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Six Million Leva Will Be Poured In The Assenova Fortress

The municipality of Assenovgrad is formulating a project that will rejuvenate and develop the infrastructure of the national park Assenova Fortress at a cost of six million leva, the deputy mayor of the municipality, Silvia Hubenova, said.The access to the church and the fortress will remain in their medieval state. However, there are some dangerous sections along the access route that will be equipped with safety parapets. In the crypt of the church, a hall will be created, which will be facilitated as an informational-culture centre for gatherings of cultural and religious significance.The project also contemplates the installation of a complex lighting and rigging system that will light up the fortress and the church in a manner similar to the one at the castle-fortress Tsarevets in Veliko Turnovo. The project, amounting to six million leva has been approved and deposited by the Operational Programme of Regional Development, designated as Section 3.1, Stroitelstvo Gradut reports.The project is going to be sent to the National Institute for Monuments and Cultrue. By February 9 2009, the Assenovgrad municipality will also have prepared an additional project that will reinforce a zone prone to landslides, where the ground immediately underneath the castle has been severely eroded. According to Hristo Groudev, mayor of Assenovgrad, the reinforcement of the ground there is of paramount importance as it has already weakened the walls of the fortress and any further procrastination might result in structural damage to the walls and buttresses - this operation will also be funded as part of the six million leva package and it has been designated as a priority under Section 1.4 "Improvement of the physical environment and risk prevention" under the Operational Programme of Regional Development.The Assenova Fortress is a national monument of vast historical and cultural significance and it is property of the National Institute for Monuments and Culture, which is a branch of the Ministry of Culture. The castle is three km south of Assenovgrad, perched on a rocky mountain peak over the left bank of the Assenitsa River.It had undergone several different construction and expansion stages in the medieval era, with the most notable expansion during the reign of Tsar Ivan Assen II in the 13th century. The most iconic part of the fortress preserved today is the church St Bogoroditsa Petrichka, also built in the 13th century. It is a church with a tall spire, two storeys in height, decorated with unique tapestries and icons dating back to the Middle Ages, making it one of the most well preserved examples of medieval Bulgarian construction.