Legend of the Forty Holy Martyrs' Church

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful church at the foot of Tsarevets Hill. It was build by the command of Ivan Assen II, after the victorious battle near Klokotnitsa. The church was named after the holy forty martyrs. In that way, the tsar wanted to thank God, to cover himself and his country with glory. In the church, there were beautiful mural paintings and expensive icons with silver and golden halos of the saints.
 A great number of them were given as a present by the tsar, the rest were brought from Byzantium. In one of the corners of the church, there was a holy spring with healing water. The believers from Tarnovo washed themselves in order to be healthy. The royal churchyard, where the bodies of the Bulgarian tsars lay, was located a great crypt.
 Years passed by. The town of Asen and Peter was brought into bondage. Turks lived on Tsarevets Hill. Trapezitsa Hill became desolate and the magnificent church built by Ivan Assen II was turned into a mosque. A minaret was erected there and the prayers of the oppressors could be heard everywhere. The spirits of the Bulgarian tsars flew into rage. They made the earth move, the minar
The Forty Holy Martyrs' Churchet began to shake and one night it toppled down. The sheikh, who lived in the mosque, ordered it to be rebuilt, this time stronger and higher. The spirits of the Bulgarian tsars rebelled again, they began to pull about the earth, it moved, and the minaret toppled down again. Since then, the shadows of the tsars haunted the yard at night. People could hear the rattle of arms, violent sighs, as well as the clatter of tombstones. Yantra River often rose in dark waves. The sheikh gave orders once again to dig around the place, this time deeper. Thus, they reached the underground entrance of the royal churchyard. They destroyed it, scattered away the bones and then rebuilt the minaret. They say that on the next night an equestrian appeared near the river in chain armour and with a helmet on his head. He crossed the yard of the old church, stopped for a while, had a look around, lifted up his sword, and cut off the minaret. Then he stood by the bed of the oppressor, cut him down with one stroke, walked around, and disappeared. On the next morning, a rumour was afloat that Ivan Assen II himself took the minaret off. It should not rise higher than the royal church.