Rousse Regional Museum of History
"All that I experienced afterwards had already been in Roustchouk". Elias Canetti
MEDIEVAL TOWN OF CHERVEN

Contacts: phone: +359 82 825 002

Working time: 9.00 - 18.00 h.
No days off

The Medieval town of Cherven is one of the largest military, administrative, economic, religious and cultural center of the Second Bulgarian kingdom (12th-14th century). Cherven is the successor of an Early Byzantine fortress from the 6th century. During the 14th century, when it reach a peak in its development, its territory included an Inner town, located on the high rock plateau at a curve of the Rousse Lom river, and an Outer town, located at its foot. Cherven has a complex fortification system, constructed by stages, a thick built up and a branched network of streets. The three storey guard tower on the western wall of the Citadel is completely preserved. The town grew up to be a large trading and craft's center with developed iron production, iron working, goldsmith's trade, construction, artistic, everyday life and other crafts. It is a junction of the roads from the Danube towards the interior of the country. After 1235 it became the seat of the bishop of Cherven. A large number of rock-hewn monasteries emerged in its surroundings. In 1388 the town is conquered and destroyed by the Ottoman Turks. In the initial period of the Ottoman rule, the town preserved its administrative functions, but gradually decayed. In the 17th century the town had a period of economic revival. The family of Grandmother Tonka (Baba Tonka) is descended from there.

Cherven is an archaeological site with significant contribution to the research on the Medieval Bulgarian culture. The beginning of the archaeological investigation is laid in 1910/1911, and since 1961 excavations are conducted annually. What is discovered so far is a castle, fortification walls, two underground water supply passages, 13 churches, public administrative buildings, many dwellings and significant archaeological findings. Distinguished among them are several hoards, adornments, epigraphic monuments, pottery, objects from the everyday life, craft instruments, armament, etc. It is a National archaeological reserve since 1965.