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Byala Slatina

The big pool in the centre of the village
The big pool in the centre of the village

Archaeological research has proved that there was human presence in the region as early as antiquity. Pottery from the late neolith, objects from the chalcolith, a cultural layer from the Bronze Age were discovered on the land of the present-day town.

Domestic objects and burial mounds from the first millennium testify to the existence of a large Thracian settlement founded as the seat of a renowned dynasty. In the first centuries A.D. a large fortress was erected to the northwest of Byala Slatina, which was demolished later during the Slavonic invasions.

Along with the foundation and the consolidation of the First Bulgarian Kingdom a new settlement grew in the place of the earlier tentative settlements and in the immediate vicinity of one of Khan Asparouh's  rampants. It took its name from the boggy and swampy places by the river - at first it was Slatina (the old Slavonic word for "bog"), then it became Byala Slatina to differentiate it from the many other similar bogs on the Slavonic territory.

The village preserved its name during the Ottoman rule in the Middle Ages. In 1776 an uprising erupted  in Byala Slatina and the neighbouring villages against the Ottoman feudal and national oppression. When the uprising was crushed the region was depopulated. Only as late as the end of c. 17 Bulgarian Muslims from the region of Lovech settled there. Later dozens of families came from the Fore Balkan in search of land and a source of livelihood.

The Bulgarians determined the shape of the large field village and gave an impetus to its economical and spiritual development. By the middle of c. 19 Byala Slatina had its own school, and during the last years of the oppression was the educational and revolutionary centre of the surrounding villages.

In October 1877 the inhabitants of Byala Slatina welcomed units of Colonel Maiendorf's squadrons. After the Russian-Turkish liberation war the village developed exceedingly fast and in 1883 became a district centre, and in 1914 acquired the statute of a town. With the construction of the narrow-gage railway track Cherven Bryag - Oryahovo in 1918 the town's development was accelerated. New settlers crowded in. There was a big weakly market of livestock and grain to which tradesmen from Russia, Romania and other countries came. Mills, oil-factories, weaver's workshops and various other workshops were founded. Rich villagers bought land and formed large landed estates. The Bulgarian bourgeoisie was taking shape.

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