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Stenos fortress in Trayanovi Vrata pass

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Stenos fortress in Trayanovi Vrata pass

Stenos Fortress is located in Trayanovi Vrata's pass and carries the history of glorious victories and crushing losses. Its creation dates back to the end of the 4th century during the reign of Theodosius. It was built with the Roman construction technique opus mixtum, which alternates between stone blocks and a brick belt. The shape of the fortress is an irregular rectangle measuring 90 m. length and 36 m. width. The main entrance is from the north. It is a huge gate and is guarded by two pointed pentagonal towers.


Stenos has a very large inner courtyard, and in the back there are small doors called poterni. Interesting is the dug tunnel, about 25 meters long, which leads to the river and allows the collection of water even under attack.

When the Bulgarians conquered this fortress, they called it "Stipon". It entered history with the incredible victory of the Bulgarians over the Byzantines, returning from the siege of Sredets (now Sofia)


How do you get there?

The Stenos fortress is located about 70 km from Sofia and 15 km from the nearest towns - Ihtiman and Kostenets. The most convenient way to get to it is by turning off the "Trakia" highway in the direction of Burgas at the exit for the village of Mirovo and following the brown signs for "Trayanovi Vrata". If you are worried you can set the location in Google Maps and follow the navigation. The last few kilometers are quite rutted, so drive slowly and carefully.

After the fortress, you can easily return to the Trakia highway and continue on your way.

How long does it take to view?

Allow about an hour - maybe a little more if you like fortresses and love history.

Is it steep? Are there scary sections?

The place is not steep and you can walk comfortably. Nice flat trails are made and it is very accessible.

Can I bring my dog?

I didn't ask specifically, but on our visit a dog accompanied us on the walk around the fortress. It shouldn't be a problem to bring your dog too.

Does the place have an interesting history?

The Stenos fortress is associated with one of the greatest victories of the first Bulgarian state. On August 17, 986, the Bulgarians, led by the future king Samuil, defeated the twenty-five thousand army of Emperor Basil II (later known as Bulgaroubiets) with a significantly smaller army. The emperor barely manages to save himself, but loses his imperial insignia (insignia). After this victory, the rise of the Bulgarian state followed, and a large number of captured territories were liberated, reaching as far as the Peloponnese peninsula, conquering the Adriatic cities of Zadar and Drach, as well as the principalities of Bosnia and Serbia (known as Raška at that time).


Is there a convenient picnic spot nearby?

Opposite the parking lot (on the other side of the road) there was a path and a little further up is a bench in the grass. I think it would be nice to stop for a quick bite. If you want a picnic with a nice place better go on your way and like somewhere else.

What is interesting in the area?

The Beli Iskar eco-trail is located about 60 km from the Stenos fortress. It is about 6-7 km long, but it is very easy and pleasant. It is very beautiful and you can shorten it as you wish. It offers very beautiful views and coolness at the foot of the mountain in summer. Read more here.

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    Миналото лято имах възможнстта да се отбия от главния път и да посетя крепоста-Траянови врата.Посетете го1 , April 26 reply

    Има екскурзовод и разказва много интересно за събитията,свързани с това място ,но и с нашата история.Може да се продължи напред по пътя за автомагистрала"Тракия",но някога,хубавият асфалтов път,днес,не е поддържан... А МЯСТОТО Е ИНТЕРЕСЕН ИСТОРИЧЕСКИ ОБЕКТ,така ,както пише и момчето,препоръчало посещение до крепостта.

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