photographer: Kate Ilina @kater_23

They are like a river that has flowed through the body of the homeland for centuries. Like a sunset, in whose embrace the Balkans fall asleep, carrying on its shoulders the unbearable weight of time. Like a wound that does not heal and hurts forever, so that the memory of the past does not fade. As a revelation to reveal that the dreams of many generations of Bulgarians are sprinkled on the land we are treading on. "But I, the poor, have only dreams, / I spread dreams at your feet, / step gently, because you step on my dreams."


There is no more significant symbol than human blood. The blood that draws on the most tragic and sublime moments in our history. Blood - doomed to flow not only into the body but into the earth.


The worst tax during Ottoman rule was blood taxcalled girlie. It was imposed on Sultan Bayazid I at the end of the fourteenth century to fill the Janissary corps with strong and strong boys. Forcibly removed the boys from their parents; every five years, and more often if necessary, the Turks toured Bulgarian houses. The crying of mothers hit the sky, but God was silent. They circumcised the boys, the youngest were five, and the large, almost twenty-year-old young men, rushed them and sent them to military training. Those who did not become soldiers were sold on the slave market. Mothers wondered how to save their sons. They hid them in forests and caves, paid ransom, married them prematurely, deliberately mutilated them. And they sang songs - slow and long, like a sorrow that never ended.


Most bloody symbols are related to Ottoman slavery. And not just with him.


There is one rock called Bloody rock. It is located on the Vratata Pass in the Western Balkan Mountains. The legend tells her that Radan Voivod with his soldiers had long defended the fortress Vratitsa from the invasion of the Turks, but when the last soldier was killed, the voivode realized that the end of the Bulgarian kingdom had come. The guards had no mercy. More shameful than death was shame. So the voivode took his daughter Elitsa and led her to the cliffs. The tip of the sword slammed into the chest of the beautiful girl, then pierced her own heart. The red blood stained the rock and remained on it forever.

Karadjov stone

photographer: Ivaylo Gerdzhikov @gerdzhikov11

Bulgaria has Bloody river. This was the name of the Vladayska River, which flows under the Lion Bridge. The bodies of the Bulgarians who defended Sofia from the Turks were thrown into the river, and from there came its name. On the old bridge, called the Colorful Bridge, next to the criminals, revolutionaries were hanged. In order to perpetuate the memory of the four associates of Vasil Levski hanged by the Turks, the publisher and public figure Hristo G. Danov after the Liberation proposed to make a monument. The project was completed in 1891. On the new bridge were placed four bronze lions, made by the Viennese company "Philip Waagner Bureau". They symbolized the heroic death of the booksellers, Levski's associates in the people's cause. These were Stoyan Tabakov, Nikola Stefanov - Cholaka, Georgi Stoitsev and Kiro Gyoshev. The latter, dying, sang Dobri Chintulov's song "Wind is blowing, the Balkans are moaning".

# our roots

The goblins in the Bulgarian folk beliefs

The goblins in the Bulgarian folk beliefs

In the ideas of the Bulgarians of the XNUMXth century, a goblin is "an evil spirit that appears as a shadow at night on large buildings." The goblins walk until the roosters sing. In the ideas of the Bulgarians of the XNUMXth century, a goblin is an "evil spirit that appears as a shadow at night on large buildings" ....

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photographer: Christopher Rusev @ralics

We cannot imagine Bulgaria's freedom without Bloody letter of Todor Kableshkov, one of the apostles of the Fourth Revolutionary District. The bloody letter is the immortal symbol of the April Uprising, which was to break out on May 1, 1876. However, the betrayal of Nenko Terziiski Baldyovets changed the plans of the revolutionaries. On April 20, 1876, the mudurin and several zapties were killed in the konak in Koprivshtitsa. Before writing the letter, Kableshkov dipped the pen in the blood of the slain Turks and called on the people of Panagyurishte to follow his example. Thus began the April Uprising.


Unprecedented intoxication encompasses a large part of the uprising Bulgarians. But very soon the hope of freedom is dampened. The large Turkish army (30 garrison) is crushing the national aspirations. First was the attacked Klisura, then Koprivshtitsa, Perushtitsa, Panagyurishte and other towns and villages. Innocent men, women, children, old men are killed. The fear of the Turks from the courageous and desperate revolt of the Bulgarians renders the robbers merciless. The scimitar cuts to the bone. Fires are burning throughout Bulgaria.


Bulgaria has Bloody choir. It is called that because, before being killed, fifty boys were forced to play choir in front of Shefket Pasha. It was the choir of death. But let's go in order.


11 May is 1876's year. The villagers from Boyadzhik village, Yambol region, celebrate the feast of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius. Just then, with its circuses, Edem aga was raging. His people kill, rob, mock the good Bulgarian peasants. In order to protect themselves from the evil aga, the Bulgarians deploy armed guards at the end of the village. But it got worse. Shefket Pasha thought that the village of Boyadzhik was preparing for a riot. And a brutal slaughter began. Second cruelty after Batashko. The village was looted and torn down. 172 people are killed, regardless of gender or age. Among those killed was John Atanasov's grandfather. His father Ivan miraculously survived, hidden by corpses.


25 May 1876 is a tragic date in Bulgarian history. On this day, the leader of the April Uprising, Georgi Benkovski, was killed in an ambush. The revolutionary's lobby is in the Kostina locality, three kilometers south of the village of Ribaritsa. It is located there as well Bloody well. The well is so called because, after the Turks cut off the head of the Bulgarian rebel, they washed it in the well. This day remains forever in the people's memory with the terrible betrayal committed by a Bulgarian against Bulgarians. The chronicler Zahari Stoyanov describes in "Notes on the Bulgarian Uprisings" in detail the murder of the leader of the Hvarkov detachment Georgi Benkovski, moreover, that he walked side by side with him and saved his life as if by a miracle. With the two revolutionaries were Father Kiril, who told Zahari Stoyanov that he was a native of Sopot, and Stefo the Dalmatian. The leader and traitor of the four men was the cattle breeder Valyo Stoilov. Shortly before his death, Georgi Benkovski shared:; "It is no longer hidden and covered. Until tonight, it is not known what will happen to us, who will live, who will die, so it is not bad to know each other. Whoever stays alive, let him tell friends and relatives. ”Then he revealed who he was, what he did and how he became a rebel. He also recounted his dream: "That night I had a very bad dream, which I do not know what to give, despite the fact that I believe too little in my grandmother's nines. I dreamed that a richly dressed young woman came to us, greeted you all, and shook my hand and kissed me on the forehead. "


The Turks are organizing a river on the other side of the river, 5-6 steps from the shore. The bridge over the Kostina River was built on purpose; hidden behind several fallen trees, 16 Turks awaited the rebels. Georgi Benkovski killed first. His severed head was taken to Sofia and his body was buried by grandmother Udrenitsa in the tomb of the church "St. All Saints' in Teteven.


The traitor Grandfather Valyo lives to see Bulgaria liberated and after ten years he seeks forgiveness from the governor Benkovski for the sin he has committed.


Bulgaria has Bloody footprints. Those traces he wears like a stone on his neck for so many years. These are the footprints of the Apostle of Liberty Vasil Levski, left on the night of December 27 December 1872 on the white snow near the Kakrinski khan, which was located three hours away from Lovech. In the inn of Hristo Tsonev Levski was to meet with Pop Krustyu, treasurer of the Lovech Revolutionary Committee. But instead, Levski met with a burst of 20-30 Turkish rifles. The path of the Apostle to eternity starts from the Kakrin Khan.

The blood of thousands of freedom and dignity fighters is throbbing in the heart of Bulgaria. The personal destiny of each of them merged forever with the fate of Bulgaria. We have a duty to be their worthy heirs. Therefore, let us tread gently on the Bulgarian land, because we tread on the blood of our grandfathers.

photographer: Мария Тенева  @meteneva

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