Mezdra

Archaeological Complex "Kaleto"

In the southwest part of Mezdra on a high rocky hill, which is towering above the left bank of the Iskar river, is preserved 70 centuries old history, which is told today at the Archaeological Complex "Kaleto".

The hill is naturally defended and it is situated on place which is a point of intersection of main roads used since ancient times. At this crossroad of civilizations, remains were collected from the entire history of mankind – from the Copper-stone age to the Middle Ages.

The hill above the Iskar river has kept the traces of two consecutively existed fortified settlements since the end of the Cooper- stone Age and the Eneolithic Age to the Bronze age. These settlements were destroyed by conflagrations. This time period spans the end of the 5th century and the first half of the 4th century BC. The numerous artifacts from the excavations of "Kaleto" show that at the end of the Copper- stone age the settlement was flourishing as a craft center.

"The sanctuary of the auroch" is one of the most significant finds since the end of the Copper-stone age. It was discovered in 2008 and has no analogue in Bulgaria. The auroch was a pagan divinity, which supports the world by his horns according to ancients. 2 500 years later at the same place where were "The sanctuary of the auroch"  it was built an early Thracian sacred structure. Ancient Thracians of the "tribals" tribe lived in the area until the Ist century, when the settlement together with whole Misia was captured by the Roman Empire.

The story of "Kaleto" continues in Antiquity. There was a Roman fort in the middle of the 2nd century, a pagan cult center during the 3rd century, a fortified settlement during the 4th and 5th centuries, which was developing in the late Roman and early Byzantine period. Even now you can see the basics of the pagan sanctuary, which grew into a pagan cultural center. They are located just above the prehistoric "The sanctuary of the auroch". There are so many bronze coins found from the time of the Roman emperors Dometian, Claudius II Gothicus and Probus; bronze fibulae (brooches); decorations for belts; a torques and a silver leaf from a laurel wreath. It was found a rare find under the fortress walls - a bronze cast of an eagle. This is one of the earliest images of this bird. It was a symbol of the Roman Empire, which express a power and  strength. Another valuable find is a bronze key, which is found among the remains of the most imposing building at Kaleto.  Because of the strategic  location of the Romanian fortress, which is the best preserved fortress from this period in Bulgaria, the archaeologists assume that it is found the symbolic Key of the Nortwest.

The Church  St. Nicholas (XIV-XV century)

In the village of Tsarevets nine kilometers from the town of Mezdra is located one of the oldest churches on the Balkan Peninsula - "St.Nikola".  The legends tell that centuries ago, when the Turks have destroyed the Orthodox temples, they spared this church. But to show their neglecting to the Christian saints and religion, they have pulled out  the eyes of the saints painted on the walls of the temple. Later, God-loving villagers fill them with wax, which even now stands somewhere on the icons. The Church  St. Nicholas (XIV-XV century) was declared a monument of culture of national importance. It is located in the centre of Tsarevets village. There are kept old tombstones from the National Revival. The temple is unique in that it retains the only masonry iconostasis in the Balkans. The murals are masterfully made and date back to the 17th century. Among the painted saints are Virgin Mery, archangel Mihail and others.

"Ritlite"

12 km from the town of Mezdra, on the left bank of the river Iskar, is situated one of the most interesting rock formations of the Iskar Gorge - "Ritlite". They are parallel rock walls. The length of the rocks ranges from 200 to 400 meters. They reaches a height of 80 meters above the river Iskar. These rock formations date back 120 million years.

Cherepishki monastery "Assumption"

On the territory of Mezdra municipality is located and one of the most famous monasteries in Bulgaria - Cherepishki monastery "Assumption". It is located near the village of Lutybrod, 10 km from the town of Mezdra. The monastery was founded during the Second Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Tsar Ivan Shishman (1371-1393 AD), but was destroyed during the invasion of the Turks. According to legend, the monastery got its name from the white bones of fallen warriors left after the battle of Tzar Shishman against the Ottoman invaders. In Church History and Archeology Museum in Sofia store statute (Typikon) of monastery composed around 1396, which mentions that it was destroyed during the battle.