Mezek is a village in southeastern Bulgaria, part of Svilengrad municipality, Haskovo Province. It lies at the foot of the eastern Rhodope Mountains, just north of the Bulgaria–Greece border and not far west of the Bulgaria–Turkey border. Mezek is famous for the well-preserved medieval Mezek Fortress (Neoutzikon) and its two ancient Thracian beehive tombs. The village is also well known for its own winery and the Mezzek brand of Bulgarian wine.
The Mezek Fortress, 6.5 decares (6,500 m2) in area, is claimed to be among the best preserved Bulgarian medieval castles. It dates to the 11th century. The construction of a fortress is from the era of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1117). Along with the Thracian tombs, it was studied by a team under archaeologist Bogdan Filov in 1931–1932. The Mezek Fortress was built out of stone, with two decorative lines of bricks on the outside.
The fortress has the shape of an irregular tetragon. The defence was carried out through nine towers. In the most vulnerable southern side there are five towers altogether (two corner towers and three more on the front line). The western side where the main entrance of the castle is situated, the towers are two in number. The eastern and the northern sides, that are well guarded due to the character of the terrain, dispose of one tower per each. Regarding its arrangement, the situated on the south-west tower is the most interesting one. It has had three storeys separated by trimmer joists and the upper two storeys have had portholes.
The castle has been declared an archaeological monument of the category “national importance” in 1968.
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