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Trapezitsa (Fortress), Veliko TarnovoCod 2493

The Trapezitsa Fortress is located on the top of the beautiful hill Trapezitsa, nearby Veliko Tirnovo. It is the second tower of the medieval Bulgarian capital Tirnovo (Veliko Tirnovo). Located on the right side of the Yantra river, northwest of Tsarevets. A fortress naturally surrounded on its three sides by the river. Once, on high cliffs rose the walls with pinnacles and towers that make the almost vertical rocky slopes even more inaccessible.

Two walls were crossing the hills’ slope – one to the eastern end of the church “Saint Dimitar”, an the other one on western flank – to the powered railways. Into the fortress the entry and exit was done by four entrances. The main entrance of Trapezitsa fortress was on south and was connected by Tsarevets through a bridge over the Yantra river and opposite the church “Sf. 40 Martyrs”. A stone path carved in the rock/cliff lead to this entrance, reaching the southern gate, whose traces were preserved until now.

There are two hypotesis regarding the name of Trapezitsa. According to some, the name is associated with the word “table” and others say it comes from “trapezoid” because the shelf has a trapezoidal shape. During the excavations in 1884 and 1900 were discovered the foundations of 17 churches. In poor fragments, preserved on the walls, it seems to have been richly decorated with frescoes and colorful mosaic floors and covered with beautiful tiles. The materials discovered were not published and so have remained unknown to science and the history of the city, but the files preserved related to these excavations shows that there were found “old crosses, necklaces, coins, rings, earrings, containers and other wastes that can be assigned to old Bulgarian time. The churches in Trapezitsa were richly decorated with various architectural forms: pilasters, niches, blind arcades, colored tiles and clay colored or four round dishes, green or yelow, with windows arranged in one or more curves.

The largest by size is the church No. 8, known as “Ivan Rilski”. In addition, there is evidence of other ancient buildings that are supposed to belong to the monastery. The walls of the church retains traces of frescoes. It is known the fact that the tsar Ivan Asen de first in 1195 brought form Sredets (Sofia) in Veliko Tirnovo the relicvs of Sf. Ivan Rilski, who have been placed into the church, especially built for them in Trapezitsa. The southern side of the church, marked with number 8 is considered to be the reliquary. The relics were preserved in Veliko Tirnovo until 1469 when they have been moved to the Rila Monastery. The many small and well decorative church in Trapezitsa shows the fct that there were houses of nobility and senior clergy.

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