Vasil Levski - the Apostle of Freedom

17 July 2017

On July 18 2017 Bulgaria celebrates the 180 anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levski (1837-1873). With different events under the auspices of the National Initiative Committee, the anniversary will be celebrated all over the country. Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria 2017 was announced as the year of Levski.

The history of Sofia offers information about Vasil Levski's connections to the city during the Revival. The Apostle visited Sofia three times. Together with local revolutionaries, Vasil Levski created a network of secret revolutionary committees. During his visits to the city he stayed in the Hadzimanov han, at the house of Yordanka Filaretova, organized meetings of revolutionary figures at the han of Dimitar Trajkovic, resided in the Dragalevtsi monastery, passed through the Valchov han, stayed in the village of Vrazdebna.

In the autumn of 1870 Vasil Levski created the Secret Revolutionary Committee (SRC) in Sofia - in the school, which was at the“St. Nedelya” Church. Its chairman was Hristo T. Stoyanov (1842 - 1895), secretary - Hristo Kovachev (1845 - 1911), treasurer - Dimitar Nozarov (1842 - 1897) and members - Dimitar Trajkovic (1817-1880) and Stoyan Malinov (w.y.). Representatives of the Sofia political and cultural elite - benefactors, enlighteners, religious and revolutionary leaders - participated in the committee. Some of the most prominent representatives are: Yordanka Filaretova, hajji Mano Stoyanov, hajji Bone Petrov, Dimitar H. Kotzev, priest Gennady and others. The establishment of the committee in Sofia was an important step towards the completion of the committee network in the southwest and in Macedonia. This can be defined as a development of the revolutionary organization, created by the Apostle. Before and after the creation of the SRC, Vasil Levski traveled to some of the settlements around Sofia: Birimirtsi, Gorublyane, German, Vrazhdebna, Pancharevo, Poduyane, Bistritsa, Slatina and others, and most probably, laid the foundations of secret revolutionary committees in these places.

In the archive of RHM Sofia there is an important document related to Vassil Levski, Revival time Sofia and the Bulgarian National Revival – the Diary of hajji Bone Petrov. This is a notebook with yellowed pages. The text was handwritten and the diary was kept from 1853 until the end of 1894. The original document contains 134 pages. It contains information about the residence of Vasil Levski in Sofia, which supports the oral history and the information from the Apostle’s personal notebook.

Hajji Bone Petrov’s Diary. The diary was kept from 1853 until the end of 1894. It contains 134 pages. Original.

“Valchov han in the village of Vrazdebna” by K. Gramatikov

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