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home description Levent Tabia Fort


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Nowadays only scarce information is available about the Levent Tabia Fort due to secrecy required by the Bulgarian and Ottoman military authorities. Yet it is well-known that the fortress was the most significant unit from the Ottoman border defensive fortifications along the Danube river and within that period the biggest and strongest unit of the fortified areas in the Rousse region. Its construction started in the 20s of the XIX century on a hilltop site, known as Sara Bair near the city of Rousse or Roustchouk as it was called in those days. The Levent Tabia Fort is still with temporary defences on the eve of the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1929. In the beginning of the 30s it was completely reconstructed to the design of Prussian military engineers and despite its later modernization the stronghold retained its original appearance till the end of the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation. The Levent Tabia Fort was strongly reinforced as a result of its strategic location, considered to be a crucial defensive point for the seizure of the whole fortress.

South facing outer defensive line consisted of an earthen rampart and a moat. The well-concealed and complex-built fortress entrance lied on the northern side. Twenty large calibre Krupp field guns were positioned there during the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation. Inside, the fortress hosted military units, ammunition depot and etc. The stronghold could garrison a total of 3000 men (a regiment), and could long withstand under a siege. Already during the Crimian Russian-Turkish War of 1854-1856, the commanders of the fortress and the fort were connected by a telegraph line and during the Russian-Turkish War of Liberation commenced the construction of an underground passage intended to connect the stronghold with the city, which was left uncompleted. As a proof of its great significance a picture of the fort was included into a prepared for Alexander II Emperor of Russia photo album that contained photos of the captured by the Russian army most important Ottoman fortresses.

After the Liberation in 1878, the fort was preserved and used as ammunition dump for the Danube Flotilla, not withstanding the terms of the Treaty of Berlin which required the defortification of the towns of the new Bulgarian Principality. An anti-aircraft battery was positioned there during the World War II.

After the Danube Flotilla was disbanded in 1961, the fort was left abandoned for a number of years. Later it was converted into a restaurant.

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