Shumen wasn’t always located where it is today. Since being settled in the 12th century BC, the city consisted of a fortress on a hill three kilometers west of present day Shumen. It has been used by the Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, and Ottomans. In 1444, the Ottomans had the fortress destroyed and the town moved to its current location.
Nowadays, the remains of the Medieval fortress is an open-air museum and archaeological site. It’s possible to visit and wander through the narrow streets.
The site is clearly marked in Bulgarian and English, so visitors actually know what they’re looking at while walking through. It’s possible to see the foundations of churches, baptistries, Roman roads, and more.
Some of the outer walls and a watchtower have been reconstructed, giving a visitor an idea of what the fortress may have looked like before it was destroyed.
There are also excellent views of Shumen and the surrounding area.
The fortress is open daily and charges a small admission fee.