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Asen's Fortress is a medieval fortress and a solemn reminder of Bulgaria's glorious past. It is located 20 km from Plovdiv and about 150 km from Sofia. Asen's fortress was built on a steep rocky hill about 3 miles south of Asenovgrad, one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in Bulgaria. Take the Asenovgrad - Smolyan road (it is in good condition and is considered one of the best scenic roads in this country) and follow the signs. There is a small parking lot next to the fortress and an information board telling the history of this landmark. The only preserved building is that of St Mary of Petrich Church which can be reached via a steep narrow path. St Mary of Petrich Church is a remarkable example of medieval religious architecture in Bulgaria. It has been restored and is an acting church at present. Asen's Fortress is a major stop on the most popular religious and cultural routes through the Rhodope Mountains. There are 5 monasteries, 33 churches and more than 40 chapels in and around Asenovgrad, which alongside the beautiful scenery and diverse flora and fauna in the Rhodope mountains, has become a drawing point for many pilgrims, tourists and nature-lovers. The view from the top of the fortress is breath-taking and a real treasure to see and take pictures of.
Asen's fortress is open for visits from Wednesday till Sunday from 8 am till 5 pm. Entrance fee is 3 leva and discounts apply for students, groups and families with children. A guided tour is available at very reasonable price as well.
There are quite a few hotels, guest houses and restaurants in Asenovgrad and the surroundings but if you prefer the convenience and nightlife of the bigger city, Plovdiv is only half an hour drive away.