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Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com

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Vratitsa Site

Vratitsa

Vratitsa is an archaeological site in Bulgaria

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019



Vratitsa
The ancient medieval fortress known as Gradishte (a common Bulgarian word for a fortress) or Vratitsa (as it was called in the Middle Ages) is located near today’s northwestern Bulgarian city of Vratsa at the canyon of the Vartaeshnitsa River. It is located near the Vrattsata Pass (meaning 'door'), which gave its name to the city of Vratsa, using the natural defences of the mountainous terrain. The Gradishte or Vratitsa Fortress is an Ancient Thracian, Roman, Early Byzantine, and medieval Bulgarian city. There are hypotheses that the Thracian settlement may have been the capital of one of the major Ancient Thracian tribes, the Tribali, who inhabited today’s Northwest Bulgaria.

There have been doubts among scholars whether the unearthed Antiquity fortress walls of Gradishte/Vratitsa were first build by the Romans, who often built their cities on top of previously existing Thracian settlements, or by the Thracian sthemselves. The fortress of Gradishte / Vratitsa was also used by Byzantium in the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, i.e. the Early Byzantine period. It protected the most direct mountain pass route between what are today Northwest and Southwest Bulgaria.


During the period of the medieval Bulgarian Empire, Vratitsa was a major fortified city; its name – as well as its importance – are made clear by a 13th century inscription on a stone slab which has been discovered in a cave connected to a medieval Bulgarian church. The inscription was found in 1942, and it states that the place harboured a monastery in the Middle Ages.The fortification system of the Vratitsa fortress uses the towering rocks to the north as part of its fortress wall; the fortress wall itself is about 240 centimetres wide. According to the archaeological discoveries, the settlement at the Gradishte/Vratitsa Fortress near Bulgaria’s Vratsa was occupied during several time periods.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019
Text: archaeologyinbulgaria.com/tag/vratitisa-gradishte-fortress/




Vratitsa

Map of the trail which may be followed around the archaeological site.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The trail is easy to follow and well sign posted.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The signs are very informative, and are excellently presented.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The trail is steep, but there are stairs to climb the slope.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The signs are informative, and this one shows examples of some of the coins found at the Medieval site.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The trail winds high above the access road, which passes through a steep valley at this point.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The landscape is rugged, with small but steep mountain peaks, or 'crags'.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The signs offer the chance for a welcome rest while you read them!

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

As you might expect, there are waterfalls in the area, shown here on the sign.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

As well as the fort itself, there are the remains of many private dwellings for the people who lived here, who would have gone to the fort for protection when needed.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

In most cases, there is very little of the former housing left, just the foundations of a few of the walls.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

A few shards of pottery may still be found lying on the surface.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

The Golden Eagle, Скален орел, lives in this area, the Vrachanski Karst Reserve.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 17 March 2019




Vratitsa

Map of the Vrachanski Karst Reserve.

Photo: https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/4265031/history#map=14/43.2231/23.4741








Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site

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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com




If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock


This page last modified Sunday, 24th March, 2019 07:41pm


Webmaster: Don Hitchcock

Email: don@donsmaps.com


My Archaeology website: https://www.donsmaps.com/