The unification of Bulgaria – places and personalities

On the morning of September 6, 1885, Prince Alexander I Battenberg receives notice of the established control over Plovdiv and the arrest of the chief governor Gavril Krastevich by Bulgarian troops. At that time, the young monarch was in the summer palace “Sandrovo” – a prototype of the sea residence “Evksinograd”. He immediately heads to Varna, where from the balcony of the former “Telegraph and Post Office” he announces the Union of the Principality of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia. A huge number of people welcomed the reunification of a part of the Bulgarian lands that were broken up soon after the Liberation.

137 years later, the maritime capital will remember the historic day with reenactments, a celebratory parade and a concert by the Navy’s representative brass band featuring authentic hymns and marches from the time of the Union.

On September 6, the prince arrives at a gallop in a carriage, and we will see this during the reenactment – says Lambrin Sotirov, organizer of the holiday and creator of the “Stara Varna” museum. – He will leave the government house – as it was called then, and exactly where he stood in 1885, will appear with his entourage to announce, accept and recognize the Unification of Bulgaria. Only when this happens does the Union become a legal, diplomatic, national and world fact. I.e. It is Varna that puts the prince’s legal stamp on this great deed.”

For the unification of part of the fragmented Bulgarian territories, Plovdiv will also be remembered – the city where the main events took place, which led to the rejection of the supremacy of the Sultan and the accession of the autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire to the Principality of Bulgaria.

On “Unification” square, in the building built for the Regional Assembly of Eastern Rumelia, today the exposition of the Regional History Museum “Unification of Bulgaria 1885” is housed. with the banners and weapons of the detachments and other valuable artifacts.

And not far away is the monument to the Union – a 12-meter sculpture of a young woman holding a laurel wreath above her head.

For the inhabitants of the capital Sofia, a small tomb in the center of the city will always remind them of the prince, who was behind the largest territorial expansion in the effort towards national unification – carried out without the blessing of the Great Powers, and a year later he became the victim of a coup organized by Russophile-minded officers because of his firm intention to lead an independent policy.

Many patriotic Bulgarians, called with the best feeling “crazy heads”, risked their lives in the preparation and bringing the Unification to a successful end.

One of them – the revolutionary and writer Zahariy Stoyanovwith the words “Brothers! The hour of the Union has struck!“, heralds the holy work.

Zahariy Stoyanov gave the fabric of our national liberation movement in its decisive phase and, of course, as a chronicler of the April Uprising – says the historian Prof. Plamen Pavlov. – He created the Bulgarian Secret Central Revolutionary Committee and played a leading role in the Unification. In general, his multifaceted activity in only 39 years of life covers incredible spaces and scales that even today are hard to imagine. But we should not forget that a lot of slander is poured on him – he is denied, turned into a negative character in any form, which, unfortunately, also applies to his work.”

The monument to Zahariy Stoyanov in Plovdiv

Among the most determined defenders of the Union is i Stefan Stambolov, who, in his capacity as Speaker of the National Assembly, put pressure on Alexander Battenberg to legitimize this political act. It was he who drew up the proclamation with which, on September 8, the monarch recognized the merger of the two Bulgarian territories and declared himself the prince of Northern and Southern Bulgaria.

Stefan Stambolov ranks among the most significant statesmen of XIX century – as a young man he joined the national liberation struggles, after the Liberation he entered politics from the Liberal Party, and with the coronation of Prince Ferdinand, he became the head of the government, achieving unprecedented economic growth and orienting foreign policy to the West.

The monument to Stefan Stambolov in his frontal place in the center of Sofia

Because of the steadfastness with which he ruled and the many enemies he won, on the eve of the new century he was hacked in the center of Sofia and died of his wounds three days later. He remains in history as one of the Builders of modern Bulgaria.

Text: Diana Tsankova (interviews of BNR Varna and BNR “Horizont” were used)

Photos: BGNES,,, archive

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: unification Bulgaria places personalities