Like a diamond in a rock ring

Less than 3 km south in a straight line from the city center on a high rocky hill with steep slopes to the east, west and south is the fortress Peristitsa. It was founded by the Thracians and all the rocks bear marks of their cult activity. The fortress rises to an altitude of 668 meters and has GPS coordinates: 42 ° 01’56 ”N. and 24 ° 32’23 ”. By car you can reach the road, which continues uphill over the city to the villages of Skobelevo and Churen, to the parking lot near the turnoff for the dirt road to the ruins of the monastery "St. St. Todor Tyron and Todor Stratilat.

Thracian and medieval fortress Peristitsa is located 2.64 km south in a straight line from the center of Perushtitsa. It is built on a high, inaccessible, rocky hill, with steep slopes to the east, west and south. The top of the hill and its fortress are most accessible on the steep slopes from the northwest. To the west of the hill flows the stream Kokaritsa or Pustosha, and to the east - the river Manastirski dol. The slope from the north is steep and 30 to 120 m high. The fortification is skillfully inscribed among the steep rock formations. It has an irregular shape, and the fortress wall follows the configuration of the terrain. The main part of the fortification is located on the flat ridge of the hill and has a maximum size of 94x52 m. The rest of the fortress is nestled between inaccessible rocks, where there are separate fortress walls blocking the few places through which you can reach the top. The fortress was founded by the Thracians, and all the rocks bear marks of cult activity. There are many carvings and rock sharps.

The medieval fortress was built on the walls of the Thracian, and its main front is directed to the accessible northwestern and northern countries. The fortress wall is built of local, processed stone, arranged on faces and welded with strong white mortar, as the fortress wall is about 2 m thick. with anthracite system. Remains of two towers can be seen in the northwest corner and on the west wall. In all probability, there is at least one more tower on the north wall, but the terrain is densely overgrown with lilacs and cannot be established with certainty.

The entrance to the fortress was on the north wall near the northwest corner tower, which guarded it. Fortification can also be seen from the southeast, but due to the rocky terrain it is significantly weaker. There is a small stone wall between two rocks. Southwest of it is a rock that is quite steep, but can still be overcome. For protection, holes were carved into this rock, in which wooden columns were driven holding a wooden palisade, which was quite sufficient to make the rock inaccessible. The openings in the rock from this fence are clearly visible on it.

To the southwest, two rock gorges are surrounded by two small fortress walls. Construction is visible only in the northern main part of the fortress. The southern and southwestern parts of the fortification are unsuitable for construction and were mainly of a protective nature. The area of ​​the fortification is about 5 decares. The terrain is strewn with fragments of household ceramics. The fortress is difficult to access and difficult to conquer. At its eastern end rises a high, sharp rock, obtained by weathering, which is why the hill is often called the "Sharp Stone". The Peristitsa Fortress was an important part of the Northern Rhodope Defensive Ring, part of which were the Krichim Fortress and the Ustina Fortress. It played its main role during the periods when the clashes between the Eastern Roman Empire and Bulgaria were most fierce.


author: Kristina Vasileva