with you.
The Bachkovo Monastery “Assumption of the Virgin”
You will discover famous Bulgarian icon painter Zahariy Zograf (1810-1853), executed the images in the church’s interior from 1838-1840, and in 1841 he completed the frescoes on the exterior of The Holy Archangels Church.
In the cathedral there is an icon from 1311 known as The Holy Mother of God Icon, with a silver repousse cover. This icon is believed to have miraculous powers.
Visitors to monastery may also view other icons, silver repousse covers for copies of the Gospels, and other works of art from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
The “bridges” were formed by the result of erosive activity of the once larger Erkyupryia River. Two bridge-shaped outcrops remained. The larger one (upstream) is 15 metres at its widest and 96 metres long, and shaped by three vaulted arches, the largest of which is 45 metres high and 40 metres wide. The river flows under the middle-sized arch. The larger Wonderful Bridge is passable under the vaults, where birds nest in the marble clefts. The smaller bridge is 200 metres downstream. It is impassable to tourists, 60 metres in length, with a total height of 50 metres, 30 metres at the highest point of the arch. A third, small and inaccessible, formation follows, the entrance to a pothole where the river’s waters disappear underground, reaching a sump after 3 km.
The adjacent area is wooded, with century-old conifers, mainly spruces. Many karst caves are known nearby, but most of them are undeveloped and unsuitable for tourist visits. However, both bridges can be crossed on secure trails. Two tourist huts are located nearby. The site can be reached by an asphalt road and is about 30 km from the closest town, Chepelare.
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