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168 years since the birth of Stefan Stambolov

The statesman who laid the foundations of modern Bulgaria

Photo: BGNES

Stefan Stambolov was a rarity in Bulgarian political life. Very few if any of the statesmen in this country have been able to achieve as much for a life span.

A revolutionary and a poet, evolved into a politician and reformer, he is one of the Founders of Modern Bulgaria.

He was born on January 31, 1854 in the town of Tarnovo, the ancient Bulgarian capital, he had 9 siblings. His father sent him to study at the Theological Seminary in Odessa. But instead of obedience and prayer, he devoted himself to anarchism. He joined the Movement for the Establishment of an Independent Bulgarian Church and was expelled from the Odessa Seminary.

He joined the Bulgarian Central Charitable Society, which took an active part in the Russian-Turkish war of liberation of 1877-78. The Berlin Congress of 1878 revised the results of the war and divided the Bulgarian territory, shortly after the country was liberated from Ottoman rule. Stambolov was among the founders of the Unity Committees for the Unification of the Bulgarian Lands.

He was one of the most zealous defenders of the Unification of the Pricipality of Bulgaria with Eastern Roumelia in 1885. As chairman of the National Assembly, he strongly opposed the pro-Russian coup that overthrew Prince Alexander Battenberg. In 1886 he was appointed to the regent's council of the young principality.

Stambolov was only 25 years old when he plunged into politics to lay the foundations of Bulgarian statehood.

You can learn more interesting facts about the personality and work of the great Bulgarian statesman from the publication “Stefan Stambolov - the statesman who modernized Bulgaria” from the collection of Radio Bulgaria.

Compiled by: Darina Grigorova

English version: Elizabeth Radkova

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