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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Late antique and medieval city-fortress of Levke

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

This travel blog journey is a continuation of the journeys "The village of Golyamo Belovo and the the trail to the Belovo Basilica" and "Belovo Basilica".

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke
The remains of the ruined late antique and medieval city-fortress Levke (Levki, in Greek: ό Λεύκης)

I found absolutely nothing on the net about this ancient city. That is why I will tell you what I saw, how I experienced it and how I felt here.

The trail to the ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

After the sign "Levke" you will go out on a small field. At the end you will see a new marking that will take you through the forest and up to the top of the hill.

There, at the top, are the remains of the ancient settlement of Levke.

Be careful! The way up is steep and just be careful and alert!

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

I observe huge, stacked white stones, apparently fortress walls, rising and outlining the very end of the hill.

Somehow I find my way through the walls and find myself among the ruins, although there is no way at all.

Here and there are partially preserved walls of buildings, and rows of narrow corridors line the way among once ancient houses, ancient rooms and ancient streets.

Nature has swallowed everything - absolutely everything around!

I realize that if I had been here in the summer, I just wouldn't have seen anything, photographed anything or accessed anything. I would just give up.

It would probably be dangerous - here during the warm summer season is probably a home to dangerous reptiles that would not be happy from intruders like us.

But now it is calm, there are no leaves and among the thousands of branches I walks calmly and can take pictures.

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

The large semicircular cistern (reservoir) of the fortress and now full of water remained almost intact.

I wonder how deep it is?

Moment of inattention and can fall dangerously, I do not know how deep it is, but it is full of water.

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

There is no help up here!

In many places there are huge ceramic jars dug into the ground - the ancient refrigerators, which helped people to store food and grain for a long time.

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

A jar is right in front of me, and the lid is set aside and leaning against the stones.

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

It's empty. I only find a dead mouse inside, accidentally dropped down and unable to escape.

Many objects from everyday life of the former inhabitants of the ancient city have been found in the area, but the treasure hunters have destroyed and looted everything.

The ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

Somehow Levke reminds me a lot of another impregnable fortress - Tsepina, both in its unique location, and the view around, and the remains themselves, and the huge water tanks.

It was a hard time then! A time that people do not know today!

Slowly I reach the edge of the steep precipice, from where I have an unprecedented view of the opposite slopes of Rila Mountain.

A view from the ruins of the ancient city-fortress of Levke

I stand here tall. I stand here amazed!

The sun is shining nicely.

The wind plays with the bare branches of the surrounding trees.

The birds sing their songs in the same way as thousands of years ago, when this city was alive. When life was fill up this place…

At another time ...

In another world ...

I'm thinking ...

How someone like me admired the same place, the same sun, the same mountain and the same songs and ... I feel alive and full of indescribable and warm feelings!


Bulgaria is ancient and beautiful!

Bulgaria never ceases to amaze me every time!

I stood for ten minutes and decided to go back.

Be careful! The road down is steep and dangerous! A moment of inattention and you will fall badly.

Soon I am at the foot of the hill. I pass the fields and continue on the way back to the village.

Goodbye, ancient city of Levke!

Goodbye, remnants of the irretrievably past time!

I wonder how someone will write about us in millennia in the same way that I am now writing these lines about them - the ancient people who inhabited these places.

On the way back you go down easily - all the way down.

I am at the village soon, much faster than I thought.

I said goodbye to Bai Dimitar and Golyamo Belovo, but I promised myself to come again soon.

I will do it!

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