The medieval Fortress of Cherven has been the stage of epic battles where burning arrows once flew, numerous invasions, bloody uprisings and cunning “games of thrones” – a perfect example of the turbulent history of this land...

The village of Cherven is located 7.5km in a straight line from Pepelina and 24km along the road. Near the village is the medieval fortress of the same name, which was a significant military, administrative, cultural and spiritual center during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

The first settlers in the lands around Pepelina and Cherven were the Thracians. Appreciating the natural shelters of the high sheer cliffs, they distinguished settlements in the area, as evidenced by numerous archeological finds. The lack of written information about Cherven's history makes artifacts from different eras significant to unraveling his past.

The foundations of the medieval fortress were probably laid in the 5th century, during the Byzantine emperor Justinian's defense against the Slav invasion. Destroyed by the Slavs and rebuilt by the Byzantines, the fortress retains its function due to the fact that it is located on the road from the Danube to the interior of the empire. After the end of Byzantine rule, Cherven was one of the first liberated cities. Thus, the city gradually became one of the most important centers of the Second Bulgarian State.

Archaeological studies show that the city is divided into two parts, determined by the terrain. One is the citadel - a fortress built on high in places up to 100m rocky plateau. There were administrative offices, 13 churches, and homes of noble citizens. Another part is the real city, located around the fortress, which had ancillary functions. Construction, goldsmithing and other handicrafts were the livelihoods of people in these places. For the development of iron ore and processing, an important role is played by Ashes, where the coal used for ore and iron processing was probably produced.

Cherven gained importance in 1235 when the city became the center of the Metropolitan of Cherven.

During the Ottoman invasion, in 1388, the city was conquered and destroyed. In the early years of the Ottoman rule, Cherven retained its functions as an administrative center, but gradually declined and the city lost its significance (although the Diocese-Cherven Diocese still bears its name to this day).

Since 1965, Cherven is a National Archaeological Reserve. Nowadays, the preserved medieval ruins are an attractive destination for touching the history of glorious Bulgarian times.