Fortress „Gradishte“

Gradishte area

Only 3km away from the center of Gabrovo there is area called Gradishte where you can get to through a narrow, curvy and picturesque route. Here, among the breezy pinewoods, there is a wide meadow where you can spend some time having a picnic or playing outdoors games. On the way you can also visit the Zoo and the planetarium hall. There is a small path which leads straight to rocky highlands, where the remains of the Gradishte fortress lie. Here you could enjoy the picturesque panorama of Gabrovo city.

 

The Remains of the Early Byzantine fortress “Gradishte”

The archaeologists date Gradishte fortress back to the time of imperator Constantine I the Great (306-307 A.D.) and Justen II(565-578 A.D.) and consider it late antique and early medieval (4th-6thcentury)

 

Gradishte Fortress is known among the people in Gabrovo as “The Guardian of the Passage”since it was built over the years of Roman rule in order to guard the main route through the ShipkaPassage and stop barbarian hordes.Gradishte Fortress was the only known fortress in this area of the roman province Lower Mizia.

 

Gradishte was a typical fortress for its time. Archaeologists have found the remains of 4km longfortress wall, which used to enclose the fortress itself, they have also found 42 houses, built very close to each other, premises of the garrison which guarded the fort, the main entrance and three guardian towers. At the highest part of the fortress there was an ancient temple, built in the 4th century, where later a baptisteriumwas added.

 

Archaeologists have found tools from the everyday life of people from those times – old coins, jewellery, dishes, which present the culture and traditions of citizens back in time. Today all these are exhibited at the Regional Museum of History- Gabrovo.

 

Gradishte Fortress was destructed and reconstructed many times over the years and after the Ottoman rule over Bulgaria it vanished completely. Nowadays there remain only the ruins of the former fortress wall and the base of a temple where once lied the holy relics of a saint. During the eighties of the 20th century werecarried out diggings and renovations of the walls of the fortress. In clear weather it is possible peak Botev and the Winding Wall to be seen.