Updated: Aug 25
Брацигово падна подир славни битви. Както вред борбата почена с молитви, с надежди и песни и свърши с погром. Батак се предаде, уви, пълзишком,
Копривщица легна при първата буря, топът черешови не спаси Клисура с високите урви; бледната зора видя в кръв и в пламък Средната гора, Панагюрци храбри след десет дни горди откриха вратите на мръсните орди; Каблешков-героят, таз душа вулкан, биде фанат пленник чрез един аркан от селяне прости и лъвът Бенковси, туй смешенье странно на Левски с Раковски, загина юнашки въз една река, издаден не казвам от коя ръка, защото срамът ми изгаря челото...
Борба страховита! В която числото надви на възторга - таз плява, тоз дим!
Ударът бе тежък и неотразим. Бунтът се удави в паника ужасна, де всичко високо падна и угасна.
Инстинктът на роба обади се пак със всичкий си ужас, със всичкий си мрак.
И паданья бързи, и измени нови, стиден плод на дълго влачени окови, фърлиха в борбата своя вечен срам.
И тази епоха на кръв и на плам през всички епохи и през вековете ужасна и мрачна в хаоса ще свети, растеща всечасно в по-голем размер и ще фърля вечно като облак чер въз нашта исторйя една сянка тайна от кръв и позори и слава безкрайна.
National memorial complex "Apriltsi" is located in the city of Panagyurishte.
It was built on the occasion of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the April Uprising in 1976. Its creators are the sculptors Sekul Krumov, Velichko Minekov and Dimitar Daskalov, as well as the architects Ivan Nikolov and Bogdan Tomalevski.
After the announcement of the uprising, power in Panagyurishte was entrusted to a Military Council, also known as the Provisional Government headed by Pavel Bobekov.
The memorial was built on the historic hill of Manyovo Bardo in the center above the city, where on April 30, 1876, the bloody battles were fought during the uprising.
The fourth revolutionary district was divided into two districts, with Volov and Ikonomov going to the eastern district (Koprivshtitsa, Klisura, Karlovo).
Every year on May 1, a historical reenactment of the April Uprising takes place here - "Courage and Sacrifice".
The reenactment recreates historically reliable episodes from the announcement of the uprising in Panagyurishte, the heroic battles and the ecstatic moments of victory, and the bloody dramatic events accompanying the suppression of the uprising.
With his flying squad, Georgi Benkovski led the west, taking up arms in the awake Bulgarian villages of Mechka (today Oborishte), Poibrene, Banya.
On April 20, Starosel also rises.
On April 22, freedom was solemnly proclaimed in Panagyurishte and the flag sewn by Raina Knyagina was consecrated.
The flag is consecrated by priests from the city and surrounding villages.
Raina describes the procession after the consecration of the flag as follows:
On the second day of freedom, the flag was completed.
Then, at the request of the citizens, I was to take him in hand, gird on sword and revolver, and mount a chosen horse, to pass through the whole city and announce to the people assembled in the streets that the Turkish yoke of five centuries had been cast off for ever.
It was the most solemn day of our short-lived freedom.
White-haired old men, together with young children, followed me everywhere, singing favorite folk songs.
Women, maidens, and old men threw upon us so many fragrant and colorful bouquets that the whole road was covered with them like a magnificent carpet.
The shouts of "Hooray!" and "Long Live!" they had no end.
This solemn procession continued until the evening.
Right behind the "Borimechka" there is a small path that will take you to the place from where the Panagyur rebels fired a cherry cannon at the Turkish enslavers.
There is now a small monument on this spot.
Another detachment, commanded by the Orcho voivode, operates against the Bashibozus in Strelcha and its surroundings. Until then, the movement was developing upwards, but from the first days, the insurgents faced a numerous and well-armed opponent.
The distance from "Borimechka" to the small monument is about two to three minutes and is taken in one breath.
Regular units (nizam), commanded by senior officers and generals, as well as mobilized redifs (reserves) from Edirne, Constantinople and Nis, were soon directed to the rebel regions.
Over 80,000 bashibozuk and 10,000 regular army equipped with artillery were thrown against several thousand poorly armed, scattered and inexperienced rebel forces.
To climb to the monument, you have to go up about 250 steps, which start from the "20th April" square, located in the center of Panagyurishte. Climbing them is not difficult, as there are benches where you can rest and enjoy the unfolding panorama around. And when you go up, you will have a wonderful view of the whole city and the surrounding area.
The forces are unequal!
A ten thousand regular army with artillery and about three thousand Bashibozuk and Circassian men is concentrated against the insurgents in the Central Highlands.
Panagyurishte was attacked according to all the rules of military art, because Hafez Pasha expected serious resistance.
In the most critical days, the insurgents were also hampered by unexpected rain and snow.
On April 30, Hafez Pasha captured and subsequently completely burned Panagyurishte.
After the pogrom, the Pasha ordered the population to be massacred and everything valuable to be taken.
Houses are looted and set on fire.
Eledzhik*'s camp, despite desperate resistance, was defeated on May 1 by regular Turkish troops and Bashibozus commanded by Hasan Pasha, and the Bulgarians who had gathered there, including women and children, were brutally massacred.
*Eledzhik is a protected area in the Vetren ridge, Ikhtimanska Sredna gora.
It occupies an area of 668.0 hectares around Mount Benkovski (1185.8 meters) in the lands of Ihtiman, Mirovo and Mukhovo in the municipality of Ihtiman, and Gorna Vasilitsa in the municipality of Kostenets.
It was created with the aim of protecting natural beech forests in the area.
Benkovska Polyana and Stenos Fortress (Trajan's Gate) are nearby.
The memorial is one of the emblematic places for celebrating anniversaries of the April Uprising. Panagyur residents call it "Borimechka" for short, after the eponymous hero of Ivan Vazov and the central figure of the memorial.
The large stone blocks are five in number and symbolize the 5 centuries of slavery.
The project also included a water overpass that was built in front of the Church of the Holy Introduction of the Virgin Mary (between the stairs and the wall of the church), symbolizing the spring tears of the Bulgarian people during the five centuries of slavery, but the overpass has not been functioning for many years.
The Church of the Holy Introduction of the Virgin Mary was started in 1818 and completed in 1823. It is a single-nave basilica with a colonnade. The master masons are from Bansko, and the carvers from Debarsko.
Initially, the news arrived from Panagyurishte in Koprivshtitsa that the city was shelled with artillery and its fall was a matter of time.
The local Koprivshten shepherds tried to prevent the leaders of the rebels in every possible way and began to convince the refugees that if they surrendered the rebels, the Sultan would have mercy on them and their homes. Among the traitors are Hadji Ivancho, Chorbadji Benyu and other representatives of the local Chorbadjistvo. As a result of their actions, some of the insurgents were indeed captured by the refugees and taken bound to a local church. Some of the leaders of the rebellion were also captured - Tsoko Budin, father Belchev, Braiko Enev and others.
On April 30, Pavel Bobekov arrived and reported that the Turkish troops had been pushed back from Panagyurishte and the uprising was proceeding according to plan. The frightened chorbadjis free the captured insurgents, but then Bobekov admits that he lied - Panagyurishte was captured, burned, devastated and completely looted by the Turks.
Burned during the April Uprising, the church was rebuilt in 1878-1880 by craftsmen from Bratsig and richly painted and decorated with icons by craftsmen from Samokov.
On May 1, the bashibozu began to gather around Koprivshtitsa, they were supported by a regular army that had artillery. The Turks number about 5,000 people. Hafez Pasha is in charge. He has already destroyed Panagyurishte and sends his assistant - Miralay Hasan Bey to take care of Koprivshtitsa as well.
The insurgents were betrayed by the thugs. They entered into negotiations with Hasan Bey, handing over even the wooden cannons to the Turks and paying a huge ransom. Nevertheless, the Bashibozuk invaded Koprivshtitsa and it was plundered and the inhabitants massacred.
On May 3, Hassan Bey entered the devastated village and by his order the captured insurgents were sent to court in Plovdiv.
Hafez Pasha soon arrived and sacked the city again.
Eledzhik's camp was attacked by a Sofia division led by Hasan Pasha in two columns. The defenders and the civilian population there were massacred.
On May 2, Peruštitsa was captured by two camps of troops with artillery under the command of Reshid Pasha.
On May 4, Ahmed Agha Barutanli with about 5,000 men captured Batak and brutally massacred the natives who sought refuge in the church, where more than three thousand people were cut down or burned alive.
On May 4, Hasan Pasha arrived in Bratsigovo from Eledzhik. Rashid Pasha from Plovdiv is also coming on May 5.
The April Uprising is entirely a Bulgarian affair!
Its preparation and its eruption are not supported by any outside force!
How do you get to Panagyurishte?
Panagyurishte is a city in Central Bulgaria, the administrative center of Panagyurishte municipality, Pazardzhik district. It is located 43 kilometers north of the regional town of Pazardzhik.
Panagyurishte stands at:
91 kilometers (about 1 hour and 15 minutes by car) from the capital
77 kilometers (about 1 hour and 6 minutes by car) from the city of Plovdiv
429 kilometers (about 4 hours and 50 minutes by car) from the city of Varna
314 kilometers (about 3 hours and 08 minutes by car) from the city of Burgas
How do you get to the "Apriltsi" National Memorial Complex in Panagyurishte?
National memorial complex "Apriltsi" is located in the center of the city of Panagyurishte.
How do you get to the "Cherry Ball" monument in the city of Panagyurishte?
The "Cherry ball" monument is located on the eastern outskirts of the city of Panagyurishte.
Directly behind the "Borimechka" is a path that will take you to the monument in minutes.
Dear friends, following are links to all my April Epic posts
Oborishte historical area
15 – 17 April summer 1876 and the first Bulgarian National Assembly
The bloody letter
The Tuteva House in Panagyurishte and announcement of the uprising
Birthplace of Raina Knyaginya
Church "St. Dimitar" in "Verigovo"
Sinjirli well square in Bratsigovo
Vasil Petleshkov and fighting Bratsigovo
Church "St. Archangel Michael" - the last refuge in Peruštitsa
To be known! To be remembered!
And as a finale, my dear friends,
you shouldn't miss a look
the special album with photo moments –
discovered, experienced, captured and shared with you!