Tsari Mali Grad

The renovated Tsari Mali Grad Fortress is located near the village of Belchin, region of Samokov. The Tsari Mali Grad complex comprises several sites – the medieval church “St. Petka”, the ethnographic complex in the village of Belchin and 300 m up above, the ancient Tsari Mali Grad Fortress. Archaeological studies of the St. Spas Hill indicate that the construction of the fortress begun during the reign of Emperor Valens (364-378 AD). The location of the fortress was deliberately chosen and it gives the opportunity to monitor the valley and protect its western part. The settlement occured is consistent with the mineral springs at the foot, the ore deposits of magnetite sand across the region, and the strategic crossing point of two ancient roads. The fortress is located near the ancient military, trade, and communication route from Rome through Aquileia, Ragusa, Skupi, Pautalia, Germanea, Philipopol, Constantinople, as well as the hard, but most direct route to Macedonia. In excavations, 1,078 units were found /coins, jewelry, arrows and parts of weapons, tools, various pottery, etc./, as well as numerous architectural remains and stratigraphic situations, allowing to draw the relevant findings and conclusions. Five phases of occupation of the hill were established, which indicates its importance and sustainability as a strategic and cultural early Christian center in the orbit of the major ancient urban centers – Serdika, Pautalia, and Germanea. The strong religious significance of the Sv. Spas Hill during this period is evidenced by the Christian religious complex that was found. It is located immediately north of the gate of the fortress. There, almost to present day, the people of Belchin celebrate the Day of Ascension. Until the 60s of XX century, a votive cross was placed here under a centuries-old oak.

The complex can be accessed by vehicles. It is open every day. There is a scenic train, Wednesday – Sunday, stopping between 12:00 p.m. and 01:00 p.m. for daily maintenance. In bad weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, strong winds and temperatures below -7º C, track facility is closed. There is a paid access to the complex, and access for people with disabilities. Guide service is provided in Bulgarian and in English, as well as audio guide.

Website: http://www.carimaligrad.com


Хълмът Св. Спас - снимка http://www.carimaligrad.com Художествена възстановка -  http://www.carimaligrad.com Църква Възнесение Христово- снимка http://www.carimaligrad.com