Vasil Levski Monument in Sofia

Last updated Jan 2015

 

Address: Intersection of Vasil Levski Bld. and Janko Sakazov Blvd.

 

Getting there: Metro Line 1 SU Kl. Ohridski station (Sofia University)


This modest monument is dedicated to perhaps the best known Bulgarian revolutionary, Vasil Levski (1837-1873).

Born Vassil Ivanov Kunchev but nicknamed Levski or the lion-like, he reached the status of a nearly mythical hero while still alive.

Levski traveled around the 19th century Bulgarian lands and organized ethnic Bulgarians into underground revolutionary committees, with a secret plan to revolt against Ottoman rule.

A dedicated republican and an admirerer of democratic principles his motto of "for a pure and sacred republic" is a phrase known by every Bulgarian today. 

Levski was betrayed and arrested by the authorities before the revolt he organized saw the light of day. He was tried on a charge of subversion and was sentenced to death.

It is a commonly held belief that the sentence was carried out in the vicinity of the today's monument.

Several years after his death, in April of 1876, to a big degree as a direct result of Levski's work, Bulgarians rose up for their freedom in what became known as the April Uprising.  A somewhat naïve endeavor, lacking ammunitions, training, and, to a certain extent, mass support, it got off to a bad start and had to begin prematurely due to a betrayal from within.

Just days later, the uprising was brutally suppressed by Turkish mercenaries known as bashibazouk. Massacres of civilians followed, most notably in the town of Batak where 3,000 to 5,000 men, women and children lost their lives. The brutality caused a wave of public outcry in Europe and Russia and indirectly led to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and the Bulgarian Independence.

To this day, Vasil Levski is one of the brightest figures of the Bulgarian Independence Movement and the most revered Bulgarian.

At least one school in every city bears his name, so do streets, boulevards, a major soccer team and the national stadium.

 

Last updated Jan 2015
 
   
resized/vassil levski monument sofia bulgaria 600x200
resized/vassil levski monument sofia bulgaria 600x200
vassil levski monument sofia bulgaria
vassil levski monument sofia bulgaria