Krakra Fortress – Pernik

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The medieval Krakra Fortress is situated on a relatively small rocky plateau at the southwestern part of the town of Pernik.
The preserved remains outline a polygonal fortress that is believed to have been built during the reign of Khan Omurtag (814-831). The wall of the fortress is 2 metres thick. It follows the natural curves of the plateau.
Archaeologists discovered remains which prove that a fortress stood on this spot as far back as the 6th – 5th century BC. However, its history is mainly related to the name of boyar Krakra of Pernik, a military leader who lived in the 10th – 11th centuries. He was a ruler of the fortress and the town of Pernik, and also of 35 more fortresses in the region at the beginning of the 11th century. The Fortress of Pernik put up stubborn resistance against the Byzantine conquerors, withstanding two sieges (in 1004 and 1016) and thus the medieval town of Pernik escaped demolition.
The fortress offers a view of Karvavoto Area. According to the legend, in 1016 Krakra resisted an 88-day siege, during which many Byzantines found their deaths. Their blood painted the land in the area red, thus giving its name.
In addition to the preserved foundations of dwellings, visitors can also see the foundations of three Christian churches: the ruler’s personal church, a big basilica with a nave and two aisles, and one of the oldest two-storey church-tombs in the Christian world. There, archaeologists also discovered a silver seal that belonged to Tsar Peter (927 – 969), the only royal silver seal from that period found so far. According to the legend, it was exactly in this place where Tsar Peter spent some time while on his way to meet Saint Ivan of Rila.
Today the Fortress of Pernik is one of the most attractive places for strolls and relaxation among the residents and the guests of the town of Pernik. The picturesque lighting and the 22-metre Bulgarian flag pole attract attention to the walls of the fortress. The catapults and the battering rams situated near one of the fortress walls are yet another attraction.
Platforms are installed on the fortress walls to offer an incredible experience to visitors: a bird’s point of view of the whole town and its environs.
The alleys in the fortress are lighted at night. A stage is set up in the fortress for theatrical performances and concerts.

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