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The Baldwin Tower, Veliko TarnovoCod 2505


The Baldwin tower is located in the Architectural Museum Tsarevets, in the city of Veliko Tirnovo. The name of Baldwin Tower is associated with the legend, according to which, here was imprisoned and then he found his death the latin Emperor Baldwin (Baudouin) of Flandra, captured by the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan after the battle of Adrianopole in 1205. Probably in principle based on rumor, the legend is also described Alberik – medieval canonic and chronicler of the First Crusade.

The Baldwin Tower is raising up in the south-east of the fortress Tsarevets in Veliko Tirnovo, close to the gate Frenkhisarska. The complex has a connection with the only one source of water outside the city walls. Next to the entrance, the medieval tower was guarding the water tanks. Near the tower is the southern staircase that descends into a filtering pit. The staircase was 1.75 m wide and has been closed between two parallel walls.
Protection walls on both sides of the ladder are 0.85 m thick on average, and served as guard rails. The pit was built in a tower with four sides, located near the course of river.
Modern tower was built in 1930 according to the project architect Alexander Reshenov and similar to medieval tower, located in the medieval town of Cherven.

The legend begins with the happiest days of the Bulgarians during the reign of the young king Ivanitsa called by Greeks Kaloyan, due to his male beauty. Many battles won mighty ruler who conquered enemy strongholds and decimate foreign troops. After defeating Knights was captured and, head bowed, was brought to the city Tarnovgrad to the latin Emperor Baldwin of Flandra. The Tsar Kaloyan respected the courage of their opponents and ordered the prisoner to be treated with respect. In that times, in exchange for freedom of noble prisoner, United Bulgarian was able to obtain significant benefits.
Baldwin was imprisoned in the south-eastern tower of the fortress. in return for his knightly word to be allowed to walk around the fortress and somewhat freely around the fortress near the tower.
The legend sais that while Tsar Kaloyan was busy with state affairs and constant fights for land with the Greeks, Hungarians and Latins, the Bulgarian Queen (cumana Tselguba) started to like the handsome knight, who seemed so different, noble and attractive. She decided to break the marriage vow and royal and to offer her knights the freedom and her heart. So, in a dark night, disguised as a servant, he went to Baldwin tower, bringing him the food. There breathless, the queen offered the knight her love along with its decision to give him the freedom to run together out of his country.
Baldwin looked at her stunned, but not trampling his honor and his word gave to Bulgarian king. Knight refused without hidding his indignation against queen’s infidelity.
The woman refused, quickly replaced her love with anger and hate. To revenge, the treacherous queen fell at Caloian’s feet and gossiped Baldwin, that he offered him her love, if he would help them to escape. Hardened of betrayal and deceit, the Bulgarian king ordered the prisoner to be blinded with a hot stick, and then be thrown off the cliff of Golgota.

According to another version of the legend, the Bulgarian Queen make a proposal to Baldwin, through a pilgrim monk from Flandra, called Alberik, who met with the captive knight in the Bulgarian capital.Later, the monk was caught and a letter was found from Baldwin to his brother, sent through the Queen, which among other things says:
“… This time everything went easy, because the queen, his wife Zhehana (Kaloyan) helped me.
It allowed the monks to meet with me without foreign witness. But, here’s how.
First, the monk came to me only because it was the Queen herself. Dressed in his clothes.
Then, when Father Benedict asked the guard to meet with me again, soldiers left him alone again, without witnesses. He asked me to get dressed in his clothes and run away. And he to stay in my place. He bribed people to help me. I fought long and I hesitated. But I knew how cruel will be the revenge of the king against the monk and I quit. Moreover, the job was not very safe. Because it would not be hard for guards to have recognized the queen in camouflage, but had not wanted to wake up her anger.
You’ll wonder why the Queen came to me.. The queen loves me. With such a love wild, crazy which scares me and does not bode something good. She came to me to escape both in Constantinople. But her proposal has disgusted me. My God! I do not want somebode ever tell that Knight Baldwin was rescued from captivity after lured the wife of his noble host. Indeed really, Zhehan behaves very generous with me. He was a knight greater than all of us … “.
Modern tower was restored in 1933 by architect Alexander Rashenov, similarly with the medieval tower preserved in Cherven Fortress, near the town of Ruse.



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