Middle Ages



The castle is located in the northern part of the town, on the Danube river bank and is known as Babini Vidini Kuli or Baba Vida.

According to the legend Vida was the eldest daughter of a Bulgarian boyar, a big land-owner. Vida drew a lesson from the unsuccessful marriages of her sisters - Kula and Gamza, refused all proposals, built up an inaccessible castle and spent all her life here. In fact the legend for the past of the castle is in close connection with the dark age of the feudal Bulgaria.

This is one of the well preserved medieval defensive works in Bulgaria, built up on the remnants of the fortress walls of the antique Bononia. The Bulgarian building of the castle started during the second half of the 10th century but the main part of the castle was constructed during the times of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (the end of the 12th - 14th century)

The fortress covers an area of  9.5daa together with the surrounding moats which used to be filled with water from the Danube river and the drawbridge. It is composed of inner fortress belt shaped as an irregular quadrangle with nine towers. The walls and towers are topped by embrasures. The outer fortress belt with the entrance tower was built up later.

The residential part of the castle occupied the inner belt facing the central yard. Foundations of a church from the 13th - 14th century have been found. The last Bulgarian mediaeval king Ivan Stratsimir lived in the castle.

From the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century it was fitted to fire-arms. For the needs of the Turkish army vaulted stone premises were built up on the place of the destroyed residential part and they served as storehouses for ammunitions and food, watch-rooms and prison.

After the Liberation from the Ottomans the castle was submitted to the military authorities and the access to it was limited.

From 1956 to 1962  the first archaeological researches  took place and cultural strata of the Roman, Byzantine, early and late Bulgarian and Ottoman age were found. The castle has been open for visits since 1958 and a museum has been established here. In 1964 the castle was declared a culture monument of national significance.

The open-air theatre of Vidin (350 seats) is located in Baba Vida castle. The traditional Theatrical Days of Vidin take place here.

The preserved through the ages castle gives opportunity for various cultural activities - film shooting, theatrical performances, art exhibition, concerts, recitals, etc.

The visit to the castle is an unforgettable experience for every Bulgarian or foreign guest of the old capital city of Vidin.