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Тoday the town of Stara Zagora has its feast day

Тoday the town of Stara Zagora has its feast day

10/5/2004 8:18:35 AM

The town of Stara Zagora, very much like Plovdiv, carries along the marks of Bulgarian Revival period spirit. Today the town, that once had the name of the ancient Thracian tribe Beroe, has its feast day and its 125th anniversary since its restoration after being put to fire by the Ottoman oppressors.

The Stara Zagora Municipality is located in the southern part of central Bulgaria. It used to be one of the most ancient cities in Europe, inhabitted more than 8000 ago. The town displays remains of Neolithic buildings (dated the 6th millenium B.C.) as well as numerous findings dated from Thracian and Roman times. In the 6th c.B.C. the Thracian town of Beroe was erected here. Later, in the period 2nd-4th c.A.D., when Thace had been included as part of the Roman Empire, the town was once again erected aside of the ancient Thracian town and reached its climax. In honor of the Emperor Markus Trajanus the town was renamed to Augusta Trajana (also known as Ulpia Augusta Trayana). Throughout the centuries, it has been bearing different names - Verea (6 -12th c.)and Irinopolis (8th c.), after the name of the Byzantine Emperess, Irina. In Medieval times (13 - 14th c.) the town was named Boroui, while the Ottoman Turks changed the naem to Eski Zaara. In the second half of the 19th c., it had the name of Zheleznik (meaning "made of iron"), and ever since 1871 it has had its contemporary name of Stara Zagora.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 some of the hardest battles and bloodsheds took place outside the town of Stara Zagora. In the same year the Ottoman Turks put the whole town to fire. On January 23rd, 1878, the town finally got its freedom but remained within the boundaries of the autonomous region of East Roumelia.

The first solid stone to mark the beginning of the restoration of the town was laid by Aleko Bogoridi (General Governor of the region) on October 5th, 1879, and ever since that day has been celebrated as the official feast day of Stara Zagora.

The photo above: the Ancient Forum of Augusta Trayana, II - IV c. AD

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