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European Network of Places of Peace is holding its general meeting in Bulgaria

Photo: Kaynardzha Municipality
The municipality of Kaynardzha, located in northeastern Bulgaria as part of the ‎Silistrа region, is hosting the next general meeting of the European Network of ‎‎Places of Peace (ENPP) (October 27, 2023). It unites 14 settlements from 10 ‎European countries in which peace treaties have been signed. Its activity is ‎aimed at preserving the historical and architectural heritage in these settlements ‎and promoting the culture of peace nowadays. ‎

"Our goals are to spread the idea of a peaceful life and that everything can be ‎achieved through diplomacy. We are horrified by what is happening in ‎Ukraine, in Israel, and in every part of the planet where such a fire is burning," ‎says Bonka Yordanova, deputy mayor of Kaynardzha.‎

In 2015, Kaynardzha became the first Bulgarian administrative center to join ‎the European "Places of Peace". The invitation to the Bulgarian settlement is not ‎accidental. In 1774, the Kyuchuk Kaynardzha Peace Treaty between Russia ‎and the Ottoman Empire was signed there. ‎

‎"At this place (on July 21, 1774, at the end of the fifth Russo-Turkish war in ‎a row - note ed.) the good finale of a long war, which lasted from 1768 to ‎‎1774 with the signing of the Kyuchuk Kaynardzha peace treaty, was put", recalls the deputy mayor of Kaynardzha Municipality, Bonka Yordanova. -"In ‎‎1773, the Russian army won a victory over the Ottoman army precisely at ‎Kaynardzha. Then fierce military actions developed, the population of ‎Kaynardzha also suffered a lot from these battles. It is no coincidence that ‎many Bulgarians emigrated from our territories at that time and settled in the ‎lands of today's Ukraine and Moldova. After the victory of the Russian army, ‎peace talks were proposed, which lasted from the beginning of January until ‎the middle of July 21, when the peace treaty between the two empires was ‎concluded".‎

The place where the Kyuchuk Kaynardzha Peace Treaty was signed

The treaty provided for the cession of Kerch and several other Black Sea ports ‎on the Crimean Peninsula to Russia, and the rest of the Crimean Khanate was ‎declared independent. Russian merchant ships received permission to sail in ‎Turkish waters. The principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were restored ‎under the sultan's suzerainty, but Russia acquired the right to intervene in the Sublime Porte (the court of the sultan) on their behalf. ‎

The agreement facilitated Russia's annexation of Crimea in 1783 and was the ‎basis for Russia's later claims as protector of Christians and Christianity in the ‎Ottoman Empire. ‎

At the place where the contract was signed, today a fountain stands, around ‎which a 32-acre nature park and a tourist center have been built. ‎

The historic fountain built in 1892
‎"The fountain was built in 1892. In 1973, on the occasion of the 200th ‎anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty, the Municipal Council of ‎Kaynardzha decided to turn the place into a park. In 2014, as part of a rural ‎development program project, we managed to build and equip a tourist center ‎with an exhibition and conference hall for events with up to 50 participants.‎

Tourist Information Centre in Kaynardzha

A permanent exhibition in the center tells about the peace treaty signed here, ‎about the protected natural areas in the area and about the lifestyle of local people.

Photos: Kaynardzha Municipality, Silistra Municipality

Compiled by Joan Kolev (based on an interview of Aishe Lyatish from BNR's Radio Shumen)

Translated and published by Rositsa Petkova

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