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Koprivshtitsa marks the 146th anniversary since the outbreak of the April Uprising

Kunka Nedeleva: History is a teacher, but apparently were are not good students

Photo: BGNES

“You must know that Europeis appalled by your methods and will kick you out of here soon. Your game is over!”- This is not a political quote from the latest new stream. These are words by Tsanko Dyustabanov – a Bulgarian revolutionary and voivode in the Veliko Tarnovo Revolutionary District during the April Uprising. He delivered this speech before the Ottoman Court on June 15, 1876 in Veliko Tarnovo, several hours before he was hung. His words symbolize the meaning of the national uprising and the self-sacrifice of hundreds of Bulgarians who spilled their blood to place the issue regarding Bulgaria’s liberation on the agenda of Europe’s diplomacy, which preceded the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.

On May 1, Bulgaria marks the 146th anniversary since the outbreak of the April Uprising. Traditionally, the towns of Klisura, Koprivshtitsa and Panagyurishte, located in Central Bulgaria, organize celebrations starting on April 30.


On April 20, 1876, the first gun was fired in Koprivshtitsa for the liberation of Bulgaria. The commemorative events in this Bulgarian town begin with the unveiling of the exhibition named “I am a Bulgarian woman” by photographer Radoslav Parvanov. Paleveevi’s House Gallery is to host the photo exhibition. In the evening of April 30, there will be commemorative fireworks on “April 20” Square, Kunka Nedeleva, museum curator of the Architectural Complex of Koprivshtitsa said in an interview for Radio Bulgaria.

“The programme will continue on May 1 (when Koprivshtitsa celebrates its holiday). Citizens will lay flowers to the tomb of revolutionary Todor Kableshkov. The festive programme will culminate in the theatrical performance “The First Gun” which reenacts episodes of the April Uprising. More than 200 amateur actors from the town of Koprivshitsa participate in the reenactment. This spectacular show is worth seeing at least once in a lifetime”, Kunka Nedeleva went on to say.

The first historic reenactment was made in 1926.


Свързана публикация в текста: Щедрост и отдаденост към родината – специфични черти на будителя от Копривщица

“The least we can do for these bright personalities, who died for the liberation of Bulgaria, is to honor them with dignity”, Kunka Nedeleva contends and admits that the hearts of all residents of Koprivhtista keep history alive.

“This is a very special event for all residents of Koprivshtitsa. Some of them take part at the historic reenactment several times in their lives. They play young boys, bachelors, insurgents, etc. I must say that people show big interest in participating in this historic reenactment and some children apply for a certain role one year earlier to make sure they will be able to participate. They live for this moment.”


Today, the memories of the events that took place 146 years ago and the smell of gunpowder are a reason for national pride. Meanwhile, we feel pain when we imagine the horror experienced by millions of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. History is a teacher, but it turned out that we are not good students, Kunka Nedeleva said. As a historian and a citizen, she is fully convinced that people should not resort to the tool called war under any circumstances.

“May all Bulgarians know where their roots are, know their history, honor their ancestors and pass this down on the next generations.”

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: BGNES, Radoslav Parvanov
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