Danubean Bulgaria and the Balkan

The oldest and historically the most impotant part of the castle lies in the inside of the citadel, on the edge of the Danube's front. Numerous towers, square and and polygonal in shape, stand within a narrow scope. All of them comprise the ensemble of one building, in the constructionof which took part, succeeding its founders - the Romans, all peoples who had lived there. It is probably the castle built, like the castles in Kurvingrad and Vitbol, by one of the Bulgarian king's daughters...

It is certain that this was the residence of the Prince Shishman and his son Michael, who founded the the third Bulgarian dynasty in Turnovo after he ascended the throne in 1323. Unfortunately, the Turkish miralay let potograph only an incomplete plan of the enchanting building. Strange and uneven, its thick walls, arranged in alternating belts of crushed stone and clamped bricks, look like some neighbouring ruins of the Roman and the Byzantine epoch. From a hand-written note on the old plan, which I mentioned, it is evident that the Austrian general Veterany decreed in 1689 that the oldest Vidin fortification be surrounded with a low breastwork and a moat. It is not fit for defence purposes, in fact the palace serves as an ammunition warehouse for the Turks. The upper part of that building is an interesting example of medieval fortification engineering.



Felix Kanitz


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