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History of Berkovitsa

Berkovitsa is an old settlement. This is confirmed by the remains of a fortress and a church from 4th century on the Kaleto Hill, situated to the north west of the town. The settlement is known from the reign of Tsar Kaloyan (the beginning of 13th century) as well and in the time of the Vidin Kingdom (the second half of 14th century) it is a border fortress. Berkovitsa is mentioned in written form for the first time in a Turkish document dated 1491. During the Turkish rule it developed as a crafts settlement - mainly in wood-processing and pottery. A great number of refugees from other parts of the country settled here. The inhabitants of Berkovitsa many times have raised their heads against the Ottomans. In 1403 they took part in the uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin, in 1688 - in the Chiprovtsi Uprising, in 1836 - in the uprising under the leadership of Mancho Punin as well as in the uprising in 1837. After the Liberation in 1878 the town declined, because it remained away from the railway line passing through the Iskar Gorge, thus losing markets in the Ottoman Empire for its crafts goods. The national poet Ivan Vazov worked for a certain time in Berkovitsa as a chairman of the court. 

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