Current News

Current News

Kapitan Petko Voivoda (Petko Kiriakov) - (Dec.18 (6),1844 - Feb.20 (7), 1900)

Kapitan Petko Voivoda (Petko Kiriakov) - (Dec.18 (6),1844 - Feb.20 (7), 1900)

2/20/2010 9:14:54 AM

Born on December (6)18, 1844, in the village of Dogan Hissar, on the territory of today's Turkey, Petko Kiryakov formed a rebel squad after several of his relatives were slaughtered by the local Turkish "bey". In the course of almost two decades he fought against the Ottoman outrages in the Rhodopes and the Aegean Thrace. Most of the life of Petko Kiryakov was not unveiled by historians but by the prominent Bulgarian writer Nikolay Haitov, who wrote a novel and a script turned into a TV series, which became a favourite of most Bulgarians. Haitov spent many years in the region of the Rhodopes to search for information on the liberation hero.

Petko was popular among ethnic Bulgarians, Turks and Greeks because he defended the rights of the poor ones. This Bulgarian Robin Hood did not limit himself to territories inhabited by Bulgarians only; he was eager to fight for any people in Europe suffering injustice. In a way, he was the first Bulgarian to turn the ideal of united Europe into practice. Part of his efforts was the amazing friendship he had with Garibaldi.

In 1864, Petko was in touch with Greek revolutionaries. He spent a year in the Athens Military School, learning the secrets of military art and tactics. Greece had been an independent state since 1829 but vast regions of the country and many islands, including Crete, were still under Ottoman rule. While in Greece, Kiryakov learned that Garibaldi, the leader of the Italian revolution, had been heavily wounded. At this time Italy was occupied by the Austrian Empire. The two met in person in 1866, at the estate of the famous Italian. The 60-year-old Garibaldi became like a teacher to the 22-year-old Petko.

"He, the Italian hero, gave me directions that I recalled my entire life and followed in my struggle against the Ottoman oppressors," Kiryakov once said of this important friendship. Garibaldi helped the young Bulgarian to form a squad of 220 volunteers, mainly Italians, which was later joined by other Bulgarian and Greek revolutionaries, and went to Crete to lead many battles against the Ottomans. The uprising in Crete ended tragically, despite being supported by the Greek government by means of weapons, money and volunteers. The Great Powers decided in favour of the Ottomans and asked them for no more than reforms. The island again became part of Greece in 1913 after the Second Balkan War.

After spending some time in Alexandria (Egypt) and Marseille (France), Petko returned to Bulgaria and continued his struggle until after the Liberation (1878). He spent the last years of his life in the city of Varna. Contrary to what anyone could expect, these last years were far from calm. Several times he was arrested and imprisoned by the regime of Stefan Stambolov. Despite being politically inactive, Petko was accused of being a Russophile and was even framed for organising a plot against the prime minister. Police raided his home in Varna and stole important documents and belongings of Kiryakov, among them probably a ring, which was a gift from Garibaldi.

After meeting Petko Voivoda, Garibaldi was very interested in the fate of Bulgaria. As a shrewd and experienced man, Garibaldi accurately appraised the extraordinary talent of the young Bulgarian. As a token of his friendship, the Italian leader presented Petko with a golden ring and gave him the rank of captain. This rank was also given to him by the Russian Emperor Alexander II, who also presented the Bulgarian hero with the St.George's Cross and an estate near Kiev - for services to Russia.

Captain Petko Voivoda died in 1892 in Varna, at the age of 56, and was almost forgotten...

The information has been taken from the sofiaecho.com

March 3rd - the National Day of Bulgaria
What happened on that day and how long has it been celebrated? The San Stefano Peace Treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire was signed on February 19th (March 3rd, ...
Today is the BABA MARTA DAY
Today is the BABA MARTA DAY
3/1/2015 8:00:00 AM
If you by any chance visit Bulgaria on the first day of March you are certain to notice almost every person decorated with small tokens made from red and white woollen threads.
TODOROVDEN
TODOROVDEN
2/28/2015 10:00:00 AM
Name day of everyone named Todor, Todorka, Teodor/a, Theo, Dora.
SIRNI ZAGOVEZNI (Shrove Sunday/ Cheese Fasting)
Ritual table: cheese pastry, rite bread, cheese pumpkin, eggs, white halvah with nuts, fish.
Anniversary of the death of Vassil Levski
Today is the 142nd anniversary of the death of one of the greatest fighters for Bulgarian independence during the period of the Ottoman oprresion
MESNI ZAGOVEZNI (Meat Fasting Day)
MESNI ZAGOVEZNI (Meat Fasting Day)
2/15/2015 9:00:00 AM
Mesni Zagovezni (Meat Fasting Day) - celebrated 8 Sundays before Easter. After the All Souls; Day (Goliama Zadoushnitsa) on Saturday, the following day, Sunday, people celebrate the Orthodox Chur...
Today is ZADOUSHNITZA (All Souls’ Day)
ZADOUSHNITZA (All Souls’ Day):
 Bulgarians Celebrate Love of Wine and Each Other
As lovers celebrate St Valentine's Day, many Bulgarians insist February 14 should be reserved for a traditional Bulgarian celebration - the feast of St. Trifon Zarezan.
Anniversary of the death of St Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher
February 14th marks the anniversary of the death of St Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher, one of the holy brothers St.St. Cyril and Methodius, founders...
ST.VLASSIOS/ BLASSIOS (also Hieromartyr Blaise)
Name day of Vlasso