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Surrounding areas of Assenovgrad

2 km south of the town, above the road to Smolyan stands the historical Assenova Krepost (Fortress), which had existed even during the Thracian ages, but became strategically important in medieval ages after the battle at Klokotnitsa (1230). The feudal castle of the fortress with the tower and the two water reservoirs are thoroughly studied and conserved. The relatively well-preserved building - the church Holy Mother of God from Petrich was restored in 1934 and 1985, and the restoration of the wall paintings was completed in 1991.  The same year the church was awarded a statute of functioning temple. There is a guide, whose working hours are from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

11 км south of Assenovgrad, along the road to Smolyan, is located the second large and significant Bulgarian monastery - Bachkovo Monastery St. Assumption of the Holy Virgin (refer to the Rhodope Mountains related chapter herein). This extremely interesting cultural and historical centre amazes with its architecture, wall paintings, icons and precious church plate. The guides are available from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. all the week round.  3 km from the town of Assenovgrad is the St. Kirik and Yulita Monastery (Gornovodenski Monastery). Built up in the Middle Ages its impresses with its architecture, the valuable wall paintings and icons, which made it remarkable cultural monument.  8 km east of the town, along the road to Parvomai, close to the village of Zlatovruh, is situated St. Nedelya Arapovski Monastery  - one of the few monasteries, located and built up in the open fields.  It was erected in 1856-1868 and as early as 1868 a Bulgarian school with the monastery opened its gates. The wall paintings in the church and the chapel, dating back to 1864, are very precious. In the yard of the monastery the well-known haidoutin Angel Voivoda had built a stone tower with beautiful bow-window rooms above it, which served as a watchtower and defence facility. There is a regular bus stop of all the buses to Parvomai.

One of the most interesting prehistoric sights in the neighbourhood of Assenovgrad is found in the village of Dolnoslav (13 km south-east, on the road to Kurdzhali) - the Lopkite area. There is the only cult centre, well studied and described, which had satisfied the religious and other spiritual needs of the prehistoric inhabitants of present South Bulgaria and North Greece. To visit this sight one may take the buses running in the direction of Kurdzhali. The Thracian rock sanctuaries are extremely interesting, the most mysterious of them is that of Belantash (in the Rhodope Massif of Dobrostan, close to Sini Vruh quarter). There was found a silver votive tablet of Hercules, presented as Dionisius. Four sanctuaries dedicated to the Thracian mounted warrior were found nearby Assenovgrad.

9 km away from the town, east of Bachkovo Monastery, is located the world famous Chervenata Stena Biosphere Reserve (The Red Wall) of a total area of 3029 hectares. More than 600 spices of plants grow there, large part of them being endemites and relicts, included in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Bulgaria.

45 км south of Assenovgrad, in the proximity of the town of Luki and above the village of Belitsa, in Gradishte Mountain (western part of the Rhodope Mountains), is located one of the most honoured Christian holy places - Кrustova Gora (Crest Forest). Close to Mt. Krustov Vruh (1413 м) there was a Christian monastery, which was burned by the Turks and the monks were killed as well. The place is considered a holly place - if someone overnights there, there is a chance for him to be cured, if ill. Of course, this is valid for truly religious persons. Now there is a church and always  lots of  people crowd there, especially on September 14th - the day of the Holly Crest. There is a regular bus transport to the village of Borovo. From there one may set out by car or on foot (1-1.30 hours). Assenovgrad is a key starting point for tourist hikes across the Dobrostan Massif of  Western Rhodope Mountains (refer to the Rhodope Mountains related chapter herein).

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