Bukelon Fortress

Bukelon Fortress
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Bukelon Fortress 2011-9-5 Nightscapes
Title Exposure date Category
4 hours of star trails above Bukelon Fortress, Bulgaria! Exposed on Provia 100F color reversal film with Mamiya RB67 medium format camera. The fortress has been lit by the moon for the first 2 hours of the exposure and by a nearby village during the whole exposure. Moon was low in the sky and about 60% illuminated. Drum-scanned. The image is as close to the slide as possible. No additional post-processing has been involved.

Truly one of the most important historical places on the territory of Bulgaria! In 378 AD the Battle of Adrianople took place here. It was fought between a Roman army led by the Roman Emperor Valens (also known as the Last True Roman) and Gothic rebels. Emperor Valens was defeated and killed in this battle which marked the beginning of the collapse of the decaying Western Roman Empire.
In 1205 the troops of Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan defeated the Knights Army of the Latins in an epic battle and took their Emperor Baldwin of Flanders prisoner near that very same fortress. One of the most important battles in the history of Bulgaria and a greatest military success. By that time the Crusaders army was known to be invincible. Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan used skillful tactics to lead the Crusaders to a trap and besiege their army. First the army was drawn in large pitfalls slaying many knights and horses. In the besiege, Bulgarian warriors used ropes and long pikes with hooks to take down the heavy knights from their horses and finish them on the ground. The battle was of great importance mostly because it crashed the myth of the invincibility of the Latin Army. Discussions of these epic events continue even today among historians. This battle marked the beginning of the end of the Latin Empire. On the other hand, the glorious victory strengthened the Bulgarian kingdom proving it to be a political and military power in Southeast Europe.

Bukelon Fortress is located very close to the Turkish border and until recently it was in a restricted area. Still the place is constantly patrolled by border police. Two patrols stopped by to check what we are doing there in the night. It sure looked suspicious, dark figures walking around the fortress under the moonlight. Check out the making-of image!