Asen’s Fortress is the most popular and visited tourist attraction in the Asenovgrad area. It is located 3km away from the city, on the top of a cliff, on the left bank of the Asenitsa River.

The natural rock peak, on which the fortress was built is 12dka wide. With its steep, almost vertical hills, it is practically inaccessible by three of its sides. Its strategic position and the natural protection the area creates is the reason is was used as a defense point back in the Thracian times, when the Thracians built a stronghold here.

The first records about the fortress date back to the 1083, in the manuscripts of the Bachkovo Monsatery. In 1204 the Crusaders occupied it and in 1231, Tsar Asen II completes the largest expansion and reconstruction of the fortress, as proclaimed on a carved stone monument. This is the reason why the fortress was later named after him, and why the inhabitants of Stanimaka, the city beneath the fortress, renamed their city Asenovgrad in 1934.

With a long history of the fortress being conquered by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, crusaders, Bulgarians and Ottomans and all the archeological findings in the area, the fortress is a must-see and a preferable attraction to visit in the area of Asenovgrad.

Years of thorough research and excavations reveal the remains of a feudal castle, comprising a complex of residential buildings, a home chapel, two water reservoirs, tower and the castle’s supervisor home – all interconnected with stone stairs. Beneath the feudal castle was discovered what is now known as the church courtyard, with the well-preserved, two-story Blessed Virgin of Petrich Church. Written records reveal that after the death of Sultan Bayazid in 1402, there was a struggle for succession between his sons Syuleiman and Musa Kesedzhi. Musa further fortified the Petrich Fortress but he couldn’t hold it and put it at the mercy of his brother. After Musa’s capitulation, the fortress was razed to its foundations, so it could no longer appeal to opponents of the throne as a strategic location. For some unknown reason only the fortress church was spared, and it is now one of the most notable examples of Medieval Christian architecture.

Asen’s fortress is a well-preserved medieval fort, an authentic example of the medieval times’ fortifications and its visitors can feel themselves the very experience, soldiers in the past had, while serving here.

Asen’s Fortress is listed in the 100 Tourist Sites in Bulgaria with number 47.1.