Ancient and eventful history

Gold decorations, c. I-II AD, the village of Madrets
Gold decorations, c. I-II AD, the village of Madrets

The remains of the first settlement on the municipality's territory date from 4 000 years ago. 275 archaeological monuments have been discovered, among which there are 92 settlements, 5 settlement mounds, 114 burial mounds, 4 fortresses, etc. Together with the unique exhibits of stone, bone, bronze, silver and gold, stored in the local archaeological museum, they testify to the ancient and eventful history of Radnevo.

The first ethnos to populate the region was the Thracian tribe Pirogers. According to historical data, the Roman road station Arsus was situated on the municipality's territory. After the formation of the Bulgarian state in 681 AD, the region became a buffer zone between Bulgaria and Byzantium.

There are several legends about the foundation of Radnevo. According to the most plausible of them, the settlement was founded about 1700 by the old man Radni, who lived in the village of Koushlou Kavak. The Bulgarian population sought refuge from the cruel attitude of the local Ottoman ruler. Old Radni's family escaped to the neighbouring village, but got into trouble with its ruler too. Then they together with other Bulgarians secretly crossed the rivers Koumourja and Azmaka at nighttime and settled into the present Radnevo. They chose it for its fertile black earth, abundant water and mild climate.

A cloister was built in the settlement, then a monastery, and on 04.04.1873, thanks to the efforts of the priest Georgi Zhelev, who convinced his fellow- villagers in the need of a spiritual temple, the construction of the church "Sveti Ivan Rilski" (St. Ivan of the Rila Mountain) started with means from donations. The seventies of c. 19 were a crucial point in the development of the then Radne Mahle and the region. The railway line Simeonovgrad - Nova Zagora was built in 1872-1873 by the French firm Baron Hirsch. The commerce in the region developed rapidly after its construction. Radne Mahle was renamed to Radnevo (a Bulgarian version of the Turkish name) in 1906, and acquired the statute of a province's centre in 1911. It was proclaimed a town in 1964.

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