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History of Pernik

In the 9th century the small Slav settlement of ancient history became part of Danubian Bulgaria. It was named Pernik (Perunik, Perinik) probably at its establishment. The town was turned into a strategic medieval centre and the 4.5 m thick fortress walls kept back the Byzantine invasions towards Sredets (Sofia) and Northwestern Bulgaria. The fortress withstood seige twice in 1004 and in 1016. The local boyar Krakra Pernishki (from Pernik) led the defence. Already under Byzantine domination the fortress survived a devastating earthquake in the middle of 11th century. It was restored and expanded and existed till 1189 when it was destroyed and set to fire by the Serbian joupan Stefan Neman. Because of the numerous raids of kurdzhalii (Turkish brigands) during the Ottoman rule Pernik was a small, scattered cattlebreeding village. It numbered barely 1000 people in 1879. After the liberation the settlement developed as a mining village. In 1891 Pernik coal mining region was declared state property (first in Bulgaria) and the village became main energy centre of developing Bulgaria . In 1929 Pernik was declared a town.

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