Hisarya Fortress, Lovech

The fortress in Lovech is situated on the two terraces of the beautiful and picturesque Hisarya hill, which is located in the old part of the town of Lovech. It has been proclaimed an architectural-construction monument in issue 75 of State Gazette in 1967.

The first settlement of the hill took place during the stone-copper age (4 – 3 thousand years BC). Discoveries include parts of dwellings, pottery fragments and a golden trimming. Archaeological studies indicated that a Thracian settlement had been located there.

The fortress was built during the Roman era, yet it is more famous for being the site where the Lovech Peace Accord with Byzantium was signed in 1187, marking the beginning of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

Apart from the fortress's natural protection, which was provided by the high steep slopes of the hill and the river, it also had a solid stone wall.

The remains of seven churches have been discovered, representing three architectural types. The oldest and largest one was the church situated at the highest point of the hill, erected in the period V – VI century.

During the excavations at the fortress, a large amount of jewellery, household items, tools and ceramics were found.

Particularly intriguing were the two discoveries of silver coins with the images of King Ivan Alexander (1301 – 1371) and his son Mihail etched on them. One consisted of 16 coins hidden within a pot, and the other of 1430 coins in a pitcher.

The Lovech fortress was one of the last to fall before the Ottomans – in 1446. A huge metallic cross has been placed within the fortress and it can be seen from any spot in Lovech.

Located close to the fortress is the monument of Vasil Levski, as well as the old neighbourhood of Lovech – Varosha.

One can have a tour of the fortress with the assistance of guides from the Regional Museum of History in Lovech. Among the other curious sights within the town are the Covered Bridge, the old neighbourhood Varosha, the Vasil Levski museum, and the town's museum of history. Not far from Lovech are the Devetashka cave, the Krushuna waterfalls and Kakrina inn.