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The town of Kalofer was established by a group of haiduti (Bulgarian rebels)
The town of Kalofer was established by a group of haiduti (Bulgarian rebels)

The place had been covered with thick woods and uninhabited until the early years of Ottoman rule. The town of Kalofer was established by a group of haiduti (Bulgarian rebels) from a destroyed nearby town, led by Kalifer Voivoda. This happened with the explicit permission of the Turkish Sultan, after his inferiors acknowledged inability to destroy the rebel group, which had attacked on Turkish officers and created trouble for years. The residents of the new settlement were given the statute of dervendzhii, meaning official guardians of roads and passes in the mountains.

Even in the town was plundered and ruined twice, in 1799 and 1804, it quickly recovered to see an economic boom in the early 19th century with a lot of producers of woolen braids, mills for wool processing and shops for dying of cloths emerging out of the ashes. At that time, Kalofer traded with Constantinople, Odessa, Braila and Vienna. In 1845, the first school for boys was opened, while in 1871 another one for girls followed. Towards the end of Turkish rule, about 15 groups of haiduti, with more than 500 members being from Kalofer, existed in the town’s neighbourhood. Similarly to Karlovo and Sopot, Kalofer was set on fire and largely destroyed by the Turks during the Liberation War of 1877-1878.

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