Vidin Region



On the territory of the Vidin region there are remarkable natural phenomena, protected areas and species, and numerous cultural and historical monuments from all historical eras.

Among the more important of them are:

"Baba Vida" Fortress - The "Baba Vida" Fortress is one of the best-preserved medieval defense facilities in Bulgaria. The foundations of the medieval castle were laid at the end of the 10th century on the remains of the fortress walls of ancient Bononia. Its main construction dates back to the era of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (end of XII-XIV centuries). During the period of Ottoman slavery, the fortress was rebuilt several times, and from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century, it was adapted for firearms. The fortress is accessible only from the north, where the entrance tower is located, and on the other sides a deep and wide ditch has been dug. It occupies an area of 9.5 decares. The castle is surrounded by a ditch, which in the past was filled with water from the Danube River. Above it, a drawbridge was descending , guarded by a watchtower at the entrance. The fortress consists of an inner fortress belt in the shape of an irregular quadrangle with nine corner and intermediate towers. The walls and towers ended with battlements. The outer fortress belt with the entrance tower was built later. The residential part of the castle occupied the inner belt overlooking the central courtyard.Since 1958, the castle has been open to visitors, and a museum has also been built into it. The fortress also houses a summer theater (350 seats). The castle is a natural setting for filming movies (more than 50 Bulgarian and foreign movies have been shot in the castle and the area around it) and theater performances, as well as for other cultural events.The "Baba Vida" fortress is a cultural monument of national importance and is among the 100 national tourist sites of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Fortress walls "Kaleto" - Due to the need for additional strengthening of the town of Vidin, which after 1718 becomes a border for the Ottoman Empire, for a period of 30 years (1690-1720) the so-called "Kale" - fortress walls that were surroundingd the city from all sides. They represent a semicircle with a diameter of 1,600 m along the Danube river and a double stone wall on the river side. On the land side, a ditch with a depth of 5-6m and a width of 18m was dug, lined with stone and filled with water in the past. "Kaleto" had 9 entrance doors (kapiys). Part of the fortress gates, the northern half of the ditch and a small part of the walls have been preserved from the facility. The Florentine kapiya, Enichar kapiya, Pazar kapiya and Stambol kapiya (the main gate of the Vidin Kale have been preserved. They are vaulted passages, in the walls of which there are guard rooms. They were closed with double-winged gates made of oak beams, covered with iron. The ditch was crossed on wooden bridges, one part of which was mobile. The Danube river was accessed through 5 other doors: Aralak kapiya, Top kapiya, Sarai kapiya, Telegraph kapiya and Surgyun kapiya (the first and last of them are walled up). The fortress wall is preserved next to the Telegraph kapiya.

After the construction of "Kaleto", Vidin was not captured by an enemy during military operations.

"Kaleto", together with the preserved doors (kapiyas), is a cultural monument of national importance.

Roman fortress "Kaleto" - Belogradchik - The construction of the fortress shows at least three construction periods: Roman and Byzantine - from the 1st to the 6th century, Byzantine and Bulgarian - from the 7th to the 14th century, Ottoman - from 1805 to 1837. When the Romans permanently settled on the southern bank of the Danube, they created a fortress here, intertwining the hard-to-reach Belogradchisk rocks into its walls. Using the natural inaccessibility of the rocks, they built only two walls from the northwest and southeast. In the other directions, two rock massifs, 80 to 100 m high, surround the fortress. In the current form of the fortress, the buildings from the last construction period, carried out under Sultan Mahmid II, predominate. Then, three fortress courtyards (each with the possibility of autonomous protection) were formed with three gates and two side doors in proximity to the middle portal, which is decorated with stone reliefs. In fact, two fortresses were created: the Big one, with a rectangular shape, and the Little one, which was reached by a steep path. The total area of the fortress is 10,211 square kilometers and one separate fortification. Embrasures for rifles were built on the fortress walls (10 m high). The fortress has 15-16 cannons. Barracks and warehouses, arsenals, a prison, salt and grain mills, 4 reservoirs were built in it. As a military facility, the fortress was used for the last time during the Serbo-Bulgarian war in 1885.

Roman fortress "Castra Martis" - Kula - Castra Martis is a late Roman fortress, the remains of which are located in the center of the city of Kula. It was built at the end of the 3rd - the beginning of the 4th century as part of the defensive facilities on the Danube border of the Roman Empire. The fortress occupied key positions through the westernmost old mountain pass Vrashka chuka and guarded the important Roman road to Singidunum (Belgrade). It is comprised of two parts, which were not conceived and realized at the same time: the initially a square fortification with dimensions of 40x40m was built (completely revealed and better preserved today) and the actual castel. The castel occupied a space of 15.5 decares in the shape of an irregular quadrangle, defended by 7 polygonal towers. Today, adjacent to the ruins of the fortress, there is a museum collection with exhibits discovered during the excavations, which reveal the material culture of the inhabitants.

Turkish inn "Koluka" - It was built in the second half of the 18th century. The Turks used the building as a police station, and in the 70s of the 19th century, the Bulgarian ecclesiastical municipality was accommodated in it. After the Liberation, it was reconstructed, and elements of the Bulgarian Revival architecture were inserted into it. Since 1956 The building has been turned into a museum, which traces the history of Vidin and the Vidin region from ancient times to the Liberation (1878).

Osman Pazvantoglu Mosque
- Located in the Danube park opposite the Vidin Metropolis. Its construction was completed in 1800-1801. The mosque is a massive stone structure with oriental architecture. Its vestibule is shaped like an open gallery. The prayer saloon is large and decorated with a slatted ceiling. The minaret ends with a stylized spade top. It is a cultural monument of national importance.

Osman Pazvantoglu Library – Located next to the Osman Pazvantoglu mosque. Its construction was completed in 1802-1803. It is a four-sided prism on a square plan, covered with a dome and vestibule. It was dedicated by Osvan Pazvantoglu to his father, who was killed by order of the sultan. The books in it were 2,664 in number, of which 2,014 were handed over to Turkey, and 650 are in the "St. Cyril and Methodius" National library in Sofia. It is a cultural monument of national importance.

"The Cross barracks" - The building was built in 1800-1801 for the needs of the ottoman troops in the town and was connected by a covered wooden bridge to the nearby weapons workshop. Earlier there was the garden of the Old sarai and it was used as a inn for the janissaries. It is a massive stone building with a built-up area of 1,260 square meters. It has the shape of an isosceles cross. After the Liberation, it was a court of law and barracks of the Bulgarian army. In 1965-1967 the building was restored and adapted for a museum, and since 1969 it houses an ethnographic exhibition presenting the traditional culture of the population of the Vidin region from the end of the 19th to the 20s of the 20th century.

Mausoleum of Antim I - The mausoleum of the first Bulgarian patriarch Antim I is located in the courtyard of the Vidin metropolis. The premise is isographed and has a stone seated sculptural figure of the first Bulgarian exarch. The sarcophagus containing the remains of Exarch Antimus I is located in the dungeon.

"St. Panteleimon" Church - It is located in the courtyard of the Vidin metropolis. The church has existed since the first half of the 17th century, as in 1644 is isographed.
The Church of Saint Panteleimon is a national artistic monument.

"St. Petka" Church - The church has existed since the first half of the 17th century. By virtue of an ottoman border law for confiscating and adapting for military purposes all Christian buildings, and due to its proximity to military sites, it was converted into a warehouse and used as such until a few years before the Liberation.

"St. G. M. Dimitar" Cathedral - Built in the 17th century, mainly of wood material, the temple existed for about 240 years. On December 6th, 1868 in it, for the first time, a solemn service was held by a Bulgarian bishop on Bulgarian language. Since then, this temple became the cathedral temple of Vidin's Bulgarian Metropolitan Antim, who was later elected the first Bulgarian Exarch. In 1889, the temple was demolished due to the dilapidation of the wooden structure, and the construction of the new temple began. In 1926 the temple was solemnly consecrated by Metropolitan Neofit of Vidin.The Cathedral "St. G. M. Dimitar" is the second largest after the temple - the monument "St. Alexander Nevsky" in Sofia.It is a cultural monument of national importance.

The Synagogue – It is located near the Danube park. The building was built in one year - in 1894, with the help of jews from all over Bulgaria. It is the second largest after the one in Sofia, and its main facade is impressive. Since 1950 the building lost its main function and was used as a warehouse, which led to its current poor condition.
It is a cultural monument of national importance. On March 9th, 2017, the owner of the synagogue - the Organization of jews in Bulgaria "Shalom", at a general meeting decided to donate the building to the Vidin municipality. In 2021, restoration of the building began, according to a project financed by the European Union, with the aim of turning the synagogue into a cultural center. The restoration was completed in 2023.

The old turkish post office - It was built in the second half of the 19th century especially for postal needs. It was probably completed in 1859, when Vidin was connected by telegraph to various European cities. It is a massive two-story building with a treasury in its basement. This is the only preserved old post office in Bulgaria. It is located in the Danube park next to Osman Pazvantoglu mosque and library.

Vidin municipal theater - The two-story building was built in 1891 and is the first building in free Bulgaria designed specifically for a theater. It is located at the entrance to the Danube park.


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