Home » Bulgaria » 100 National Tourist Sites » Fortress “Baba Vida”

Fortress “Baba Vida”

100 National Tourist Sites

According to a legend, there once lived a Bulgarian boyar who had extensive possessions from the Carpathians to Stara Planina – After he died, his three daughters – Vida, Kula and Gamza – succeeded him. The two younger sisters, Kula and Gamza, fell upon bad men who squandered their father’s inheritance. Vida remained alone all her life. She built a castle in which she lived to a ripe old age, successfully defending her subjects and lands from enemy attacks. As a sign of gratitude, after her death, the people of this area called the castle “Baba Vida” or “Babini Vidini Kuli”.

“Baba Vida” is the only completely preserved medieval fortress in Bulgaria, which played the role of both a defense facility and a royal castle. It was built at the end of the 10th century on the remains of the ancient fortress of Bononia, but was completed in the 14th century under Tsar Ivan Sratsimir. The fortress has an irregular quadrangular shape, with each side about 70 meters long. It consists of two walls: an inner /higher/ with nine towers – 4 corner and 5 side, and an outer /lower /with two towers. it occupies an area of 9.5 acres and is surrounded by a moat 12 meters wide and 6 meters deep, accessible only from the north, where the entrance tower is.

After its capture by the Turks and with the appearance of heavy firearms /artillery cannons/, the structure of the castle-fortress was changed, trestles were built to take them up, as well as embrasures. The roofs of the newly built premises in the inner courtyard, which were used as armories and guard rooms, served as a shooting range.

A visit to the terrifying dungeon, in which the shackles, the torture devices and the markers with the help of which the prisoners used to count the days are on display, reminds one of the most famous governor of the Vidin region during the period when the Bulgarian lands were under Turkish rule – Osman Pazvantoglu. Born around 1758, he came from a rich Vidin janissary family. He was evicted several times together with his father, Yomer Pazvantoglu.

He managed to tear off large territories from the central power in Constantinople and dispose of them as an independent ruler. At the end of the 18th century, Sultan Selim III undertook campaigns against Vidin and his troops besieged the city twice without success.

Which gave Captain Shad, during his trip to the Levant, the opportunity to write that “from the height of this fortress, Osman Pazvantoglu defended himself for such a long time with a few artillery Poles of all the forces of the Ottoman Empire”. The disobedient Pazvantoglu died in Vidin in 1807. The last battles were fought here during the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885. In 1959, the fortress passed from the Ministry of Defense to the Ministry of Culture and became a tourist site. There is a summer theater on the territory of the fortress, and the it is often used as a set for filming movies.

abot time:
Summer opening hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday/Sunday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Winter opening hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Entrance tickets:
Regular ticket: BGN 7.
For students and pensioners: BGN 3.
Talk: BGN 20.00.
Family ticket (parents with children from 7 to 18 years old): BGN 14.
Individual combined two-day ticket for three museum sites: BGN 12.

Fortress “Baba Vida”
Tel: +359 94 601 705

Did we get something wrong? Contact us!