The Byzantine fortresses of Yoguntas, Kecikalesi and Pinarhisar in the Kirklareli region
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The significance of the Byzantine period in Kirklareli is attested by a large number of well preserved fortresses in the region. Present study focuses three of these fortifications: Yoğuntaş (Polos), Keçikalesi and Pinarhisar (Brysis). The Kirklareli region represents a passageway through the Strandcha chain which is the last natural defence to the north-west and south-east of the KirklareliDemirköy line. The three fortifications under question may be brought into connection with the protection of the southern Strandcha and patrolling the trade routes between north and Constantinople. Building activities in these fortifications seem to have been intensified in two main periods. The first period represents the struggle with the northern neighbour in eastern Thrace. Establishment of the First Bulgarian State (6 8 0) had made the area under discussion the northern frontier of the Empire until the south bank of the Danube was re-conquered (971 - 1018). The second common period of construction activity in three of the fortifications under question is the 12th century. Further study is needed on the other members of the southern Strandcha defensive line in order to understand this system.