Baba Vida Fortress

The Baba Vida fortress is the main landmark of Vidin. It is the only medieval fortress fully conserved in Bulgaria. It is located on the great bend of the Danube River in the city. The fortress served as the main defensive installation of Vidin during the Middle Ages and acted as the most important fortress in northwest Bulgaria. 

Baba Vida endured a Byzantine siege that lasted eight months carried out by the forces of Basilio II, but it was destroyed and erected again during the mandate of Iván Sracimir, which used it like its capital. In 1388, the Ottomans invaded the lands of Sracimir and forced him to become his vassal. In 1396, he joined the anti-Ottoman crusade led by the King of Hungary, Sigismund, making his resources available to the Crusaders. 

The crusade ended in the disastrous Battle of Nicopolis in Nicopolis, Bulgaria, with the Ottomans capturing most of Sracimir’s domain shortly after, in 1397. The fort played a significant role during the Ottoman Government of Bulgaria, serving as an armory and prison . It was not used again for defensive purposes since the end of the 18th century.

Where does the name of the fortress come from? According to legend, Vida was the eldest daughter of a Bulgarian boyar with vast possessions. Taught by the failed marriage of her sisters, Kula and Gamza, she rejected all marriage proposals, built an inaccessible castle and spent her entire life there, a medieval version of the concept of the Iron Maiden. In the fortress “Baba Vida” is the summer theater of Vidin. 

It hosts the traditional summer theatrical days, with artists from all over Bulgaria. The number of seats is 350. In this section, the wall of the fortress on the Danube river is double and the land between the river and the river is used for a city beach. The ferry Vidin – Calafat is also visible.

Schedule

Monday to Friday: 8:30 AM – 4 PM

Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM – 4:30 PM

Price

Adult: 4 lev Student: 2 lev

Guide: 20 lev