Asen fortress

The ruins of Asen fortress
The ruins of Asen fortress

Asenovgrad is a town on Chepelarska River, 19 km southeast of Plovdiv. Population of 53 000. Terminal station on the Kroumovo - Asenovgrad detour along the railway line Sofia-Svilengrad.

The probable time of appearance is the 11th C. under the name of Stanimaka. Later named Asenovgrad in honor of Tsar Ivan Asen II.

Preserved to the present day: the medieval Church of St. John the Divine (13th-14th centuries, one-nave, with a decorative facade), the Church of the Holy Virgin and St. George Church (1848, three-dome, with rich outer design), in which one can also find traces of medieval architecture.

The ruins of Asen fortress (built in the 11th-12th centuries) are to be found 2,5 km south of Asenovgrad. It is a seat of the Bulgarian boyar Ivanko and a refuge (1205-1206) of a group of Latin knights led by Renie de Tri, ruler of Plovdiv duchy. Reconstructed and enlarged by Tsar Ivan Asen II. The two-story one-nave Church of the Holy Virgin of Petrich is best preserved. The rectangular tower to the west is used as a belfry. Very few of the mural paintings have been preserved.

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