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Baba Vida fortress: a gateway across the millennia

www.Bnr.bg, Written by Diana Hristakieva, English version by Radostin Zhelev

The Baba Vida fortress in the town of Vidin, in Northwestern Bulgaria, has become the emblem of the city. The fortress has been used as location for many Bulgarian and foreign film productions, but unfortunately, at present, only a third of its area is accessible to tourists.


Archeologists from the Bulgarian Academy of Science and their counterparts from Vidin have embraced the idea to change the status quo, and present the fortress in its utmost glamour. They have devised a project for the facility’s restoration that will include also additional archeological probing, restoration works on the turrets, hydroisolation of the upper terraces, and fortification of the fortress wall neighbouring on the River Danube. The cost of the project has been estimated at 750 000 euros.

“Our project envisages a transformation of the thirty rooms surrounding the courtyard into craftsmen’s workshops showcasing thus the typical occupations of the region, i.e. goldsmith’s trade, icon painting, and pottery,” Olya Milanova, an archeologist from the Museum of History in Vidin, explains. “We want to encourage further the involvement of tourists in the making of souvenirs, so that they can feel for themselves how the ancient masters did their craft.
Another idea suggests that we arrange a large display on the fortress’ history. So far, we have nearly 160 ceramic utensils and other household items completely restored but not exhibited. We rely on the growing number of foreign tourists. For instance, over the past couple of years we have been welcoming American tourists who travel on a cruise along the Danube. They make a stop-over in Vidin and go sightseeing. We also have lots of visitors from neighbouring Romania and Russia. We have been delighted at the increasing interest among Bulgarians. One way to attract them is to establish an open-air stage for the summer months.”

The Baba Vida fortress is the only entirely preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria that was at the same time a fort and a home of a feudal lord. Evidence of construction works from other historical periods has also been found. Some of it dates back 2 000 years. The fortress is destined for new life thanks to the Baba Vida – A Gateway across the Millennia project.

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Vidin Sun, 19 Aug 2018 14:08


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