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ORYAHOVO

The town of Oryahovo is situated on the right bank of the Danube upon four level terraces in a beautiful, hilly locale.
There is evidence of human presence at this site as early as the Stone and Bronze Ages. Ruins have remained from the times of the Thracians and Romans also. The old Roman road to Constantinople passes by. During the Middle Ages (9-10th century) a Bulgarian fortress was built, which served as a watchtower and defended the border against Avars, Francs and Magyars (Hungarians). The town was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1388. During the following years it became an arena of battles between the conquerors and Crusaders of the Hungarian King Sigismund. The town is mentioned as Orehov in documents from that time. In 1444, it was liberated, although just for a short time, by the Polish-Hungarian King Vladislav Varnenchik. Medieval names of the town are: Vrhov, Orezov, Oreev, and Oreshik. Its name was Orehovo since the beginning of the 18th century and later changed to the present Oryahovo. The development of shipping at the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century led to economic stability and spiritual progress. Many schools were opened - intermediate and for girls - as well as a cultural club; the battle for church and national independence became active. The town was liberated from the Ottoman rule in 1877 after three days of skirmishes.

LANDMARKS
• The Town Historical Museum.
• The House-Museum of the distinguished Bulgarian composer Diko Iliev, the author of some of the most popular Bulgarian hora (folk-type dances) and marches.
• St. George's Church (1837) in the National-Revival style, where old printed church literature from Russia is preserved.
• Complex of National-Revival homes.
• Ethnographic Museum in the old marketplace.
• The Park of Bulgarian-Romanian Friendship, which immortalizes the memory of the Romanian soldiers who died in the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.
• Loven Dom (Hunting Lodge) Park in the centre of the town with a beautiful panoramic view of the entire Danube riverbank.
• Remains of the Kamaka fortress from the 12th century 1.5 km (1 mile) from Oryahovo, which was part of the defensive system on the northern Bulgarian border.
• Esperanto Island 5 km from the town, which is called thus in honor of the World Esperanto Congress held here in 1937. On the riverside across from the island a recreational area has taken form.
• The island embankment - a defensive structure from the time of the First Bulgarian State, created in 681 by Khan Asparuh.
• The Roman tomb in the locale of Lakata near the village of Leskovets.

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