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Northwest Bulgaria > Kozlodoui > History

History of Kozlodoui

At first the settlement was spread over 3 km west of the river Ogosta in the area of Chetate (in Romanian - fortress). There are two versions of the origin of its name: the first comes from the Turkish Kozludere (a low gully), and the second - from the Latin meaning of Kozlodoui - a corner of the ice blocks  as sometimes in winter ice blocks pile up at this part of the river. It is not known for sure when the settlement has moved to its present place. Most probably it happened at the time of the huge flood of Danube and Ogosta in 1840. Near the town, east of the area Magoura Petra, the remains of the Roman fortification Reganium can be seen and between Kozlodoui and Hairedin are preserved parts of the Hairedin defence trench (7th-8th century). In documents from 17th century the settlement is mentioned under the name of Kotosluk. Kaikchii (boatsmen) from the village drew boats and vessels with ropes upstream. The traveller Domenico Sestini (1780) recorded the well-developed silkworm breeding and leather processing with the herb sumac.

In terms of history Kozlodoui is mostly connected with the name of the immortal poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev. On the 17th (29th old calendar style) May 1876, 200 Bulgarian men disembarked the Austro-Hungarian steamer Radetski at the shore of Kozlodoui led by their voivoda Hristo Botev. They embarked on the steamer at different Romanian ports as civil travellers. Then they got off the ship (forcing the captain to stop it at the isolated area of the Bulgarian river bank) as a well-organized revolutionary detachment of volunteers, dressed in their rebel uniforms, going to help the Bulgari,a which was already burning. Stepping onto their native land the rebels fell on knees and kissed it. From here started their heroic epic whose summit was later in the week on the ridge of the Vratsa Balkan. Passing through the whole of Northern Bulgaria in ceaseless fighting, under the pursuit of the Turks, the detachment entered into a decisive battle against the dozen times outnumbered enemy around Mt. Okolchitsa. There on 2 June (old calendar style) 1876 the Voivoda was shot, the detachment was defeated and scattered into small groups around the Balkan. 130 men died, 68 were captured and sent on penal servitude and only 8 escaped. The prophetic words of Botev came true: He, who perishes in a battle for freedom, does not die!

After the liberation of Kozlodoui in 1877, many settlers came into the town from other parts of the country and the Bulgarians became dominant within the ethnic profile of the town. In 1974 the first atomic power station in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula was built here (it is only one so far). 

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