The Karnobat region, located in front of the south approaches of the Rishki and Varbishki passes, features an ancient history, dating as back as the Neolith era. Villages and tumuli reveal traces of life from the neolith and Iron Age, rich settlement life during the antiquity and Middle Ages.
The first information for Karnobat was written in 1153 and included in The Geography by Al Idrisi - an Arabian traveller and scientist. The historical sources show that since the 19th century up to present days the town has always been an administrative, economic and commercial centre with a traditional yearly fair.
The town of Karnobat was mentioned under different names in the documents from the Turkish registers and travel notes: Karinovassa. Karinabad, Karnovo...
After the foundation of the Bulgarian state in 681, because of its exceptional role, the lands of the Karnobat region were field of many battles between Bulgaria and Byzantium. Markeli fortress, a south Episcopal and military center, located 7,5 km west of Karnobat, has been the most significant place of interest since the times of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. During the Ottoman rules, the town was an important administrative and trade center included in the Silistra district. The fact that the Bulgarian priest Stoiko Vladislavov (known as Sofronii Vrachanski, one of the prominent men of the Bulgarian national revival) performed the service in Karnobat parish is indicative of the revival processes that took place in the region from 1791 to 1792.
During the Renaissance Karnobat became the rallying point for cultural and educational development of the region. St. Yoan Theologian Church was built in 1838. Razvitie Reading Club (now St. Kiril i Metodii Reading Club) one of the first reading clubs in South-Eastern Bulgaria was established in 1862 and a non-clerical school was opened in 1864.
The town had a significant contribution to the religious struggles during the Renaissance - in the 19th century the active and public-spirited citizens of Karnobat expelled the bishop of Anhialo and in this way they completely eliminated the Greek influence.
During the Russian-Turkish war (1877-1878) the region became a victim of outrageous bashi-bazouks and Circassians.
The Liberation of Karnobat on 24, January 1878 gave grounds for huge social and economic reforms. The town strengthened its positions as a cultural and educational center. About 22 periodicals reflect its new appearance.
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