On 3rd of March Bulgarians celebrate the Day of Liberation. It is a National holiday in Bulgaria and it is celebrated since 1991. In this post we will present you three monuments located in the capital Sofia and related to the events and participants in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) and graded not according to their importance, but according to the years in which they were discovered.
The first of these monuments is the Doctor's Monument, which is located in the central part of Sofia. It was built in 1883-1884 by a Russian architect of Czech origin, Antoni Osipovich Tomishko, in memory of the medical workers killed in the war, most of whom worked in the Russian Red Cross mission and fell in the battles of Pleven, Plovdiv, Mechka and Shipka. The names of 529 medics who gave their lives in the battles are engraved on the stone blocks. In its original form, the monument has 8 bronze wreaths with a diameter of about 80 cm, mounted vertically, two at the ends of each of the walls of the pedestal.
The second monument we draw your attention to is the monument to the king-liberator, the work of the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Joki. Raised as an expression of the gratitude of the Bulgarian to the Russian people in the person of the Russian Emperor Alexander II, it became one of the symbols of Bulgarian freedom. The idea for its construction was proposed in December 1892, Stoyan Zaimov was elected chairman of the organizing committee, and Prince Ferdinand I, who made the first donation, was elected honorary chairman. Its construction began in 1901, and 6 years later, on August 30, 1907, it was officially opened. The consecration was attended by participants in the war, the prince and his sons, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, Minister of War Gen. Alexander Kaulbars, gen. Nikolai Stoletov, Commandant of St. Petersburg, Gen. Piotr Parensov and Arnaldo Joki himself.
Last but not least on this list is the monument to the Unknown Soldier. The idea for its construction was born after the end of the First World War, and its goal is to find the most impressive way to pay tribute to the thousands of Bulgarians and foreigners who died for our country. In 1919, on his return from France after the signing of the Treaty of Neuilly, Alexander Stamboliiski visited Andrei Nikolov, a famous Bulgarian sculptor in Rome. Impressed by his work in Paris and the accumulated European experience, Stamboliiski invited him to return to Bulgaria. "You will come to Sofia, we will make statues and busts of all our deserving people, from the Renaissance to the present day," the Prime Minister assured him. The project for the monument to the Unknown Warrior was developed in 1933 and is the symbol of Bulgaria - the lion, as the sculptor chooses a young and strong, reclining lion, symbolizing the renewed state and the indomitable spirit of the people.
During the Second World War part of the monument was destroyed and therefore in 1980 a new project and monument had to be made. The southern side of the Church of St. Sophia was chosen for its location, and its opening took place on September 22, 1981 during the celebrations on the occasion of the 1300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian state. The artistic image of the monument is both modest and majestic and solemn with the warmth of eternal fire, bronze laurel wreaths and the engraved text from Ivan Vazov's poem "The New Cemetery of Slivnitsa". In its center is a large sarcophagus with urns from the battlefields of the four corners of Bulgaria. On the left is the figure of the lion of Andrei Nikolov. Solemn civil and military ceremonies are held in front of the monument.
There are many more memorial sites associated with March 3, both in the capital and in other Bulgarian cities, but these three monuments most expressively characterize the feeling of gratitude to the medics who sacrificed their lives to save others, the help of the Russian people. and to their king and to all known and unknown wars, who left their bones in Bulgaria forever.
City Tour Ltd. is a fully bounded
tour operator, acting legally under
license 5008/ 12.8.2002
VAT: BG 130923231