An important cultural centre

The city of Pazardzhik
The city of Pazardzhik

Tatar Pazardzhik was founded by south Russian Tatar settlers on the left bank of the Maritsa River, next to the site of a periodical local market, in the second half of c. 15. The crossroad location of the settlement at the centre of a fertile area contributed to its rapid development. Pazardzhik became the centre of a caasa (province) of the Ottoman Empire by the end of c. 16 and remained so up to the National Liberation in 1878. The trade in iron, furs and rice proliferated in c. 17. In c. 19, Pazardzhik was already a large crafts and commercial centre with a population of about 25 000 people. The town was the host of two large fairs, and a big market took place every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Communications were facilitated by a post office with a telegraph.

Pazardzhik also became an important cultural centre in the middle of the century. The Church of the Holy Godmother, a monument of national importance, famous for its architecture and fretwork, was built in 1837. A secondary school was founded in 1847, and a girls' school - in 1848. A cultural club was founded in 1868, and the Prosveta women's educational society - in 1870.

The town was burnt down by the retreating Ottoman troops during the War of Liberation in 1877-1878. It was liberated on 2 (14).01.1878 by the detachment of the Russian General Gourko. After the liberation it expanded to the right bank of the Maritsa River. They built barracks and an agricultural school there by the end of c. 19, and started building factories, warehouses and residential houses at the beginning of c. 20. So the industrial quarter of the town was formed.

Pazardzhik was a district centre from1959 to 1987, and again become a district centre with the latest administrative division in1999.

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