Bulgaria Celebrates 140 Years Since April Uprising
Bulgaria marks the 140th anniversary of the 1876 April Uprising for the liberation of Bulgaria.
Celebrations will be held in different towns and cities across the country, but it will be Panagyurishte, in central Bulgaria, where where the key commemorative events will take place attended by state officials. This year's festivities coincide with the Orthodox Easter.
Panagyurishte will hold a beating retreat and fireworks, but also a reenactment of events that began as the uprising was declared.
Parliament Speaker Tsetscha Tsacheva will deliver the official speech to mark the anniversary.
The April Uprising was an insurrection organized by Bulgarians in the Ottoman Empire from April to May 1876, whose indirect result was the establishment of Bulgaria as an independent nation in 1878.
The 1876 uprising was the last and biggest in a string of Bulgarian revolts, but spread only in parts of the Bulgarian territories.
In November 1875, activists of the Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee met in the Romanian town of Giurgiu and decided that the political situation was suitable for a general uprising. The uprising was scheduled for April or May 1876.
The territory of the country was divided into five revolutionary districts with centers in Vratsa, Veliko Tarnovo, Sliven, Plovdiv and Sofia.
The uprising started, but was quelled by the Ottoman authorities as detachments of regular and irregular Ottoman troops (bashi-bazouks) were mobilized and attacked the first insurgent towns as early as April 25th.
By mid-May, the insurrection was completely suppressed. At least 15 000 people were killed in the suppression of the uprising by the Ottomans.
Some 80 villages and towns were burned and destroyed and 200 others were plundered. The atrocities which accompanied the suppression of the insurrection reached its peak in the northern Rhodopes.
The number of Bulgarians who died has been much disputed by historians, most of them agreeing it was somewhere between 15 000 and 30 000.
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