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Centralsouth Bulgaria > Pazardzhik > History

History of Pazardzhik

It was founded 5 centuries ago as a market settlement, which gradually turned into an important economic and administrative centre. The road Istanbul - Sofia - Western Europe on which the town was a road station contributed to it as well as the fact that it turned into a port - warehouse on the Maritsa River for cereals, rice, wine, timber from the Rhodopes and iron from Samokov, which were transported by rafts for Istanbul (through Enos).

A lot of Bulgarians settled down in Pazardzhik who changed its ethnic appearance, too. A lot of European and Turkish travellers spoke enthusiastically about it. The town flourished during the 19th century and competed with Plovdiv and Sofia. In 1865 the town had 33 mahali (quarters), 3420 houses, 1200 shops and approximately 25 000 inhabitants. The Holy Virgin Church was built in 1837, a unique monument of Bulgarian architecture, wood-carving and icon-painting. Other churches were also built for the individual Bulgarian quarters. There were 5 boys schools with 400 students and 2 girls schools with 100 students in them in the middle of the 19th century. The famous clock tower preserved up to date was erected as early as in the 18th century, too. Chitalishte (reading room or community centre) Videlina was founded in 1862. A lot of peoples enlighteners related their names with Pazardzhik - Bishop Dionisii Agatonikiiski who founded the first Bulgarian school in 1823 with his own funds, N. Popkonstantinov, Yu. Nenov, Hadzhi Tatyana - the first woman teacher in the town. The foundations of theatrical activities and of Prosveta Womens Society (Enlightenment) were laid in 1870. Levski founded the first revolutionary committee here chaired by G. Konsulov, but the detentions before trial on the part of the Turks frustrated the outburst of the Uprising. On 2 January 1878 the Army of General Gourko liberated Pazardzhik. 

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