The fortress “Shishmanovo Kale”



“Shishmanovo Kale” is situated near the road to Samokov, on the way to Madzhare village, Govedartsi and Malyovitsa. From the main road you can get to the stronghold via a good dirt road. The detour is indicated with a large road sign. There’s no problem reaching it by car up to the gazebo where the complex begins.


So far, remnants of the walls of the early Christian basilica (right by standing with your back to the asphalt road) and the remains of a monastery complex (left) were discovered in the fortress and are open to visitors. According to the archeologists there was a wall and the monastery was adjoined behind it. The basilica was outside the walls. The construction is from the days of the Roman Empire. The monastery complex was burned down during the VII century A.D. Over the monastery complex there is a path that leads further up the hill. More excavations have started alongside the path, which has at its highest point- remains of a castle wall. There is a cross atop the hill- a symbol of the Bulgarian faith. The monument has been declared to be an archeological site of national importance. The place is revered by the population as the final battleground with the Ottomans and resting place of Tsar Ivan Shishman. Perhaps it was not the Tsar who died here in 1388 in a fight with the Ottomans, but rather his brother Ivan Asen Vth Shishman. Shishmanovo Kale is the first archeological site mentioned in the Bulgarian journalism by Konstantin Fotinov. There was once a trail from the “Tsar Ivan Shishman” peak to the fortress, but now it is gone.