Medieval fortress, Ustra village
Medieval fortress, Ustra village The fortress is located on a 1015m high elongated peak called Ustra. It is around 5km northeast of Ustren village and 3km southeast of Lebed village. The area of the fortress is 1.2decares and its wall is double-bend with length of 113m. At ground level the wall is 2.8m wide, 1.75m in the upper parts and at certain places is preserved up to 8m. The fortress had 3 defensive towers – one semicircular and two rectangular with three floors each. The first floors were underground and were used for water storage. They were grouted with mortar coating – a mixture of mortar combined with crashed bricks and coarse pieces of pottery. The towers had internal stairs that can be seen even now. The entrance was from the east and the door was ver-tically opened. Some steps cut in the rock are still preserved. Eight rooms in the southern and southeastern part of the fortress were established. The biggest is with sizes îf 11m/6m and the smallest with 0.5m/1.7m. The rooms were also on three floors. The ground floor is 5.8m deep and was used either for warehouse or water storage. The upper two floors were inhabited. Archeological excavations took place in the fortress in 1973. Over 1000 metal objects were found – iron arrows, pieces of a helmet, bronze and silver crosses, 14 pottery utensils, cup-shaped copper coins. Written data for the fortress are given by Georgi Akropolit( in 13th century in his “Annals”). There are two ways to reach the fortress. One is to follow the indication sign on the turnoff before Ustren village. The other is to follow a path around 1km before Lebed village that passes nearby the boundary of the moufflons – breeding farm. Note: The route from Lebed village is easier for climbing but harder to find the for-tress. Local people know it well. The route from Ustren village has a clear sign on the road.
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