Krivus Fortress

Bulgarian sights
Location:  Kardzhali Region, Bashevo

Krivus is a medieval fortress in Southern Bulgaria. It is situated near the village of Bashevo, Ardino municipality, Kardzhali Region. It is located 21 km north of Ardino, 29 km west of Kardzhali, 125 km south-east of Plovdiv and about 272 km in the same direction of the capital Sofia city.

It was built about X century on a picturesque cliff above Arda river which forms its famous meanders here, in order to protect the area around the river's course in the easternmost parts of the Rhodopes. An old legend says that the fort was used for Bulgarian girls and women to be kept. The fors is situated on a small hill surrounded by deep valleys which made it difficult to be conquered. Krivus obtained water through an underground tunnel that reached the river.

What has remained today from the fort's former might are the entrance, the thick fortifying wall that reaches up to 5 m in height and the defense towers. The inner fortress /citadel/, whose walls rise nearly 6 m high, is best preserved. The route of the fortifying wall is outlined from all sides and the walls reach 2-6 m in height. On the western side the walls follow the terrain's relief and form bizarre twists, forming a triangular tower facilitating the defense of one of the doors, and on the eastern side you can see the only remaining tower guarding the gate next to it. An old church existed once here. It was located in the center of the fort but today we can only see its ruins.

Krivus fortress is mentioned in the annals of the Byzantine historians. In the fort during archaeological studies were found pieces of jewelry, ornaments, Christian crosses, coins and weapons. Krivus is among the strongholds captured by Tsar Michael Asen /1246 - 1256/ during his quest to re-conquer the Eastern Rhodopes after the death of Emperor John Vatatsi in 1254 - 1255.

Krivus has often been confused with the neighboring fortress - Patmos, situated on the shore of Kardzhali Dam, but the difference between the two is now clarified. 


From Kardzhali you take for Ardino and after the village of Kobilyane /13 km south-east/ there is a turnout on the right. There is another turnout on the left after 3 km. The road ends in the village of Bashevo. To reach the fort you have to go south of the village's center. The path follows left and is slightly marked. The entrance of the fortress is on the east since, as we already mentioned, Arda River surrounds it from all the other sides /this is where its name came from/.


Visitors of the fortress can take advantage of the excellent accomodating conditions of a tourist complex located 16 km south of Bashevo. Mlechino Hut is situated only 6 km in the south-east. Its capacity is 50 places. The building is provided with electricity and water and has central heating. It also comprises a tourist kitchen and a canitine. The road to the hut is asphalted, there is a parking lot as well.

Photos: http://bulgariatravel.org

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