Page update: 01 January 2000

ASENOVGRAD

AsenovgradASENOVGRAD is a town on Chepelarska River, 19 km south-east of Plovdiv. Population of 53000. Terminal station on the Kroumovo-Asenovgrad detour along the railway line Sofia-Svilengrad.

The probable time of appearance is the 11th C. under the name of Stanimaka. Later named Asenovgrad in honour of Tsar Ivan Asen II. Preserved to the present day: the medieval Church of St. John the Divine (13th-14th centuries, one-nave, with a decorative facade), the Churche of the Holy Virgin and St. George Church (1848, three-dome, with rich outer design), in which one can also find traces of medieval architecture.

Asen fortress. The ruins of this fortress (built in the 11th-12th centuries) are to be found 2,5 km south of Asenovgrad. It is a seat of the Bulgarian boyar Ivanko and a refuge (1205-1206) of a group of Latin knights led by Renie de Tri, ruler of Plovdiv duchy. Reconstructed and enlarged by Tsar Ivan Asen II. The two-storey one-nave Church of the Holy Virgin of Petrich is best preserved. The rectangular tower to the west is used as a belfry. Very few of the mural paintings have been preserved.

Arapovo Monastery St. Nedelya, built in 1856, is to be found 12 km east of Asenovgrad. One can see a living tower, one of the few preserved in the Bulgarian lands. Mural paintings in the monastery church (Bulgarian saints and martyrs).

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