Strumica Fortress – Carevi Kuli (Czar’s Towers) – XI century fortress above the city of Strumica

The oldest traces of life in Strumica city date from about 3500 BC, and it can be assumed that the hill above the city with its position enabled a good defense of the settlements. The thick walls of the fortress are witnesses of the turbulent times in the middle ages in this region. In the XI century, after the battle of Belasitsa, the Byzantine Emperor Basil II ordered his dukes “to cross the hills around Strumica and burn the walls in order to clear all obstacles on the road leading to Thessaloniki.”

After the conquest, the Byzantines reorganized defenses with new walls and towers until the 14-th century dominated the region and the city.

In the 14-th century, the Byzantine writer and scientist Nikifor Gregor, on the road to Serbia, stayed for several days in Strumica, where he found protection in the city, “rising so as to say above the clouds.”
The further life of this fortress is certainly connected with the rulers of this area and ceased at the time when the Turks left the fortified cities, with the change of weapons and military tactics.
The fortress is located on the south-west side of Strumica, on a leveled plateau on the top of the hill, which steeply rises above the city and from where it has good visibility and control over the entire Strumica valley. At an altitude of 445 meters, the steep sides allowed the plateau to be easily defended even if it was not fortified.

Today, the remains of the lower wall of the suburbs are visible, and in the highest part of the isophyces is preserved the acropolis.

On the west side there is a gate with two towers, and in front of the entrance there was a dug deep pit above which the bridge for entering the fortress was lowered. The dominant place of the acropolis was the polygonal tower, which represented a command center for the defense of the fortress.
At fifty meters north of the tower, a quadruple room – a cistern is housed in the ground. For this room it is assumed that it was a water tank or a food storage for grain, wine, etc., necessary especially during siege of the fortress.

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Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers) - Strumica Fortress

 

Panorama - Strumica city - View from Carevi Kuli (Czar's Towers)
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