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Assenova krepost (Asen's Fortress)
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Plovdiv and Bachkovo Monastery
Ranked #8 of 67 things to do in Plovdiv
Certificate of Excellence
Camberley, Surrey
Level Contributor
190 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

If you suffer from vertigo, don't go. The stairs and sheer drops there will be difficult. However, there is a famous ancient old church there - which was closed when I went sadly!!! You can walk up to the fortress summit and stand by the flag with a great view!

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Craigie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
151 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“I wish there were better signs”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

Went to the place in August while visiting Plovdiv. I had expectations for something better signed and organized. The Fortress is on a spectacular hill but getting there and finding your way to it is less than optimal. Once we got there we had no place to really park and on top of that the place was actually closed for construction.... Long story short we snapped some photos and continued to Bachkovo Monastery

Visited August 2012
Thank NickInChina1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A very cool place with a magical atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2012

Neat ruins to explore in an amazing locations -- high on a very steep ridge, among the steep, tree-covered slopes, high above a river. A truly magical place and well worth spending an hour or two to see. It is better if you are in good physical shape and can climb up to the higher levels. Amazing views.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank unnamed_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Easy do-it-yourself day trip from Plovdiv with astonishing views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2011

The 12th-13th century Church of the Holy Mother of God is the undoubted highlight of the site of Asen's fortress. There are amazing medieval frescoe in the church and gorgeous views of the surrounding valley. The ruins of the fortress above the church were overshadowed by the church itself, although the view from the very top was frighteningly spectacular. I wouldn't want to go up if it had recently rained or if there were a bad weather forecast because many of the rocks were worn down and slippery. In any weather, shoes with good grips are highly recommended and those with a fear of heights might want to skip this attraction altogether.

The entrance fee was around 2-3 leva. It was very hot on an early September afternoon and there's not much shade. It's a good idea to purchase water down in Asenovgrad before climbing up the hill, as while there is a man selling water outside the fortress, he didn't have change even for the 10 leva bill we offered.

There were a few other visitors when we went, but it wasn't packed by any means.

There seemed allegedly to be some other churches to see in the surrounding area. The path to one was marked just outside the entrence to Asen's; however when we tried to head down it to the church, our attempt ended in an epic fail.

To get to Asen's from Plovdiv, we first caught a bus from Jug Gar (the same station with buses coming and going from both Istanbul and Sofia) to Asenovgrad. The buses seemed to leave quite frequently throughout the day. A sign on the platform says Asenovgrad (in Bulgarian: Асеновград), which, when we went, was platform 4. We paid the driver 1.50 BGN per head when we got on. No need for exact change, they have lots. The trip to Asenovgrad took roughly thirty minutes. The bus lets you off across the street from the Asenovgrad bus station. It isn't immediately apparent that there is a bus station back there, since it is obscured by some snack stands.

Once you get to Asenovgrad locate the river and walk upstream. To get to the river, you want to be headed in the same direction along the main drag that your bus was headed when it dropped you off.

The entrance to Asen's fortress is right on the outskirts of town. You can actually see the fortress perched up in the hills.

The road itself is well marked, and cars travel along it as well as walkers. According to the sign at the bottom, it's two kilometers uphill to the fortress. Although it sounds like quite a climb, the grade is never too steep, and there are a number of benches along the way where you can take rests. We saw very few other walkers; it was mostly car traffic.

The bus back to Plovdiv from Asenovgrad continues into the evening hours. We caught a bus back at 20:15.

Visited September 2011
7 Thank L R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bar Harbor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Asen's fortress pretty cool”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2008

I have been staying in Plovdiv for a while now and I was recently taken to Asen's fortress. It has an amazing view of the overlying mountains and the historic church there is also of a lot of interest. But the view form the top of the fortress makes it totally worth going. Breathtaking and truly a treasure I will never forget.

2 Thank clmcgarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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