Vidin, the north-eastern part of the city on the banks of the Danube


Opening hours:

09:00-17:30 /April-October/

10:00-17:00 /November-March/

Bononia came to life in the late 1st-ear­ly 2nd century as a castle and road sta­tion of the Roman province of Moesia. It is located on the high right bank of the Danube. It is most likely that a military auxiliary troop building the Danube road was deployed in this place. In the 2nd–3rd century, the city flourished and the port served the Danube and merchant navy.
Towards the late 3rd-early 4th century the ancient city had a solid fortification sys­tem, which placed it among the big urban centres of the Empire. The city had the shape of a rectangle extending north-south with an area of about 20 ha. The length of the northern wall was about 365 m and of the west - about 600 m. Archae­ologists have uncovered 9 round towers with a diameter of 19 m and wall thick­ness of 3.7 m. Ancient Bononia was cap­tured and destroyed by the Avars in the 6th century.
A medieval Bulgarian fortress was built on top of the existing foundations of the larg­est Roman fortress on the Lower Danube. The first construction works date back to the end of the First Bulgarian Kingdom (681-1018). The Vidin fortress was the most important fortification structure in Northwest Bulgaria during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). Bulgarian tsar Ivan Sratsimir (1356-1396) carried out its biggest expansion when a signifi­cant number of internal walls and towers were built.
The fortress played an important role during the Ottoman domination (14th–19th century). It is no surprise that the Turks used to call it “The Virgin Fortress” be­cause it had never been captured by force. At the end of the 18th century, it was no longer used for defensive pur­poses but functioned mainly as a weapons warehouse and a prison.
Today it is the only fully preserved for­tress in Bulgaria, better known as the Baba Vida Castle.
The courtyard is over 0.5 ha. It consists of two main walls arranged in 2 concentric quadrangles and 4 towers. The outer walls are surrounded by a moat full of water over which there was a drawbridge (now made of stone) at the main gates to the fortress. Inside, the authentic atmosphere has been preserved. The fortress is on the list of Bulgaria’s 100 National Tourist Sites.


The distance between two neighbouring towers long the southern wall exceeds the 60-metre standard, which is two times greater than the maximum striking force of a flying arrow. The wall was made

of cut stone, bonded with white mortar, with brick belts composed of three rows of bricks.