The fortress is located on the right bank of the Iskar River opposide the village of Eliseyna. For this reason usually it is described and is known as the Eliseyna’s fortress. However, administratively this site is situated in the territory of Gabrovnica village and no direct access to here from the village of Eliseyna.
The fortress is situated on a mountain ridge at an altitude of about 600 m. It occupies a small area on the crest of the hill where could be found charred plasters and antique building ceramics. No data about existence of fortification walls, but the place is not suitable for habitation and it definitely had had military functions.
The northern slope of the hill on which is situated the fortress as well as the small terrace south of the Iskar River, are also full of building ceramics fragments dated to the Roman period. Probably the hill “Gradiste” is just a part of an ancient settlement, situated at its foot.
At the place were found evidences for habitation during the Chalcolithic period. It is assumed also that the fortress was existed in the Middle Ages. From here is known a hoard of 116 coins from the 3 c. AD (from the time of Emperors Maximinus I, Caracalla, Severus Alexander, Septimius Severus, Geta, Elegabal and Macrinus minted in Anhialo, Adrianople, Augusta Traiana, Kalatis, Viminatium, Marcianopolis, Nicopolis ad Istrum, Nikodimia, Odessoss and Serdika). Perhaps for this reason among the locals exist a legend about treasures hidden in the tunnels under “Gradishte”. The coin hoards however were buried in moments of great danger when the owners had to leave their homes urgently and were not able to carry heavy loads. These finds usually show the exact moment of destruction of the place because the owners never returned to take their treasure. Such kind a historic event in the third century is the devastating attacks of Goths who have forced the Balkan passes to reach the cities in the south.
Currently, the castle rises over the village Eliseyna as a lonely rock. On its highest point is placed two-meter metal cross that is visible from all over the village. From the fortress is visible a panoramic views to the Iskar Gorge.
"Gradiste" near Gabrovnitsa
DD 43.0723306 23.488797222222225
DMS N 43° 4' 20.39'' E 23° 29' 19.67''
Distance: 2.17 м
Maximum slope: 56,3%, -42,1%
Altitude: 322, 410, 623 м
“Gradiste” is difficult to access. To reach it you must start from the bridge over the Iskar River, which connects the village of Gabrovnitsa with the road to Eliseyna. The bridge can be reached by car and also by train from railway station “Prolet” (Spring).
From the bridge begins heavily overgrown path that follows the right bank of the river. After about 700 meters to we reach a narrow terrace situated at the foot of “Gradiste”. From here begins a steep climb that lasts for about a kilometer and reached the crest of the mountain ridge.