Standing proudly over Shumen at a height of 455m, this 3000-year-old fortress dates back to the Iron Age. Thracian, Roman and Byzantine fortifications followed, and its strategic significance heightened during the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1396) when Shumen rose to prominence as one of northeast Bulgaria’s most significant settlements. Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha invaded in 1388, looting and burning the fortress.

The ruins are 5.5km uphill from the mosque; a taxi costs about 5 lv.