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THE MONYAK (Mneakos) FORTRESS

It was built in the XII - XIII century on a dominant rocky peak, about 5-6 km east of Kardzhali. You can reach it through Shiroko Pole village or through the "Zhelezna Vrata" train station. The track, passing by the boy-scout camp is the easiest to see and follow. It's well-marked too. The view of the valley from the peak is breathtaking.

The fortress wall surrounds an area of approximately 50 decares. It was built of hewn stones with white mortar. In Monyak there always used to reside a garrison, protecting the fortress and the inhabitants of the nearby valley in times of war. The fortress has something to do with the crusades in the Rhodopes in 1206, which is mentioned by historians of that period.

Near the fortress there is a cave named "Karangila", which is inhabited by a bat colony,

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