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GORNA ORYAHOVITSA

The largest rail hub in northern Bulgaria is situated on natural geographic crossroads at the northern foothills of the Tarnovo Highlands, 7 km from Veliko Tarnovo.

The earliest information of settled life dates from the second half of the 5th millenium B.C. The first Thracian residents were from the Korbizi tribe. The Romans built their fortified settlement upon the ruins of the Thracian fortress, known as Kamaka (The Rock)', it existed until the arrival of the Slavs (6-7th century). After the restoration of the Bulgarian State at the end of the 12th century, several guard fortifications were built to protect the new capital, Tarnovgrad. Today's town is the successor to one of them - Rahovets, destroyed in 1444 by the Polish-Hungarian King Vladislav Varnenchik. During the Ottoman rule a trade and crafts town developed which received certain privileges from the Sultan. The economic and cultural flower of Gorna Oryahovitsa was during the National Revival. Several schools were opened (cell, private, girls', and secular); a cultural club and churches were built. The population took active part in the April Uprising (1876) and 132 residents of Gorna Oryahovitsa fought in the lines of the Bulgarian militia during the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation (1877-78). After the Liberation the town developed as a large transportation centre. Its proximity to the medieval capital Veliko Tarnovo, to the numerous area landmarks and to Arbanasi, has made it a centre for tourism also.

LANDMARKS
• Town Historical Museum.
• The house of Sider Voyvoda (leader oj rebels).
• The Mutual-Teaching School.
• St. George's Church.
• The monuments to distinguished Bulgarian revolutionaries and activists - Georgi Izmirliev, Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev, and Sider Voyvoda.
• Neolithic settlement.
• Remains of the medieval fortress Rahovets 4 km from the town.
• The locale of Bahadur with a late medieval necropolis.
• Remains of the Thracian fortress Kamaka.
• The St. Petka Fountain in the locale of the same name, where there was a late medieval settlement, Temnigrad.
• The Shepherd's Fountain.
• The Bozhura Forest Park 7 km (4 miles) west of the town.

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