There is hardly a Bulgarian who has never heard of The Rocks of Belogradchik. Most of us even went to enjoy this extraordinary natural landmark. However, few people know that only one of the figures among the rocks bears the name of a true historical figure - Haydut Velko. And even fewer know who Heidut Velko is. Let's say a few words about him now, he deserves at least that. My personal opinion is that the scientific interest in Haydut Velko in our country does not correspond to his merits and the dimensions of his personality in the Bulgarian national consciousness.

There are mythologized historical figures that cannot be shared between different peoples, and should not be shared. Their historical mission is to unite, not divide. An example of this is Krali Marko: a hero in the national mythology of Bulgarians, Serbs and Macedonians. Who is Krali Marco? - this is an inappropriate question. It aims at nothing but opposition. Who needs to oppose one people to others? Of course, to his detractors. The goal of every reasonable person is not to favor his detractors. Other historical figures, however, without being mythologized, give rise to controversy over which historical merit to which of the modern nations is greater. Such is, say, Konstantin Kostenechki. He has an important role in Serbian literary life, but at the same time he was born in Bulgaria, part of the tradition associated with the Turnovo Literary School in Bulgaria.

At Haidut, a lot of myths and history merge into one. To this day, his personality and his work have been the subject of attempts to "privatize" and place him in only one of the two national mythologies - Serbian or Bulgarian. However, this is pointless. Heydut Velko is both Bulgarian and Serb. Yes, he is Bulgarian! Yes, he was dying, defending Serbian freedom from the Turks! That's why he's our common hero!

"His name became frightening for the Turks, and the people associated him with songs and legends. Even Serbian songs sang for him:

"Thank you Bulgarian knight"
Heydut Velko, the young man is no longer sick,
In Bulgari - his cheerful mother. "(Georgi Popov, Krastyo Johnov -" Whisper of the Ages. Legends of the Vidin Region ")

The era in which Haidut Velko lives is extremely productive of events sung in songs transformed into native legends and myths. This is the Kurdzhali time, the "Thirty Years War in Rumelia" (end of 18 - beginning of 19 century). Heroes, good or bad, become part of the collective tribal memory of Bulgarians, especially from the northwestern regions. The village of Zamfirovo, Lomsko is still called by its inhabitants "Gushantsi". I have a friend with roots in this village who is not aware of the origin of the name Gushantsi, just knows that they have been saying so for a long time. In fact, the village is named after Gusanche Halil - one of the Kurdzhali chiefs under Osman Pazvantoglu.

Osman Pazvantoglu makes a very serious imprint on the history of northwestern Bulgaria. One of his closest and most famous voivodes is Hajdut Velko Petrov (referred to in Serbia as Velko Petrovic). By the name of this brave man, a hero of the Serbian struggle for freedom, she was named one of the figures on the Belogradchik Rocks. Hajdut Velko is well known in his home country, in Belogradchik, which makes him an integral part of our history. Vanya Racheva writes:

"In the summer of 2004, I was on a field trip with my relatives in the Belogradchik region. I was gathering information about the popularity of Haydut Velko among the locals. I talked to different people in Belogradchik, Vodnyantsi and Medovnitsa, as well as in Vidin, and everyone knew who the national hero Haydut Velko was. According to the persistent testimony of the locals, it is dedicated to the revered in this area Haydut Velko. Although I personally made sure that there were no traces of current or previous identification of the stone sculpture, many claimed that there was a special plaque with his name on the monument.

Heidut Velko was a particularly charismatic personality. "The Bulgarians, encouraged by Velko's courage and heroism, were everywhere twinned by his wife.
If a Turk went for food and drink, for brides and brides, or for twisted pies and fried hens in butter, they could see his bill. Everywhere they tamed the raging Turks and they let go of their knees from the frightened paradise and tightened their loose belts. (()
Heidut was not widely referred to as a mere voivode. Fame raised him in the eyes of people like the legendary old mountain haidutin. Indeed, he was no ordinary man, but a symbol of heroism and fearlessness. To call him a weirdo is exaggerated, but when some were astonished at his fearlessness, he mockingly told them: - It was difficult as long as our fear went to the Turks - the other is easy. And fear has already come to them. "(Whispers of the Ages)

Velko says to himself: "I will give up everything, but not in the name of haidutin. The people have baptized me with it, and I serve the people. If the people called me Dervish Velko, I will accept him. "

About Haidut Velko is historically written either from Bulgarian or Serbian point of view - parallel to each other. It is good to see his personality as a manifestation of the spirit of freedom of Balkan Orthodox Christians in general.
In a Bulgarian folk song from the Prilep, the battle between two of Pazvantoglu's voivods - Haidut Velko and Kara Mustafa - is stirred up. Winner Haidut Velko takes the shotgun, the sword, the squeal, the horse, and the woman of the vanquished (in another version of the song):

"I'm sick of Kara Mustafa,
day guide sick kara mustafa!
Sick lies to me and dies,
day guide sick kara mustafa!
- Who carry you, the sea, the long gun,
day gui sick kara mustafa?
- Let him get it by Idut Velko,
why is the boy more than me!
- Who brings you, sea, sharp self,
day gui sick kara mustafa?
- Let him wear it, sea, he will go Velco,
why is the boy more than me!
- Who brings you, sea, pair of pichols,
day gui sick kara mustafa?
- Let him wear them, sea, he will come Velco,
why is the boy more than me!
- Who wits you, the sea, the riding horse,
day gui sick kara mustafa?
- Let him wilt, sea, he will go Veltko,
why is the boy more than me! "

Hajdut Velko's martial glory in Serbia is well deserved. It is said that Prince Milos Obrenovic said in his defense when they came to slander him: "When peace is peace, if you shut him up in a cage, as the tigers and lions do in the world, he would still flee and make some mischief. But if there is a war, let it go, don't worry about it anymore. That's Velko. Ha, go good now, forgive Velko, because not everyone can be a haidutin and a hero like him. "

He was very born in 1780 in the village of Lenovac, Zajecar in a relatively wealthy family. His father owned many sheep. He had two brothers - Milko and Milutin. However, he separated from his family early. He went to serve at a tavern in Belogradchik. He escapes from there after a scandal with a Turk and "caught the forest". Killed on 18 July 1813, in the defense of Negotin during the First Serbian Uprising, in an unequal battle of 3000 rebels against 15 thousands of Turks. The actions of his company cover the perimeter of the Belgrade Pashalak (Serbia) and the Vidin Pashalak (now northwestern Bulgaria). His shares in Srpsko start from the 1803 year, when he fights under the leadership of Stano Glavas, further engaging with the bloodthirsty Serbian dahlias. They will be discussed in more detail below. Following the death of Pazvantoglu (1807), Velko and his troops are finally relocated to Serbia.

Why will the robbery raids of a haidutin be presented as part of a popular freedom movement? Someone might ask. It must be said that not only one robber, not just one Velko is involved in the Serbian liberation movement. But this is another topic.

On the eve of the Belgrade Pashalak, on the eve of the First Serbian Uprising (1804), there is a great conflict between the unicorns. The Kuchuk Enchanists, Alija Dzevrelic, Mehmed aga Focic, Aganlia and Mula Yusuf, called Dacians, establish a dictatorship regime in Belgrade. Their authority rested on Janissary wills and zulums against the Christian population of Pasha. The four Janissaries shared with each other the 12 Nahi (Municipalities) of the Belgrade Pashalak (District). They abolished the local self-government of the Serbs - eliminated Serbian princes and Ottoman officials from power. In the towns of Pashalak they appointed their deputies - kabadahi (small dahlias), and in the villages - their subashi. Each kabadahiah had available 30 and 50 janissaries, and each subashia had between 10 and 20. All the battles that were fought against them were confiscated from the land (the Timaru), and the rest of the battalions in the Belgrade Pashalak were owed a new land tax paid to the Dahias if they stayed there. The attitude of the Dahi to the Christian population in the pashalak, to their blood relatives, is cruel. Their general tax (jizie) was increased from 15 to 35 money, the tax in favor of kickbacks - from 3 money to 6,5 to 9,5 money, refunded the canceled church building tax, etc. The power of the Dahi is defined as a dictatorship. Deceit is ubiquitous. The Dahi are the embodiment of the whole bad meaning that is included in the term "enicharin", ie. "Mother seller". They are content with the thought that the greatest traitor and prone to all atrocities is the apostate.

The goal of the Janissaries in socio-economic terms is to "repress" the land of Christians. That is, to seize foreign land, to make farmsteads (chitlicks), in which the previous owners of the land - the Christians "to work for them." Pazvantoglu and his Janissaries in the Vidin pallas also strive for something similar. In addition, the Dacians obliged their fellow Christians to sell them all their produce (animals, animal products, agricultural produce) at many times reduced prices. As a result, they got rich a lot, even some of the Kabadahis became millionaires. The pinnacle of treachery, on the part of the Dahiyas - Janissaries, is the realization of the so-called. "Logging of princes" (Logging of princes). On their orders, the leaders (the "color") of the Serbian people were killed - more than 70 people, princes, priests and merchants. However, this had the opposite of the Janissaries effect. Serbs rally and demonstrate miracles of bravery, managing to eradicate, crush, and drive the Dahis and their deputies on the ground.

Heidut Velko becomes a participant in the First Serbian Uprising until his death. The Serbian people dedicate a folk song to him, describing his demise, which is sung in the Bulgarian version as well.

"My almond tree has grown
tank high.
Under the almond lies Heidut Velko
with a pretty girl.
The mattress is their clover
grass green.
A quilt is a dewy pomegranate
sweet almonds.
A cushion is their right hand
They come to Velkova. "

In conclusion, the legend that gives the name of the rock was born: “The fame of Haydut Velko had not yet subsided in the Belogradchik region. When they learned of the death of the brave bandit, they remembered with difficulty the elusive eagle on the rocks, which jumped from rock to rock like a chamois and amazed the Turks. Wherever he jumped, no matter how many Turks jumped on him, they always fell into the abyss…

And now, above the cliffs, over the kale, the image of Haidut seemed to have grown overnight, carved out of stone in front of the most prominent and highest cliff.

- He's alive! Here it is! He will not leave us! Shouted the people reassuringly, singing songs for him.

They learned the Turks, looked at the cliffs above the kale, and ferociously reduced their fierce eyes:
Really, it was Hajdut Velko! And to this day it stands up there, like a man-made monument. "

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