Lyutitsa Fortress Restoration

The forgotten huge fortress dating back to the Middle Ages, located in the Eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains some 6 km southwest of Ivaylovgrad town, became accessible for tourists in 2011 after the team of Ass. Prof. Boni Petrunova, Ph.D., supported by UBB, had cleared the terrain and blazed paths to the site.

The forgotten huge fortress dating back to the Middle Ages, located in the Eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains some 6 km southwest of Ivaylovgrad town, became accessible for tourists in 2011 after the team of Ass. Prof. Boni Petrunova, Ph.D., supported by UBB, had cleared the terrain and blazed paths to the site.

Owing to the Bank’s support, the region around the citadel, deserted and abandoned through the years, hence absolutely inaccessible to casual tourists, has become civilized. The team has laid paths for visitors, cleared the adjoining areas and installed tourist information boards.

Furthermore, while doing excavation works the archaeologists made two soundings, one of which led to the discovery of a golden ring, belonging to a medieval aristocrat.

In fact, the work on the fortress commenced in 2002 when Ass. Prof. Petrunova discovered it totally inaccessible and hidden in the dense wood. The assiduous and professional work of the archaeological team ensured successful transformation of the forgotten bastion overgrown with shrubs and bushes into an amazing and magnificent complex, spreading out on some 26 decares and imbued with the spirit of the glorious Bulgarian past. The excavation works of one of the churches found a unique burial of a seated bishop with an ancient cross in hands.

Excavation works, however, were abandoned in 2006 to be later resumed through the support of UBB.

Wonderfully preserved, the fortifications stand proudly over the surrounding areas, offering a wide panorama to Didymoteicho and Edirne towns on a clear day. The area of 26 decares, concealed behind the citadel walls, housed an entire town that in hard times could shelter from invaders the inhabitants of the neighboring villages. The walls are over 600 m in length, very well preserved, at certain points their height reaches up to 10 meters. There is only one entrance to the fortress, flanked by two rectangular towers. The stronghold is built of marble. Therefore, this wonderful historical site became popular as boyar Lyutitsa’s Marble City.

In the spring of 2012, UBB received the first Ring of Lyutitsa as a token of gratitude for its support in not only reviving the medieval citadel, but also in preserving and relaying its inhabitants’ reminiscences to future generations.

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