Ovech Fortress, Bulgaria – Where The History Touches the Sky

Up in the sky, away from the noise of the big city, on the wings of the wind. Just right there, surrounded by small, fluffy clouds, and a beautiful green scenery. So high that you can touch the stars or make a wish.


Ovech Fortress is a stone stronghold located east of the town of Provadia, 53 km west of Varna, and is one of the most difficult to invade fortresses in Bulgaria. It is situated on a ship-shaped plateau from north to south. From all sides, it is surrounded by rock wreaths with a height of 11 to 25 meters.

Archaeological research established that the fortress was used in periods from the 3rd century to the first decades of the 7th century, and then from the 10th-11th centuries until the end of the 17th century. Thracians, Romans, Bulgarians, Byzantines, and Turks inhabited it.

The natural citadel was used by the Thracians. In the III-IV century, the Romans built the fortress of Provaton and Khan Omurtag probably used it later, but its recognizability came in the Second Bulgarian State when it was related to the names of the rulers Peter II and Kaloyan. In the XIII-XIV century, Ovech established itself not only as a military but also as a religious and administrative center of the region. At the end of the XIII century, a 30-thousandth Ottoman army captured Ovech. In 1409, it became the center of the rebellion of Fruzhin, son of Shishman, but was captured again by Musa, the son of Bayazid I. In the middle of XV century, the army of Vladislav Varnenchik destroyed Ovech. Although restored by the Ottomans, the fortress lost its purpose and was abandoned at the end of the XVII century.

You can reach it by several spots, the most popular is through the eco-path that takes you directly to the top. It is perfectly suited for family tourism, having the opportunity to sit and enjoy the surrounding flora and fauna on the way up.

Charge yourself with power, because just before the incredible view, you need to "take over" only 111 steps. But it is worth it!

And there you are – all you can see is a breathtaking panoramic view of the town of Provadia and the surroundings. A 150 meter-long bridge structure is built in front of it, connecting the stronghold with the Tabiite Plateau.

The basis of three medieval churches, one of which is metropolitan, are preserved in the fortress. At two of the entrances of the fortress, the towers were restored. It had a water supply system, which includes a 79-meter well, as well a knight’s prison, and a devil’s path.

Enjoy the walk, which we are pretty sure you won’t forget.

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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