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"Castra ad Montanezium" Montana

"Castra ad Montanezium" Montana

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"Castra ad Montanezium" is an ancient stronghold in the town of Montana on Kaleto Hill built on the foundations of a Thracian fortress designated to provide defense against the Gothic raids in the 3rd century AD. The thick defensive walls, military barracks and the basilica provided defense and spiritual support during the enemy invasion. The stronghold provides invaluable historical insights into the life of ancient Montana. The area was settled by various peoples - Thracians, Romans, Goths, Slavs have all left their mark here... The earliest inhabitants of these lands settled these places in the Chalcolithic period (i.e The Copper Age). Later on, the hill was inhabited by the Tribals, the Thracian tribe that built the first fortress. The Romans settled in the area at the end of the 1st century AD., because of the ore and gold deposits along the Ogosta River. During the Roman Empire the city flourished because of the ore - and gold mining and was center of the Lower Moesia province. Near the fortress, at the foot of the hill there is an ancient stone shrine dedicated to the gods Apollo and Diana – patron goddess of the town.  At present "Castra ad Montanezium" is partially restored, but is considered a symbol of Montana and is depicted on the city urban coat of arms, together with the goddess Diana. Tours of the citadel are free of charge, guides are available as well.

 

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