Bulgaria is home to many well-preserved churches built partially under the ground. This is because during the Ottoman period Bulgarian churches could not be taller than mosques. One such church, which is also a cultural monument of local significance, is the Church of Saint Paraskevi in the city of Vidin. Its single-nave building dates back to the 17th century. The story goes that during a Serbian-led revolt, the Turkish government began persecutions of the local allies of the rebels, which ended in a mass slaughter of many priests and lay people inside the church in January 1806. After that, the church was turned into a warehouse, and it was only in 1915 that Or5thodox service was restored.
Visit to Madona Dudu Church, St. Demetrius Cathedral, Mântuleasa Church and the Church of the Holy Trinity, Craiova (optional)
Departure from Craiova
Visit to the Monastery of Maglavit or visit to the St. Nicholas Church, Calafat (optional)
Visit to the Museum of Art and Ethnography, Calafat (optional)
Departure to Belogradchik
Lunch in Vidin area
Departure to Belogradchik and visit to the Magura cave or Kaleto fortress in Belogradchik and The Belogradchik Rocks (optional)
Departure to Chiprovtsi, dinner and overnight accommodation
Visit to the Chiprovtsi Monastery of St. John of Rila, town of Chiprovtsi
Free time in Chiprovtsi and visit to the Museum in the town
Lunch in the town of Chiprovtsi
Departure to the Monastery of St. Ivan Pusti
Dinner and overnight accommodation in the Monastery
Departure to Vratsa
Visit to the Cathedral of Holy Apostles, Vratsa
Visit to the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, Vratsa
City tour and visit to the Ledenika cave
Lunch in Vratsa
Visit to the Cherepish Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos
Visit to the Ritlite rock formation, Skoklya waterfall, the Cherepish rocks (optional)
Dinner and overnight accommodation in the area
Departure to Vidin
Visit to the churches of St. Pantaleon and of the St. Paraskevi, the Cathedral of St. Demetrius and the Church of St. Nicholas
Lunch in Vidin
Free time: visit to the Baba Vida Fortress, Krastata Kazarma museum and Historical Museum, Vidin (optional)
Dinner and overnight accommodation in Vidin
Hotel-Restaurant Anna Kristina
GPS coordinates: 43.987128 / 43°59’13” N – 22.8800887 / 22°52’48” E
Address: 2 Baba Vida street, Vidin, Bulgaria
GPS coordinates: 43.725067 / 43°43’30” N – 22.590214 / 22°35’24” E
Address: at the bank of Rabisha lake, Vidin district
Hotel-Restaurant „Skalite“ (Rocks)
GPS coordinates: 43.625265 / 43°37’31” N – 22.687262 / 22°41’14” E
Address: 1 Hadzhi Dimitar Str., town of Belogradchik, Vidin district
Hotel Restaurant „Han Madona“
GPS coordinates: 43.597539 / 43°35’51” N – 22.779690 / 22°46’47” E
Address: at the limits of Falkovets village, Vidin district
Baba Vida Fortress, Vidin
GPS coordinates: 43.992622 / 43°59’33” N – 22.884983 / 22°53’6” E
Address: Baba Vida Street, on the bank of the Danube river, town of Vidin, Vidin
Working time: 8:30-18:00 (Apr-Oct); 9:00-17:00 (Nov-March)
The Medieval Fortress Baba Vidin is one of the most spectacular historical monuments in the whole region, also the best-preserved in Bulgaria. Historical data reveals that it was a Roman fortress, called Bononia, built primary for observational purposes. The fortress was expanded during the Byzantine and Medieval periods, because of its strategic position, which allows control of the traffic of the Danube River and observation of trade routes and provides military protection for the entire city. The oldest walls date back to the 10th century. The fortress was also the residence of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Stratsimir. Expanded in the 17th century during the Ottoman domination, the fortress was used as a storage for weapons and military materials, but also as prison. After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 from the Turks, it became a headquarter of the local military forces. In 1964 it was declared a historic monument of national importance. Today it is used as a site for film productions, theater, concerts and other artistic performances.
Historical Museum, Vidin
GPS coordinates: 43.989145 / 43°59’21” N – 22.874987 / 22°52’30” E
Address: 2 Obshtinska Street, Vidin, Vidin district
Working time: Every day from 8:30 to 17:00 h.
Located in the centre of Vidin, the town history museum, also known as Konaka, is one of the oldest scientific and cultural establishments in the town. The construction of the building dates back to the middle of the 17th century. During the Ottoman Empire, it was a residence of the town military commander and most of the architectural elements of the building were inspired by the Orient. After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 from the Ottoman domination, the building was turned into headquarter of Vidin Municipality. In 1956 the building was turned into a museum. There are archaeological remains from the Roman period, discovered after the excavation of the ruins of the settlement Ulpia Ratiaria, Bononia fortress, and the Roman fortress Kastra Martis, which are housed in the courtyard of the museum. The museum houses collections of objects grouped in three periods. We find objects from the iron and bronze periods such as stone and bronze objects, jewelry, various instruments and items of worship, Roman, Byzantine and medieval collections, ceramic, metal and silver objects, as well as several historical documents. Another part of the museum exhibits fragments of the history of the city, mainly related to the battles for the liberation of the country from Ottoman domination in 1878.
Krastatata Kazarma, Vidin
GPS coordinates: 43.990526 / 43°59’26” N – 22.881406 / 22°52’53” E
Address: 26 Knyaz Boris Street, Vidin, Vidin district
This building, which has become a symbol of Vidin’s historical heritage, was built in the early 19th century by the Ottoman Pasha Osman Pazvantoglu. During this period, it was used as a seat of the Ottoman military garrison. The building has unique cross-shaped form, built by stones and bricks, designed to facilitate the defense in the event of an attack. After the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule, the building was used as the seat of the court. Today it houses the city’s ethnographic museum, hosting impressive expositions of traditional local culture.
Kaleto Fortress, Belogradchik
GPS coordinates: 43.623747 / 43°37’25” N – 22.676645 / 22°40’36” E
Address: Tsolo Todorov street, Belogradchik, district of Vidin
The Kaleto fortress in Belogradchik is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of the entire region. It occupies an area of more than 10,000 square meters. The first military construction here belonged to the Romans who used the fortress between the 1st and 3rd century to guard the strategic roads of the region. The highest part of the fortress is known as the Citadel, where you can find traces of defense facilities dating from both the Roman and Medieval periods. This fortress is one of the last well-preserved establishments after the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman domination at the end of the 14th century. The Turks deployed here large garrison that played an important role in defending the Western part of the country. Between 1805 and 1837, the fortress was expanded and upgraded by the Ottoman authorities with the help of French and Italian engineers to allow the use of firearms. The fortress in Belogradchik is one of the best preserved in Bulgaria, declared as monument of culture of national importance in 1985.
The Rocks of Belogradchik
GPS coordinates: 43.623747 / 43 ° 37’25 “N – 22.676645 / 22 ° 40’36” E
Address: Tsolo Todorov Str., Belogradchik, Vidin district
The red rock formations of Belogradchik are probably one of the most striking natural landmarks in the country. The greatest and most beautiful of this marvelous natural creation are the rocks that rise upright above Belogradchik. This spectacular landscape is shaped by nature in the course of millions of years. Giant rock figures were formed here, creating impressive figures resembling humans, animals, mythological creatures. Each of these rocks carries a legend, explaining its shape and beauty. The place has been a major tourist destination for many years now, known in the entire country.
Historical Museum, Belogradchik
GPS coordinates: 43.990526 / 43°59’26” N – 22.881406 / 22°52’53” E
Address: 1 Knyaz Boris Street I, Belogradchik, district of Vidin
The historical museum of Belogradchik is housed in a traditional historical building, named Panova house. Its architectural elements are typical for the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. The building was built in 1810, and since 1970 it has been transformed into a museum housing more than 8,000 preserved objects.