Recounting the earliest documented accounts of life in Gorna Oryahovitsa, we have to go back to the years of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520 - 1566). The Sultan had a great weakness for his beloved harem wife, the former slave of the Crimean Tatars, Alexandra Lisovska, who was called the Sultan of Hurray. The only daughter of the two, Mihrimah Sultan, was also very heartwarming, followed him everywhere in his campaigns and had great authority over him. Mihrimach Sultan has chosen Rustem Pasha Opukovic, one of the Sultan's viziers, as a man. They married in November 1539, and sometime around this time Rustem Pasha received as a gift from the Sultan the right to dispose of a landed property comprising four villages - Arbanassi, Lyaskovets, Dolna and Gorna Oryahovitsa. From that moment on, the residents of the four villages in question began to enjoy special privileges, including being exempted from "paying any heavy and light royal taxes."

A Mahmoud II farmer from 16 on July 1810, addressed to "the highly enlightened, dignified and just Kadia Mevlenie of Turnovsky said," reported that "mute, a deputy to the waxed real estate of the late Rustem Pasha, lying in Turnovsky said in Turnovo as well as paradise - peasants living within the boundaries of these privileged waffle villages and neighborhoods, have filed a general petition with my imperial couch, requesting my royal sovereign diploma be issued from my imperial couch to preserve the rights and privileges with which It was clear that after the death of Rustem Pasha, his estate, including the four villages, had been transformed into Wakwaf, ie. he has legalized his special status and is not taxed.

As Lilia Valeva summarizes, "from the time of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to 1861, the time of Abdul Aziz, who abolished the privileged position of the city - nearly 300 years Oryahovitsa existed and developed as a privileged settlement, governed autonomously, lived compared to many other towns and villages a quieter life. This allowed him to rise economically, to develop and strengthen crafts and trade. And then, when Sultan Abdul Aziz took away these privileges, the city was so economically strengthened, the privileges of the guild and merchants so legalized that they provided further economic opportunities for the people of Oryahovitsa.

In his descriptions of the Bulgarian lands (1899), Konstantin Irechek gave brief information about Gorna Oryahovitsa. He claimed that the name Oryahovitsa came from "nut". The settlement with a population of 5044 residents was the center of the county to which Arbanassi belonged. Irechek wrote that in the Middle Ages there was a fortress in Gorna Oryahovitsa, which was destroyed during the march to Vladislav III Varnenchik in Varna in 1444. This is the Rahovets fortress, probably built as early as Mark Aurelius (161 - 180). and during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Her descriptions of whether Karel Shkorpil (known as Rahoutch, a variant of Oryahovitsa) first, followed by Felix Kanitz.

photo: / fort Rahovec

photo: / Rakhovets

Irecek said that at the time of his visit, "the people of Ryahov are mostly engaged in silkworm breeding and trade." F. Kanitz testified about the lively market relations in the city: (…) In the meantime, he fried and cooked in countless small inns.

After the eighteenth century, craftsmanship in Gorna Oryahovitsa flourished. With the increase in commodity production of the Ottoman Empire and the significant opening up of access to distant markets, there was a serious need for more craft products. Gorna Oryahovitsa was undoubtedly one of the important craft centers in northern Bulgaria. It became clear from the District Governor's report on 1898 on the implementation of the Law on the Establishment of the Esnaf (1896) and the reorganization of the various Esnaf associations. Turnovo and Elena together had fewer skaters than Gorna Oryahovitsa. So in Gorna Oryahovitsa many different crafts were practiced than in the nearby big cities. The foremost among the crafts was occupied by mutafchystvo, abagiism, ironmaking, sarcasticism and fur. The city was a shopping mall where the plains merchants met with Balkan traders.

Alongside craftsmanship, trade in the city became a strong influence. The traders in Gorna Oryahovitsa were grouped into three branches - food and wheat trading on the grain market (called "Ekin Market"), trade in cattle on "Sir Market" and trade in local products - sushuki, pastrami, etc. The Upper Arahovian merchants who operated outside their home town also developed fruitful activities thanks to the Berats issued by the Ottoman government. These merchants were called "beratli." They had the right to wear a high cap, ride a horse, carry a sword, etc. Some of the Arbanassi merchants also enjoyed such privileges. It is noteworthy that as early as 1861 in Gorna Oryahovitsa, they opened a distillery with the capital of the previously established Burov trading house. The factory had imported machinery from Austria-Hungary. For years immediately before the Liberation, Gorna Oryahovitsa was known, like Lyaskovets, for his gardeners. Vegetable production and seed production developed in the city. Traveling gardeners from Gorna Oryahovitsa relayed their experiences in Romania, Russia, Central Europe and more. In the tourist guide "La Bulgarie" Gorna Oryahovitsa advertised itself to foreigners as the center of wine making and of various grape varieties offered on the European markets. The city is famous for its big annual autumn fair.

D. Dimitrov highlights one major factor in the upward development of Gorna Oryahovitsa after the Liberation: the construction of the Sofia - Varna and Ruse - Stara Zagora railway lines. This thing made the city the largest railway junction in northern Bulgaria and subsequently opened it to the European market. In the following years, the leading economic initiative was the founding of the Bulgarian-Czech Joint Stock Company for the Sugar Industry (1912), which was realized mainly thanks to the municipality of Gorno-Ariakhov and Atanas Burov. This company set out to build a sugar factory. Despite the wartime situation and the earthquake in 1913, at the end of the same year, the first quantity of Gorno-Oryah white sugar was produced. The sugar factory became the first enterprise of modern industrial type in Gorna Oryahovitsa.

Since the end of the 19th century, the railway network of the country has designated Gorna Oryahovitsa as an important transport junction. In 1895 the Sofia - Roman - Shumen railway passed through the city. Two years later, the Rousse-Turnovo line became a fact, after the passage of Gorna Oryahovitsa, connecting to the Balkan line, which became a strategic crossroads "between west - east and north - south of Bulgaria". Steam was used for rail transport. Trains (steam locomotives) were braked with hand brakes, which required the presence of five to six brake workers per course.

Due to the special role (in the history of Gorna Oryahovitsa and also of Bulgaria) of the Burovi family, it would be good to say a few words about her and her most prominent representatives. The Upper Aryahov High School of Light Industry and Economics in the city today bears the name of Atanas Burov. A monument to her patron, the great Bulgarian banker, public figure and politician has been erected in the yard of the school.

The Burovi family originated in southern Russia. Once his offspring, Michael, having already earned and inherited a large sum of money, moved to the town of Helena. There he married the local girl Maria. The man was highly respected in the city, several times he was elected mayor, engaged in trade. Four sons were born of their marriage. The second of them, Stoyan, took his wife, the rich heiress Yurdana, and further enhanced his family wealth through new successful business ventures. Stoyan and Yurdana had two daughters and five sons. The most famous among the sons was Stoyan Mihailovski, better known as the Bulgarian national revivalist Hilarion Makariopolski. The grand daughter of Stoyan and Yurdana married in Lyaskovets the local rich chorbadia Atanas Hadji Tsani Burov. Four sons (Atanas, Tsani, Elijah and Dimitar) and two daughters (Yurdana and Dafina) were born of the marriage. The father soon died and Stana forced herself to look after the children. She received great help from her brother Hilarion Makariopolski.

The youngest Dimitar was the most initiative of the sons. In 1862 he founded the banking and trading house "Burov DA et al.", Which was engaged in lending, trade in leather, cattle, cocoons and more. Along with his endeavors, Dimitar settled in Gorna Oryahovitsa, where he married the daughter of the local champion Todorool, Kina. Kina gave birth to two sons - Ivan and Atanas Burovi. After the Liberation, Dimitar's business ventures expanded. He bought all the property owned by his family in the Girany Gorno-Oahov mill. He started exporting sheepskin, goatskins and grain, traded in land, colonial goods, small hardware, etc. At "Meetings with Burov" Atanas Burov recalls the economic state of his family: "My father had five thousand sheep in the year 1889. . In the 1899 year, there were fifteen thousand sheep, two or three thousand cows and oxen for fattening, for meat, for skins. He invested his money in Dobrich and in Silistra in farmsteads. "

Pineapple Burov

Pineapple Burov

In 1890, the financial capacity of the commercial banking company grew. The end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90 dates the registration of a new trading company in place of the old one. The new company name was now "D. A. Burov and these. Gorna Oryahovitsa, Svishtov, Ruse. Since then, lending operations have had an advantage: lending money with interest to individuals and to industrial and commercial companies. D. Burov's other son, Atanas, was very active in politics. From 14 June to 17 July 1913 was Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor in the Government of Dr. Stoyan Danev, then under Al's first term. Staboliyski held the same post (October 6 1919 - April 16 1920). He was known for his eloquence at the National Assembly. In one speech he says: "Bulgarian traders and industrialists expect almost nothing from the state, they want only one thing - not to be disturbed by the state. (…) Among the very good things we have inherited from the Russians, we have inherited a very bad trait - this is the negative attitude of our intelligentsia to all manifestations of commercial and industrial life. The fact is that it is fashionable in our country - and it is a sign of semi-culture - to think that whoever wins, steals from the state, that whoever works to earn, does evil, or at least, does something to despise.

A. Burov holds a degree in Financial and Political Science from the Sorbonne, Paris. By the end of XIX - beginning of XX century he returned to Bulgaria. He initially settled in Gorna Oryahovitsa, where he became a shareholder in his father's enterprise. He was very active in the construction of the Sofia - Kyustendil railway line. Together with his brother he participated in the Bulgarian Commercial Bank, depositor in the Commercial Mortgage Bank of the Balkans, in the joint-stock company Bulgaria together with Gubidelnikov and in a number of other lending operations on agricultural and industrial projects.

Let us say a little more about the undoubtedly the most successful and important business venture in Gorna Oryahovitsa - Sugar factories. The implementation of the project for a sugar factory in Gorna Oryahovitsa was made possible after the important amendment in the Commercial Law of Bulgaria from January 5 to January 1904, which allowed joint-stock companies registered abroad to operate in Bulgaria. Thus, a project by the Czech Rudolf Pitzka, approved by the Prague Credit Bank, created a Bulgarian-Czech Joint Stock Company for the Sugar Industry (August 1912), which was granted a concession by the National Assembly for the construction of a sugar factory in the area of Gorna Oryahovitsa. The main shareholder in it was Prague Credit Bank, attended by industrialists from the Czech Republic, Serbia and Bulgaria (V. Atanasov and D. Bainov). Engineer R. Pitzka already had experience in such an endeavor. In 1909, he became director of a modern sugar refinery in Belgrade. He was born on 28 on July 1881. He graduated in chemistry in Prague and worked as a chemical engineer in Austria-Hungary and Romania.

Gorna Oryahovitsa Sugar Factory

Sugar Factory, Gorna Oryahovitsa

In Gorna Oryahovitsa, things went to plan at first. For the factory site they bought and adapted huge areas: 650 acres, of which the building stock was planned to be on the near 384 acres. However, after the outbreak of the Balkan War, many construction workers mobilized them. Wagons with wounds from the war arrived at the Gorna Oryahovitsa station. Typhoid and cholera were among the soldiers, from which some of the factory workers became infected. The factory premises were used as a hospital. In addition, the transport of machinery and construction materials from the Czech Republic has been hindered for some time. The July 14 earthquake, on the other hand, destroyed many of the newly constructed factory buildings and workers' quarters. Despite the incredible difficulties of 1913, in December, 8 began its regular production of the refinery and, in 1913, started its refinery. We have to say that the factory has been operating today for more than a hundred years.

The tireless manager Rudolf Pitzka built his own house in the factory yard in 1915. Due to the unpopularity of sugar beet among Bulgarian farmers, he and other Czechs who came to Bulgaria were campaigning to provide cheaper raw materials for the factory. The factory's operating capacity was 1500 tonnes of sugar per day. Coal from the Borushtitsa mine began to be used for fuel from 1914. E. Staneva notes that the factory is the most modern such complex of its time in Bulgaria. A refinery was built at the beginning of the refined sugar factory, where beet wastes were absorbed - beet slices that were dried and turned into briquettes. In the coming years, the factory grew more and more.
Due to the entrepreneurial nature of its citizens, emergency modernization measures were taken in Gorna Oryahovitsa immediately after the Liberation. As a result, the small town of Gorna Oryahovitsa has become the main railway junction in Bulgaria. The first major project with international participation took place here: it opened one of the largest factories in Bulgaria until the First World War.

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