The second archaeological expedition to excavate the Bulgarian medieval fortress Krakra near the western city of Pernik is starting Monday night.
The expedition is part of the initiative "Preserve the Bulgarian [Heritage]" of President Georgi Parvanov, who is himself a native of Pernik. It is going to kick off with a candle-lit vigil.
Archaeologists believe the Krakra fortress was most likely founded after 809 AD when the region was conquered by the Bulgarian Khan Krum. It was built on the spot of a small Thracian settlement.
In the 10th and 11th century the fortress was very important center in the war between Bulgaria and Byzantium. Its ruler Krakra of Pernik was in charge of a total of 35 forts, and resisted the Byzantine invasion until the very end as Bulgaria was conquered by Byzantium for about 150 years in 1018 AD.
The Krakra fortress was one of the larger medieval Bulgarian fortresses with an area of 50 decares; its walls were about 800 meters long.
Archaeologists believe that the fortress was used up until the Third Crusade (1189-1192) as a defense facility against the crusaders' troops passing nearby, and after that was abandoned.