|During the period of Ottoman slavery Kazanlak became the valley’s administrative center. Based on the enforceable military-feudal system, the Bulgarian population kept its occupation, lifestyle and language. The Orthodox Church still supported its national awareness, while the Bulgarian haidouks (outlaws) were the population’s only protectors. During the second half of the XVIII century inhabitants of the Kardzhali region plundered Enina, Yasenovo, Skobelevo, Cherganovo, Ovoshtnik. Bulgarians from Koprivshtitsa, Tarnovo, Klisura and other locations moved to Kazanlak. Farming, construction of churches and crafts developed.
Around the middle of the XIX century craftsmanship reached its peak. More than 40 crafts developed: braziery, tinkering, tinsmith's trade, silversmith’s craft, rug-making, soap-making, glass-making, tailoring, etc. Rose-growing became the local population’s main source of income. Kazanlak became famous among its contemporaries as a major producer of rose oil. The fragrant and tender rose blossoms were weaved into tufted rugs and carpets, embroidered in shirts, pillows, table-cloths, forged in buckles, bracelets and belts, drawn on chests, jugs, and copper utensils, engraved in wood-carvings of ceilings, doors and fountains.
This developing base required and helped establish the necessary and new social education and cultural forms: class schools, book shops, girls’ schools, theaters. The Fish vocabulary of Dr. P. Beron, who initiated the popularization of the Bulgarian education, was also shown. The school appliances being presented – wax writing boards, slate-pencils, ink-horns, ink-pots – also drew great interest. New cultural and educational forms also emerged at that time.
|Fish ABC Book by Dr. Petar Beron from 1824
|17th century gospel with silver facing of 14th century
One can also find materials related to the church-national fights, which led to the establishment of the independent Bulgarian exarchate, the Bulgarians’ fights for political independence, until the foundation of the National revolutionary organization by Vasil Levski. The April Rebellion of 1876 ended up unsuccessful but led to the declaration of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877/1878.
The Kazanlak region, which had an important strategic location within the Ottoman Empire and was populated with public-spirited and patriotic inhabitants, took active participation in Bulgaria’s Liberation. The local Renaissance is one of the most important periods in the history of Bulgaria and is related to the preservation of the nation’s culture, lifestyle and spirit.