Pliska - 100 years of archaeological excavations
R. Rashev, Ya. Dimitrov
 

III. The legacy of Pliska

    5. Roads, pavements, underground passages
 

Even as early as K. Skorpil noticed barely distinguishable depressions left from former roads which led from the gates of the stone fortress towards the exits of the earthen rampart. Signs of such road remain today before the eastern and the western exit of the rampart. These roads had no durable pavement. Such pavement was not found even along the routes between the palace and the gates save for the section near the southern gate, where a part of a stone-paved path leading towards the centre of the Inner town was found. Such (stone) pavement covered the passages at the gates judging from the cart ruts there. The stone pavement at the passage at the southern gate of the Citadel extended inwards and outwards in the form of broad stone paths leading towards the Throne palace and the Palace church. Impressive is the road between the stone fortress and the Large basilica. Extending at 1.3 km in straight line it was covered by crudely formed large stones and was intended for pedestrians only. Its ceremonial-cultic function is obvious. Densely paved with stone plates or with bricks were only the free spaces in the Citadel and the square between the southern wall of the Citadel, the Palace Church and the Throne Palace.
 
 


Secret underground passage of the Krum's Palace
 
 
Secret underground passage exiting at the foundations of the western fortress wall
AKuzev, p. 81
Entrance to a secret underground passage in the living quarters of the palace
SVaklinov, p. 64
 
 
The secret underground passages are one of the main characteristics of the Palace centre of Pliska. They represented 1 m wide and 1.8-2 m high trenches paved with bricks and panelled with wood. They were built in two stages and are entirely connected with the stone buildings construction. The passages of the first stage connected the Krumís Palace and later Ė the pagan temple to the north of it with some yet to be identified, but certainly distant, points. The passages of the second stage served buildings in the Citadel, leading to the north and to the south of them. One of the southern galleries crossed throught a specially arched passage through the foundations of the southern wall of the Citadel and of the fortress wall and appeared at the surface some 500 m from its beginning. The entrance shafts-staircases of several underground passages have been found but their exit points beyond the fortress walls are unknown.
 

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