Vidin: a strong fort on the Danube’s bank
Located on the Danube River’s bank, at our borders with Romania and Serbia, Vidin is the first large port of the European river on Bulgarian territory, which is also a road and railroad hub. Construction of a bridge between it and the Romanian town of Kalafat is under way. Air transportation is still not “a turned page”. The re-opening of the town’s airport is very likely. The city is the administrative centre of the Vidin Municipality and Province.
Vidin is one of the most interesting and ancient Bulgarian towns. It has preserved bits of ancient Thrace, antique Rome, medieval Bulgaria, the Ottoman rule, and the post-liberation period to acquire the appearance of today’s beautiful and modern Vidin.
History affirms that Vidin began its existence more than 2,000 years ago. Attracted by the fertile soil near the Danube, the Moesi and Triballi Thracian tribes established the first settlement on the territory of the present-day town.
Since Antiquity, the town was known by different names: Bononia in the Antiquity, meaning a strong fort, Budin and Bdin in the Middle Ages. The Vidin name is found in Greek sources from the 14th century on.
The most famous tourist site – the Baba Vida castle – is Bulgaria’s only medieval defensive installation preserved in its original shape. It’s erected on the Danube River’s bank in the north-east of the town. It extends over a 9,500 sq. m area and is surrounded by a defensive ditch. Baba Vida is a cultural monument of national importance listed among Bulgaria’s 100 National Tourist Sites.
Another cultural monument in Vidin, equally of national importance, is the Kaleto fortification. It was built in the 1690 – 1720 period. Subsequently, no adversary has been able to overtake the town in warfare.
Still other Vidin landmarks of national and local importance are:
The St. Martyr Dimitriy church – the second-largest memorial temple in Bulgaria, after St. Alexander Nevsky;
The Krastàta Kazarma (the Cruciform Casern) and the Mosque built by Osman Pazvantoglu in 1801, as well as the Pazvantoglu Library;
The Synagogue, built in 1894 and also the second-largest in Bulgaria, after the one in Sofia;
The Konak Museum – built in the second half of the 18th century. Initially used by the Turks as a police station, after the Liberation, it housed the Municipality.
The Municipal Theatre, the Arts Gallery, the Mausoleum of Exarch Antim I, remarkable churches and other edifices count also among the dozens of cultural and architectural monuments – proofs of Vidin’s importance in all the periods of Bulgarian history!
In 2011, the Vidin Municipality will carry out a tourism development project unique in Bulgaria – “The Kaleto Vidin Fortification System”. Its main objective is to restore and develop the Kaleto cultural and historical landmark, which encompasses the preserved fortress walls of the Ottoman castle (kale), the adjacent ditch, and the Enichar (Janissary) and Florentin gates (kapi). Tourist attractions will also be created, which will increase the interest for Vidin. All this will successfully integrate itself into Vidin’s modern appearance and will become an attractive site for the town’s citizens and visitors. The investment amounts to BGN 5,000,000.
Municipality of Vidin
2, Bdintsi Square
ph.: 094/ 609 462
fax: 094/ 601 132
Web site: www.vidin.bg