In northwestern Bulgaria there is still the expression: "Borovan sleeps and will sleep forever!" It is said to have been spoken by Hristo Botev. The reason is that the residents of this local village did not in any way support Botev and his detachment during the April Uprising of 1876. The Voivode is amazed! How can such apathy and reconciliation among the population for which he and his people go about sacrificing themselves? His wonder not only relates to the particular village, but in general to the fact that the cause of the all-Bulgarian uprising was not supported in this Bulgarian revolutionary district.

Where did Bot's misunderstanding come from and what is the cause of his sad finding? Are you so satisfied with the situation in Northwestern Bulgaria that they do not take the side of Botev rebels? We can look for these answers in history. The answers cannot be used to justify one's actions or omissions, but rather explain the situation as it is.

During the Ottoman rule the most important city in the whole of northwestern Bulgaria was Vidin. The Vidin fortress played a key role in the fortification system of the empire. Its main purpose was to repel attacks by the "Germans" (Holy Roman Empire, Austria, Austria - Hungary). The Muslims called her "Immaculate" - they resembled a virgin because she had never fallen into enemy hands. Thus, until the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation (1877 - 1878), when it capitulated to Romanian troops, a future Romanian foreign minister, Ion Lahovari, drafted a text of a ceasefire between the warring countries.

During the reign of Osman Pazvantoglu (1773 - 1807), Vidin became the seat of the ruler as an independent ruler, a secessionist janitor. Pazvantoglu's fortress had to withstand two sieges by the Sultan's troops. In one siege, the entire Rumelian army was mobilized, all Rumelian pastures with their men, but the fortress persisted. It can be said that from the beginning of the 19 century until the Liberation, the area to which the present-day northwestern Bulgarian lands belonged had developed in a very specific way. During the Kardzhali time, also called Vera Mutafchieva's Thirty Years' War in Rumelia (from the 80 years of the 18 century to the first decade of the 19), northwestern Bulgaria was the scene of numerous battles.

What is different here is that with the rule of Pazvantoglu, the economic order changed - they were no longer like elsewhere in the empire. On the one hand, Pazvantoglu, as ruler for a while, was very attractive. It is no coincidence that a Romanian population moved into it, preferring him as ruler over his own prince. Perhaps at least part of the so-called population originates from this population. "Hairs" in northwestern Bulgaria. On the other hand, Pazvantoglu and his bandits approached the land, cultivated by the Bulgarian peasants, to their advantage. "Fathers" of the Bulgarian population. Then they forced the Bulgarian population to perform various feudal duties - turning the peasants into cashiers (renting land for a certain part of the production - cashmere) and the police (tenants who share the harvest with the landlord). The Bulgarians of kesimdzhi from northwestern Bulgaria were given the right to cultivate their land, but they were obliged to do so with a prearranged quantity of the production, which the peasants had to hand over annually to the real owner of the land - the Turkish feudal lord. And the police officers received only part of the production made with their own labor, and the other handed over to the real owner. These feudal orders are considered obsolete in the 19 century in the Ottoman Empire, but we see them alive in northwestern Bulgaria (the situation is similar in some of the southwestern Bulgarian lands).

Elsewhere, the Bulgarian population was usually the real owner of the cultivated land, which was legally entitled to it with a “tapia” (ownership document) on the land. While Pazvantoglu and his bandits approached with cunning or forcibly acquired many tapiya from the Bulgarian population, which increased the dependence and grief of the Bulgarians from this region. The goal was, by enlarging the land of many owners (Bulgarian peasants), to make their own farmstead and the Bulgarians to "work" for them. This practice was called cheatlery. After the death of Pazvantoglu, this trend continued. Here, in this part of the empire, the situation of the Bulgarians was much more difficult than it was, say, in the front and the Balkan regions of Bulgaria, where are the cities that have become the cradle of the Bulgarian Revival - Karlovo, Kalofer, Sopot, Koprivshtitsa, Boiler, etc.

So, this specific development of the northwestern Bulgarian lands led to a not so popular popular uprising. This is the Belogradchik from the 1850 year. Although it is inferior in size to the April, it still concentrates the resistance forces of the tortured population of today's northwestern Bulgarian lands. Thus, this population rises for a kind of majestic feat. But then, 26 years later during the April Uprising, it had no power and energy to repeat it. Kiro Panov will summarize the plight of Northwest Bulgaria until the uprising of 1850:

"Our (Vidin) region, compared to other parts of our country, suffered the most because it was often a theater of different wars and strife. In 1595, when Stefan Batory fought the Turks, there were terrible battles. In 1689, this area was conquered by the Austrian troops. In 1718, when King Evgeny of Savoy defeated the Turks and forced them to conclude the Peace of Fire, this was the path of the Turkish troops. Also earlier, in 1683, when the Turks tried to conquer Vienna. In 1809, when Kutuzov with the victorious Russian troops arrived in the Balkans and General Kamensky attacked Vidin, this region was again a theater of ugly and merciless war.

At the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the brave Bosniak Pazwant Oglu ventured here, during which time, for many years, fierce battles took place, which were very painful for the Bulgarians. It's all the same at the same time Haiduk Velko, a Bulgarian from Zaicharsko, was also running along this area. In 1848, when troops were sent to suppress the uprising in Romania, their path was through this region. And all the burdens of wars and strife had to be carried by the Bulgarians. The villages that were near the roads were mostly towed, because Turkish troops and insurgents constantly passed through them: Janissaries, Bashibozuks, Kardzhals, Kaba daalis, Kerserdars and all sorts of Turks with different clothes, with long couches, lined with wolves and fox tails, with jars of different colors and sizes, with images of black, ugly, with wide mouths, varnishes, teeth rare and long, with thick lips, grandmother's noses, some of them with small eyes, concave in the forehead, and some with big, wild looking, brutal and fad looks twice as wild.

Each of them was armed with a head heel. When they got to a village, they called the elder and asked for a konak from him, warning him that they did not want snotty grandmothers to walk them, but wanted young brides and pretty girls. The poor village representative did not dare to object, nor to fulfill their wish. He was told that they needed some fresh turkey, a few cans, a few chicken, honey, eggs to feed them, and he was obliged to obey their order as soon as possible, otherwise he would fall ill. If they go home, other orders are already being given there. The girls and the bride-to-be lay on the ages, at their request, their best rugs, to study their tsarulas, and the men, who had previously bred their horses, were forced to bring their tsarvulas around the house, during which time they inside at home they were utterly rude. After being fed food and stuffing their hungry stomachs, they became twice as scary, giving freedom to their Scottish passions. After eating, drinking, and after all the dirty deeds, a bargain began between the Turks and the elders of the village to pay a tooth tax (breathing hack) for losing their teeth to eating roasted chicken and buns. In this way, they robbed the village and left to make a place for them hungrier. Such iniquities and dirty deeds were done too often, but Bulgarians were powerless to preserve the honor of their families; they were powerless to preserve their lives and property. The weeping and moaning of the Bulgarians were great, but no one wanted to hear them. "

An attempt to put an end to these injustices and humiliations was made with the Belogradchik uprising. In fact, the uprising did not only extend to the town of Belogradchik, but also extended to the towns of Vidin and Lom. The coordination of the fighting took place at the Rakovishki Monastery, at a meeting of mayors (princes). It was decided to separate the rebels and attack Lom and Vidin at the same time.
People from nearby villages joined the rebels with enthusiasm. Ivan Kulin stands out as the valiant leader of the Vidin rebels. Near 1000 people first try to take over Lom. They are missing a firearm because the Serbian government refuses to provide them with pre-arranged assistance. But brave peasants, armed with hair and hoes, head for the city. Of course, mere enthusiasm is not enough. Capt. Krustyo, the leader, was killed and the rebels dispersed by the Turks.

They were again organized by Ivan Kulin for further battles. They headed for Belogradchik. Several thousand people began the siege of the city, but again lacked weapons. However, Bulgarians do not fall in spirit and do not surrender themselves to the modernly armed and professional Turkish troops. As Kiro Panov writes, "every peasant capable of carrying a weapon who stretched his two-meter-long stick" and strove for battle. For ten days Belogradchik was besieged by peasants from surrounding villages. Separately, an attempt to siege by 3 thousands of Bulgarian rebels from northwestern Bulgaria is also being made to Vidin, under the leadership of Petko Marinov. The Turks defeated the belligerent rebels of Vidin. Then they went to help the besieged in Belogradchik. The uprising was suppressed in a particularly violent and bloody way. K. Panov explains that the Turks committed the most atrocities against their victims.

Ultimately, this uprising achieved its goal. For the first time in the nineteenth century, Bulgarians, the century of Bulgarian freedom, showed that they could rise for battle en masse. For one common purpose, Freedom, they enter battle straight, without any fear of death. This general uplifting precedes the April Uprising but largely resembles it. Especially in the bloody self-violence of the vicious Turks. So in the 1876 year, when Botev, Borovan and the surrounding area came to sleep. But Northwestern Bulgaria paid its blood tax for freedom as early as 1850. It proudly earned its place within the confines of the free Bulgarian homeland.

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