Bulgaria Commemorates 137 Years of April Uprising

Society | May 2, 2013, Thursday // 12:26
Bulgaria Commemorates 137 Years of April Uprising: Bulgaria Commemorates 137 Years of April Uprising Official guests laid wreaths and flowers at the April Uprising Monument in the historical Bulgarian town of Koprivshtitsa. Photo by Cross.bg

The commemorations of the 137th anniversary of the 1876 April Uprising for the liberation of Bulgaria are continuing Thursday for the second consecutive day.

Caretaker Prime Minister, Marin Raykov, will be an official guest in the historical town of Koprivshtitsa where he will deliver a wreath and a keynote address.

The celebrations in Koprivshtitsa will include a theater play with reenactments of episodes of the April Uprising which have taken place in the town in 1876.

Koprivshtitsa was one of the centers of the Uprising and is known for its traditional Bulgarian architecture, making it a very popular tourist destination.

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 the reaction of the Ottoman authorities was quick and ruthless. 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.

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Tags: Bulgaria, April Uprising, Koprivshtitsa, Panagyurishte, Ottoman, Marin Raykov
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