Medieval fortress near the village of Mezek (Neutzikon)

... from Katerina in Get to know Bulgaria! Visits 64 16 August, 2022

Near the village of Mezek, municipality of Svilengrad, there is a very well-preserved medieval Byzantine fortress, but very little is known about it. According to some researchers, her name is "Neutzikon".

Its ruins have the status of an archaeological cultural monument of national importance. The place is extremely well maintained and pleasant to visit. There are benches under the trees where you can admire beautiful views of the village of Mezek, the Upper Thracian Plain and Sakar Mountain. You will see life-size figures of soldiers in combat gear and ordinary people of the time. For children, there is the possibility of archery and other entertainment. In the information centre next to the fortress, you can get more information and buy a combined ticket to visit the fortress and the Thracian dome tomb of Mezek.

The Neutzikon fortress was established around the 11th century as a border guard fortress and its main function was to guard the territories between the rivers Arda and Maritsa. It has 9 towers with a height of up to 10 meters. It functioned as a Byzantine fortress until the end of the 14th century when the Ottoman Empire was formed and the area fell under Turkish slavery. It was very well preserved until the beginning of the 20th century. Part of it was destroyed around 1900 when stones were taken for the Turkish barracks in Svilengrad.

One of the attractions there is a bunker left over from World War II. It is placed in a prominent place, and in fact, its purpose was to deceive the enemy with this. The actual bunker is located near it and is masked with stones from the fort and actually looks like another tower. For a long time, it was considered by archaeologists to be the 10th tower of the fortress.

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