Dimovo municipality

Archaeological excavations of Ratiariaby the village of Archar
Archaeological excavations of Ratiariaby the village of Archar

The municipal centre - the town of Dimovo is one of the youngest settlements in Northwestern Bulgaria. It was founded about 1851 under the name Osmanie after the migration of the Circassians who were chased out of the Russian Empire and accepted by the Ottoman Empire. It is very probable that there had been an older settlement on its site, but the historical data are scanty. In the years after the signing of the San Stefano Peace Treaty in 1878, and the retreat of the Turks and the Circassians towards Asia Minor, Christian families from Aegean Thrace and the Belogradchik Province settled on the site of the present-day town of Dimovo. The newly founded settlement was named Barzitsi after the nearby river. The local population, who spoke a mixture of Turkish and Greek, gradually left the settlement. After a visit of prince Alexander Batenberg to the village, it was renamed to Alexandrovo in his honour.

The other larger settlement on the municipality's territory - Archar - is very ancient. It was founded under the name Ratiaria in c. 1 AD as an important Roman crossroad fortress on the Danube. Ratiaria acquired the statute of a colony under Emperor Trajanus (97-117) and achieved a great economic and cultural progress in c.1 and 2. It became the administrative centre of Riverside Dakia and an episcopal centre in 271. There were a state weapon workshop and a mint in it. The town was invaded and destroyed by the Huns in 442. It was restored by the Byzantine emperors Anastasius (491-518) and Justinianus(527-565), and was again destroyed in c. 6, this time by the Avars.

Unique finds of the material culture of that ancient settlement were uncovered in the archaeological excavations in 1957-1961, continued and expanded in 1975 with the participation of archaeologists from the University of Bologna.






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