Second Bulgarian Kingdom

BDIN FORTRESS (VIDIN)

The name Vidin appeared in the Middle Ages and is associated with the folk legend of the founding of the city. It reads as follows:

"The country between the Danube and the Morava was once owned by a brother and sister. The brother's name was Nisha and the sister's name was Vida. They divided the country so that Vida received the Danube region, and Nisha the outskirts of Nishava and Morava. Vida then built the city of Vidin on the right bank of the Danube, and her brother and the city of Nis on the Nis River.”

Bdin, located at the crossroads, has had a strong fortress since Roman times. Subsequently, when Khan Asparukh’s Bulgars arrived, it was further strengthened and rebuilt and became one of the important strongholds of the state. As it was surrounded by the Bulgarian-ruled Belgrade and Branichevo behind the Danube Bulgarian lands at the time, it was an internal administrative and fortified center that was not constantly subjected to external raids and attacks. During the struggle between Tsar Samuel and Emperor Basil II, the fortress of Vidin put up a heroic resistance and fell only after an 8-month siege. After the conquest, the Byzantine emperor rebuilt its fortifications. During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the fortress repelled the frequent attacks of the Magyars. The remains of the medieval fortress have been well preserved to this day and are known as Vidini towers or Baba Vida fortress.

In the Middle Ages, the Vidin region, ruled from the mighty fortified town of Bdin (Vidin), was an independent administrative unit. It was the center of the Bdina diocese and an important trade center. It served both as a port where goods important for domestic trade were brought from abroad, and also as a key transit point for trade with Wallachia and Hungary.

After the conquest of Vidin by Emperor Basil II, Bdin became a Byzantine province. The bishopric of Vidin was initially subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and later was placed under the authority of the Archbishop of Ohrid.

During the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, Bdin became a border fortress, monitoring the northern Hungarian region to the north. After the transfer of Belgrade and Branichevo into the hands of the Hungarians, the importance of Bdin as a fortress center, which must protect the border from enemy attacks, increased greatly. Bdin was rebuilt into a feudal castle and grew, continuing to fulfill its original purpose - protecting Bulgarian lands from invaders. Subsequently, the city and its surroundings became part of the so-called "Vidin principality", which imposed its own autonomous self-government, independent of the central government in Tarnovgrad. Subsequently, the son of Ivan Alexander, Ivan Sratsimir founded the Vidin Kingdom, which lasted a short time, as it fell under the blows of the Ottoman Turks.

The proud medieval town of Bdin and the remains of the majestic fortress continue to amaze and inspire travelers to this day.

In the art gallery of the Historical Park, all guests and visitors can enjoy the majesty of Bdin. It was recreated on a canvas by one of the most famous Bulgarian artists "Vasil Goranov". Mentioned in the diaries of the Arab historian and traveler Ibn Idrisi, Bdin is a clear testimony that the Bulgarian people have always been the creator of great cities, a symbol of culture and its greatness.

11/24/2020