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The history of the town starts in the 6th century AC, when it was built as a strategic fortress, strengthened and developed by consecutive Bulgarian rulers. Remains of medieval strongholds are spread all around the city. One of these is the Ivankovo Fortress (also called Golyamoto Kale the Big Fortress), situated on a hard-to-reach rocky hill on the left bank of the river. Golyamoto Kale was used even before the arrival of the protobulgarian and slavonic tribes in these lands. On the right bank of the river, one can see the remains of the so-called Malkoto Kale (The Small Fortress), which was a fortified Bulgarian town, connected with the Big Fortress.

Close to the Small Fortress, archeologists have found a big stone that carries the following inscription: Tzar Assen sat on this stone when he conquered Krichim. According to the historians, Tzar Assen II used to mark his victories over Byzantines troops with stone inscriptions.

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