Baba Vida Fortress and Museum

Known also as Babini Vidini Kulu, legend has it that this massive fortification and number one tourist attraction goes back to Vida, the eldest daughter of a Bulgarian boyar and landowner. ...

City: Vidin

Country: Bulgaria

Known also as Babini Vidini Kulu, legend has it that this massive fortification and number one tourist attraction goes back to Vida, the eldest daughter of a Bulgarian boyar and landowner. Disappointed by the marriages of her sisters, Kula and Gamza, Vida decided not to marry. Instead, she dedicated her life to staying with her people, fortifying the castle and protecting the port and town. This is why wonderful Baba (Granny) Vida still has a glorious reputation in the town. Remains of  the church (13th-14th century) have been found. The last Bulgarian medieval king Ivan Stratsimir also lived in the castle. After the disastrous battle of Nicopolis (Bulgaria) in 1397, the reign of Stratsimir and the Hungarian King and German Emperor Sigismund came to an end. Ottomans took over the area.

 

While the legend goes back to feudal Bulgarian times, the castle actually dates back to ancient Roman times (1st century AD) and was named Bononia. It was part of the fortification system along the Danube Limes and Via Istrum (Danube Way), the Roman military way along the river. Building of the Bulgarian medieval defence construction started in the second half of the 10th century with the walls and bastions of the ancient Roman Bononia fortress and were extended in main building phases in the 12th to 14th centuries. A moat (12m wide, 6m deep), filled with Danube water protected the giant ensemble (9.5 ha; a 70m x 70m square shaped ground). The Turkish military brought in cannons and fortified the castle again in the 17th to 19th centuries. Archaeological research took place during 1956 – 1962. Today, even the Hollywood film industry has discovered the castle and uses it for producing international blockbusters. In summer time, Baba Vida is also used for open air performances (live music, ballet, folklore dances). The open-air theatre (350 seats) in Baba Vida castle is also used during the traditional Vidin Theatre Days. Do not miss the chance to admire the rose garden with female statue in front of the castle. Baba Vida Museum Shop offers post cards, folders, brochures and souvenirs.

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