ASEN’S FORTRESS Asen's Fortress, identified by some researchers as Petrich, is a medieval fortress in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains, 2-3 km south of the town ofAsenovgrad, built on a high rocky ridge on the left bank of the Asenitsa River. Asen's Fortress is situated at an elevation of 279 m. The earliest archaeological findings date from the time of the Thracians the area of the fortress being also inhabited during the Anciaent Roman and Early Byzantine period. The fortress gained importance in theMiddle Ages, first mentioned in the statute of the Bachkovo monastery as Petrich in the 11th century. The fortress was conquered by the armies of the Third Crusade.
BELINTASH Belintash is a small plateau in the Rhodopes Mountains bearing traces of human activity. It is assumed that this is a cult site of the ancient Thracian, though the very essence and purpose are not yet fully understood. There are also suggestions that the sanctuary was dedicated to the god Sabazios (Ancient Greek: Σαβάζιος) built and operated by the independent Thracian tribe Bessi) The upper platform of the plateau is marked with carved round holes, trails, niches and steps that some researches interpret as stellar map.
THE FOREST OF THE HOLY CROSS The Forest of the Holy Cross is considered by the Bulgarians as national "Rhodope Jerusalem". The first monastery built in that area (The St.Trinity Monastery) was constructed in as early as 1002. The monastery keeps a relic from the very Cross that Jesus was crucified on, brought here from Jerusalem by the St.St.Constantine and Helena. During the Ottoman enforcement to convert the Christians to Mohammedanism (Muslim religion), the monastery was robbed and put on fire. All the monks were killed, but the legend says that they managed to hide the Holy Icon, in which the piece of the Holy Cross had been built in. People come on a pilgrimage-like travels here, and they sleep under the stars in the true hope to heal themselves or their closest ones, and to get closer of the spiritual radiance of that sacred place.
The Asenovgrad region is also a preferred touristic place, famous with its monasteries, churches, and chapels. A lot of tourist routes start from here. Come and discover!