Bulgarian capital marks 125th anniversary of liberation from Ottoman Yoke

On Saturday morning, Sofia meets with chime of all its churches the 125th anniversary of liberation from the Ottoman yoke during the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war. A thanksgiving liturgy will be held in the Holy Week church in memory of the Russian soldiers who died for Bulgaria's liberation. Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim is expected to attend the liturgy.

Wreaths will be laid to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to the memorials of Russian soldiers which were erected as a sign of gratitude to Russia for Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottoman dominance. Flowers will also be laid to the bronze monument of Russian Emperor Alexander II. A concert will be held at Sofia's Military Club.

Late in the evening, Sofia's sky will be illuminated by fireworks in honour of those who liberated Bulgaria.

In the winter of 1878, Russian troops commanded by Iosif Gurko passed through the Balkan Mts. and liberated Sofia after a sanguinary fight with Turkish units under the command of Shukri-Pasha. On January 4th, Kuban Cossacks threw the Turkish banner from the governor's house on the ground. According to historians, Russian troops were met with music and flowers. At that time, Sofia's residents decided to make this day in January an annual popular holiday. In the course of time and changing regimes, this decision was forgotten, but Sofia's municipality has revived the tradition.

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