Trapezitsa is the second center of the medieval capital Veliko Tarnovo and was explored archeologically as early as the end of the 19th century, when 17 churches and part of the fortification system of the fort were discovered.
The excavations to date categorically establish that the rock hill was fortified and built in the first years of the 13th century (ca. 1200 – 1230) on a terrain that was not actively inhabited after the Iron Age (end of the 1st millennium BC). ). It differs from the neighboring Tsarevets, where the early Byzantine town of Zikideva – one of the largest cities in northern Bulgaria of that time – was built in the 7th-7th centuries. And if in the Middle Ages of Tsarevets some of the early Byzantine constructions were used in some respects, Trapezitsa is not so. All the monumental architecture here that any visitor can admire today is authentic Bulgarian work, completed and completed by the first representatives of the great Assen Dynasty – the kings Peter, Ivan Assen I, Kaloyan and Ivan Assen II.
Legend has it that there was a royal monetary bank in the fortress. It was located at the southern entrance at Tsareva Step. Beneath it was a basement where the royal treasure was kept. The hallway was covered with a stone slab. The stairs led down to an iron door. Only the king and the treasurer guard knew the secret of the door. There were niches in front of her. They were hidden guards. When the Turks invaded, Shishman ordered everything to be moved to the basement. Money-cutting machines, raw gold and gold and silver coins. The complete treasure chest was closed. The king commanded the currency to collapse. Only piles of stones remained on the site. The entrance was under an axis stone. He turned and the stone slab was revealed. Below it were the stairs to the iron door. Only Shishman knew the secret of the stone …
The trapeze is a natural fortress surrounded on three sides by the river. Once high cliffs and towers stood on the steep cliffs. Two transverse fortress walls were descending the slopes of the hill – one in the east, near the church of St. Dimitar ”and the other – on the western slope with a direction to the present railway bridge. The fort was entered through four entrances. The main entrance of the refectory was located on the south side and was connected to Tsarevets via a bridge over the Yantra River opposite the church “St. 40 Martyrs. ” A stone path carved into the rock led to this entrance, reaching the southern gate, traces of which have been preserved to this day.
There are two assumptions about the name Trapezitsa. According to some, this name is associated with the word “table” and in others it is derived from “trapezoid” because the shape of the plateau is trapezoidal. The churches of the table were richly decorated with various architectural forms: pilasters, niches, blind arches, colored slabs and multicolored clay round or four-leaf panes, looking green or yellow, arranged in one or more arched rows.
The largest church is number 8, known by the name of Ivan Rilski. Immediately next to it are traces of other old buildings that are supposed to be monasteries. Traces of murals have been preserved on the walls of the church. It is known that in 1195 Tsar Ivan Assen I transferred the relics of St. Ivan Rilski from the town of Sredets (Sofia) to Veliko Tarnovo, which were placed in the specially built church for them in Trapezitsa. The room to the south of Church Number 8 is considered a repository. The relics were stored in Veliko Turnovo until 1469, when they were transferred to the Rila Monastery. The numerous and well-decorated small churches on the table indicate that the dwellings of the boyars and high priests were also here.
Since 2007, a major study of Trapezitsa has started under the program of the Ministry of Culture. It continues to this day, and the results achieved are extremely serious and, more importantly, impartial evidence of the splendor of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Undoubted sensational discoveries of Trapezitsa are the north tower, the garrison buildings of the fortress, church №19 with the relic chamber and the murals of this temple.
The palace of the first Asenevtsi is located in the northern peninsula of the Trapezitsa Plateau, covering an area of 660 square meters. It is a typical feudal castle and was probably built even before the Liberation Uprising in 1185. The palace was defended by a powerful tower, as a separate fortress wall guarded it from invaders who had overcome the fortress walls of Trapezitsa. Later, an area was separated from the peninsula by a third fortress wall, where a palace was built for representative purposes and with the necessary outbuildings, a security barracks, etc.
After the restoration, not only Trapezitsa but also the town of Veliko Tarnovo will acquire a new even more brilliant and dignified appearance. The hill will be turned into an even more accessible and convenient place for worshiping Bulgarian history. The largest cable car already built in Bulgaria, the projected and forthcoming alley network, the commissioning of the museum center on the hill and the restored palace will become one of the most spectacular and attractive architecturally