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Slavova fortress description and photos - Bulgaria: Melnik. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photos and a map showing the nearest significant objects.
Photo and description
Melnik is the smallest Bulgarian town located on the southern slopes of the Pirin Mountains. In written sources, the Melnik fortress was first mentioned in the 11th century, but many centuries before that, the ancient Thracians settled here, and later the Romans. At the time of its heyday, Melnik could boast of a population of seven to eight thousand people, today there are just over two hundred. Usually the daily number of tourists exceeds the number of locals.
The Melnik area is well protected by natural conditions. To the south of the modern city are the ruins of the Slava Fortress on the hill of St. Nicholas. A fortress was built here during the years of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. After analyzing the ruins of the fortress walls and other structures, archaeologists came to the conclusion that that the most intensive construction took place here in the 13-14 centuries. They also suggest that medieval Melnik had three defense belts.
First, to protect the outer city, only the remains of the fortress wall have survived to this day from this fortified line. The second belt of fortifications repeated the relief of the hill with the Glory Fortress. The third defended the southwest of the hill, which was the territory occupied by the citadel - the inner city. In its southern part, the ruins of the fortress walls have also been preserved. Even now, you can observe the route of the fortress wall, which was built a hundred meters from the church of St. Nicholas. The church itself has also practically not survived to this day, you can see only the ruins of the eastern wall and several architectural elements.
The fortress was named Slavova thanks to the despot Alexy Slav. He conquered Melnik in 1211, and in 1215 moved the capital of his feudal independent principality here from Tsepina. Alexy, a descendant of the Asen dynasty, was an independent ruler of the Bulgarian lands. In his power were mountain fortresses, the central and western Rhodopes, as well as part of the lands of Eastern Macedonia to the east of the river. Struma. During the reign of despot Alexy, Melnik became a major economic and cultural center. Slav paid a lot of attention to the welfare of the monasteries and was known as a generous benefactor.
As a result of numerous military conflicts, Slav's fortress was almost completely destroyed, until its ruins on the hill of St. Nicholas can be reached from the modern city on foot.
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Topic: Slavova fortress description and photos - Bulgaria: Melnik.