About the fortress:
For more than two centuries Tarnovo is the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (the end of XII – XIV century.). It is the center, where were decided the most important political, religious, administrative and cultural issues in the life of the mediaeval state.
The territory of the city Tarnovo that has been inhabited since ancient times became a metropolitan center after the restoration of the Bulgarian state in 1186.The capital city extends over the fortified with powerful walls hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, Momina fortress slopes to the natural water barrier of Yantra river and its terraces.
The dominance of Tsarevets Hill and its natural inaccessibility have determined the choice here to be the center of supreme control of the state. A complex defense system is ensuring the safety of people living in the castle.
The main entrance to the interior is from the west. It is protected by four consecutive gates and towers over them. There was a drawbridge before the first gate. Close to the inner gate are the barrack-rooms.
A dominant place in the palace and fortress occupied the royal complex and the patriarchal complex.The palace of Bulgarian kings is protected on all sides by a massive fortress wall and towers. There are buildings with ornate facades inside. Surrounded by fortified walls and towers the patriarchal complex occupies an area of 2413 square meters. There were the library, the scriptorium, the dwellings and offices of the patriarch and the monks’ cells. The Patriarchal Church “Ascension of Christ” with a bell tower is located in the middle of the courtyard.