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OVECH

wednesdaycastles-ovechLOCATION → It is located in east Bulgaria, just next to the town of Provadiya…
GET THERE → There are three ways to reach there and east is the one I approached from…

STRUCTURE → It consists of a stronghold, a foremost fortification and a town, naturally fortified…
WALK AROUND → Read more of its elements in my blog guidance with detailed notes and pictures here…

NAME → The most popular of its names are Ovech and Provat and it is also known as the Stone fortress…

RULERS → It has been granted to Peter IV of Bulgaria by his brother to retire there and rule over it…
HOLDERS → Its possession is mainly related to Bulgaria, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire…
PERIODS → Available evidences point mainly to Early Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods…

BIBLIOGRAPHY → Read more of it in my selection here…

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  • This page is still improving – new information is on to be added.

LOCATION OF THE CASTLE

(administrative map of the region)

The castle is located in east Bulgaria, Varna Province, Provadiya municipality, just next to the eastern side of the town of Provadiya.

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HOW TO GET THERE

There are three ways to reach the castle.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE STRUCTURE

(plan map of the castle)

  • Стратегически преимущества на крепостта- охранява един от най-важните и най-удобни за преминаване проходи на Стара планина.

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NAME OF THE CASTLE

  • Bourfanto by Muhammad Al-Idrisi (1154)(1100–1165/6);
  • Provat (the greek sounding) in the 15c. and 16c. geographical maps;

гр. Провадия, България: ранновизантийска кр. Проват/Проватон (при Маргос и Сн. Горянова), Бурфанто (при Идриси), средновековна кр. Овеч (на гръцки Проват), османски/турски Ташхисар;

often misled due to similar sounding with

с. П(а)равади (Провадия при Златарски), на р. Паравади дере, Одринско, ЮИ Тракия (СИ от Одрин и на И от Маточина), Турция: византийски Проватон (при Златарски), средновековна кр. Проват.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

ASSOCIATED RULERS

Omurtag of Bulgaria (814–831)
Boris I of Bulgaria (852–889)
Simeon I of Bulgaria (893–927)
Peter IV of Bulgaria (1185-1197)
Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria (1189-1196)




POSSESSION OF THE CASTLE




PERIODS OF EXISTENCE

Byzantines, Middle Ages, Ottomans

обитавана и използвана през средновековието (т.е ВБД, като за ПБД е спорно), ранновизантийския и османския периоди.

FIRST BULGARIAN KINGDOM
There are two main counter-statements between the scholars that the evidence is not enough to prove the existence of the fortress in this period and via versa that there is not convincing evidence enough to disapprove it.

  • [1]There is a legend recorded by the italian poet Luccari (end of 16c.) that the town has been found by Simeon I of Bulgaria which is doubted by the historian.
  • [2]There are two of the epitaphs from the time of Omurtag of Bulgaria that are found in Provadiya over which the historian assumes that the fortress has been active during the First Bulgarian Kingdom and an important fortifying, military and administrative unit of the state (beginning of 9c.).
  • The fortress has been elected an episcopal and respectively an administrative centre of state in the time of Boris I of Bulgaria (after 870).

BYZANTINE RULE

  • The fortress is not mentioned during the Byzantine rule over Bulgaria except by Muhammad Al-Idrisi (in his Geography).

SECOND BULGARIAN KINGDOM

  • The fortress has been important/significant during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
  • The fortress and the surrounding lands have been given to Peter IV of Bulgaria to retire there and rule over them by his brother Ivan Asen I of Bulgaria out of his newly liberated domains. (Georgi Acropolit)
  • The later 15c. and 16c. geographical maps evidence for the fortress as a mighty stronghold of great significance.

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[2]The historian assumes that the fortress has been active during the period of the First Bulgarian Kingdom: following his subjective vision that it is hardly possible to be otherwise (taking in account the strategical importance of the fortress); disapproving the counter-arguments based on the lack or minority of archaeological evidence from the period; pointing the two epitaphs as his main proof that the fortress has already been an important fortifying, military and administrative unit of the state in the time of Omurtag of Bulgaria (beginning of 9c.). To come to this conclusion he first assumes the epitaphs originate from Provadiya (the fortress): on his subjective point for the lack of counter-arguments and on the contrary to the official conclusion (made by their publisher) that their origin is unknown; argueing/disagreeing on his subjective basis the fact most of the epitaphs come from the region of Pliska (not Pliska itself) is due to their later conveyance there and even more for the sake of building. He next assumes the epitaphs have commemorated the two commanders’ symbolic graves (taking in account their character) and states on his subjective basis they have been rulers of the fortress who campaigned over the country (according to the rule); he also sites another historian’s vision that the origin of the epitaphs from Provadya is explained with the fact the commanders’ birthplaces have been there.
[1]Following his hypothesis the historian doubts the legend.




  • The information on this page is gathered, observed and systematized by the author with the kind collaboration of Simeon Nikolov and Metodi Zlatkov. For the used material and more sources of the castle see in the author’s Bibliography selection.

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