Bulgaria's Sofia Marks Its 134th Liberation Anniversary
January 4th 2012 marks the 134th anniversary of the Bulgarian capital Sofia's Liberation.
On January 4, 1878, Russian army forces, lead by General Gurko liberated Sofia from the Ottoman rule.
On December 27 1877, the Turkish Military Commander Suleiman Pasha established his headquarters in Sofia. On January 3rd, with the Russian army approaching, the Turks began withdrawing from Sofia. Due to efforts of foreign consuls, the Turkish plan to burn the city down foiled.
On January 4th 1878, around 2:00 pm, the first Russian units entered the town. There was a solemn service in the "Sveta Nedelya" church in the presence of General Gurko himself.
Despite the fact that, at the time, Sofia was a way less significant Bulgarian center compared to Plovdiv, Ruse or Varna, after the Liberation the town was selected to become Bulgaria's capital.
On Wednesday, a traditional solemn service will take place starting 10:00 am at the "Sveta Nedelya" church - the very same one where, in the presence of General Gurko, the first service for the soldiers perished in battle was held.
At 11:00 am, a wreath will be laid at the monument of the King Liberator, while the official celebration ceremony will begin at 11:30 am in front of the Volunteer Army Man monument in downtown Sofia. Sofia's recently reelected Mayor Yordanka Fandakova will be present at the celebration ceremony.
The occasion is officially celebrated in the Bulgarian capital for a 10th year in a row.
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