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The fortress “Monyak”

Location: It is 5 km east from Kardzhali near village Shiroko Pole, 586 m.
Description: It was built in XII - XIII century. It is one of the highest-lying and the largest medieval fortresses in the Rhodope Mountain area over 50 dca. Access is difficult because the terrain is steep, almost vertical in places. It is made of stone with plaster.
Monyak had great strategic importance because it guarded Iron Gates Pass (now the railway station) and the lower parts of the medieval city, situated around the monastery of St. John the Baptist, located in present-day town of Kardzhali. Here a military garrison resided all the time. The castle is associated with the crusaders in 1016 inside the Rhodope Mountains, which is noted by chroniclers during those times.
Great views of the valley of the Arda river, dam lake Studen Kladenets and the town of Kardzhali, which opens from the top of the fortress, makes the difficult climb really worth.
Nearby is the cave “Karangil” which is inhabited by a colony of bats. At the foot of the fortress has a fountain. The site has an entrance fee. Is managed by the Museum - Kardzhali.
Status: Declared for a cultural monument.
Access: It at 2200 m from asphalt road.

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