- Batak, Bulgaria
Batak ( _bg. Батак) is a town in Southern
Bulgaria. It is located in Pazardzhik Provinceand is close to the town of Peshtera. Batak is a municipal centre with 3 villages included and a total population of 7,480.
Batak is situated in the northwestern slopes of the
Rhodope Mountains, 1036 m above sea level. It is surrounded by many peaks, clad with century-old pine and spruce forests. The climate is temperate continental with a characteristic southern warm wind. Batak was pronounced town in 1964 and has population of 4,019 people.
There are numerous archaeological monuments of most ancient times in the region of Batak. A find of the
Old Stone Agewas discovered in 1958. Tools, objects, ceramic vessels, ornaments as well as bones of rhinoceroswere found which proves that the climate was warmer in the Quaternary. Twenty Thracian, Thraco-Roman, Byzantine and Slavic fortresses, churches and monasteries, as well as Thracian mounds, Roman bridges, mines, mills and other archaeological sites were registered.
Origin of the settlement and medieval history
The exact origin of Batak is unknown, since there is a lack of historical data. The earlier view that the settlement was founded by Bulgarians who escaped from the forced mass conversion into
Islamin the valley of Chepinoin 16th century today is rejected because it is believed that the settlement is much older. This is justified by an inscription on the fountain of Virgin Mary Monastery of Krichimbuilt by the people of Batak in 1592, a writ of the feudal possessions of Sultan Suleiman I(1520-1566), in which the village of Batak is also mentioned, as well as the remnants of many churches and monasteries burnt down by the Ottomans during the conversion into Islam in this region. The origin of the name of Batak is not certain, too. In the old legends it is related to the Tsepino chieftain Batoy, while the history professors Yordan Ivanov and Vasil Mikov suppose that Batak was Potok, a settlement of Cuman origin existing between the 11th and the 13th century. It is, however, certain that the name of the village is Bulgarian, not Turkish as some authors assert.
During the centuries of Ottoman rule, many
hajduks in the region of Batak took revenge from the turks for the outrages upon Bulgarian people – Strahil Voivoda, Deli Arshenko Payaka, Gola Voda, Todor Banchev, Beyko, Yanko Kavlakov, Mityo Vranchev, etc. From these times have remained the old rebel names, such as "Haydushka Skala", "Haydushka Polyana", "Haydushko Kladenche" (spring), "Sablen Vrah" ("Sabre Peak"), "Karvav Chuchur" ("Bloody Spout"), as well as many legends.
Woodworking, trade and innkeeping were developed in Batak during the National Revival. The prosperity of the population was conducive to the prosperity of education — a secular school was opened in 1835 and the "St. Nedelya Church" was built in 1813. Batak has given many eminent figures of the Bulgarian Revival, such as clerics like archimandrite Yosif, Nikifor, Kiril and others, who worked in the
Rila Monastery, a centre of the Bulgarian National Revival. Famous men of letters are Georgi Busilinand Dragan Manchov.
April Uprising and Ottoman war-crimes
The population of Batak took part in the
April Uprisingof 1876. The people of Batak rebelled on 22 Aprilunder the leadership of voivodaPetar Goranov. On 30 Aprilthe village was surrounded by Ottoman army units and irregulars ( bashi-bozouk). The battles were carried on for five days. The last stronghold of the rebels was the St. Nedelya Church.
At the end five thousand people were killed and the village was burned down to ashes. News of the atrocities spread around the world. The public outcry created favourable conditions for Russia to declare war on Turkey. On
20 January 1878the people of Batak who had survived the uprising enthusiastically met the advancing Russian army.
Today Batak is a renovated modern town famous for its historical monuments and a resort and tourist centre. A key hydropower system — "Batashki Vodnosilov Pat" — with five dams and hydroelectric stations was constructed in the 1950s. Rest houses, tourist complexes and villas are built along the dam banks.
Batak Pointon Smith Island, South Shetland Islandsis named after Batak.
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Look at other dictionaries:
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