Settlement name



2123 inhabitants


656.05 ha

Administrative status


Location of settlement centre

43°700′N 24°483′E

Height of settlement centre

39 m


Gigen is a village in Northern Bulgaria, part of Gulyantsi Municipality, Pleven District. It is located near the Danube River, 4 km to the place where the Iskar River (the ancient name of Iskar was Eskus) flows into the Danube, opposite the Romanian town of Corabia. It is located 42 north of Pleven, its District centre.

Gigen is famous for being built on the site of the important Roman colony of Ulpia Eskus (or Oescus). The extensive ruins are located in the northwestern part of the village and were first associated with the ancient colony in the end of the 17th century. A bridge built (or reconstructed) by Constantine I, named Constantine's Bridge in his honour, was used to link Oescus with Sucidava (today’s Corabia village of Cheley, Romania) across the Danube in the 4th century.

The town was founded in the 1st century in the neighborhood of a Thracian settlement from Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages.

The bloom of Eskus was in 2nd and 3rd c. and during the reign of Constantine the Great. The settlement occupied an area of 28 ha and, by size, is similar to the other ancient towns as the Roman Nove near Svishtov and Nikopolis ad Istrum near village of Nikyup, Veliko Tarnovo District.

During its existence the city was repeatedly subject of Gothic and Huns invasions and finally it was destroyed by the Avars in 6th century (585). In 10th century a Medieval Bulgarian village was built on the ruins of the ancient Eskus, which existed until 14th century. The archaeological research within the ancient city was made, the walls of the fortification system were restored, public and residential buildings, a road network, town square etc. were exposed.

The village has well developed agriculture (grain and livestock).