Vidin Travel Guide

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Historians claim that Vidin has existed as a town for m o re than 2000 years. Attracted by the fertile land along the Danube , the Thracian tribes of Mizi and Tribalti established the first settlement on this land. At the beginning of the new era the lower course of the Roman Empire and Roman legions settled near the old Thracian settlements. At that time the name of the town was Bononia. It developed as an important urban and military cent re . When the slurs came in the 7 th the century the town was named Bdin. At the end of the 10 th c. the rulers of the town, assessing it’s strategic situation , began constructing new fortifications. The foundations of the Baba Vida fortress were laid. People have created a lot of legends about it. One of the most popular says: The ruler of Bdin was already very old, so he decided to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. The fertile land from Bdin to the Carpathian Mountains he gave to his oldest daughter Vida.
His daughter Gamza got the land near the river Morava and the third one – Koula, was given the land near the river Nishava and the town, since then has been named Koula. Gamza and Koula got married but their marriages were a failure, so Vida decided to remain single and defend her kingdom alone. An inaccessible fortress was built by her order, which would protect the town from invaders. Vida lived in it until she grew old and the people called the fortress Baba Vida in her memory. In 1003 the Byzantine troops, led by the emperor Vasilius II, the killer of the Bulgarians used the most modern means of siege, but the fortress was defended bravely and had to surrender only because of treachery.   The Monument to the  Fallen Soldier. In 13 th c. and 14 th c. Vidin was the capital of an independent fief. Many times it had to resist the attacks of tartars, magyars and other enemy tribes. Among the rulers at that time was one, whose name has remained forever in the history of the town and the country – Tzar Ivan Sratsimir. Most probably he started ruling Vidin kingdom in 1360. During his reign there was a period of relative peacefulness despite the dynastic conflicts and the constant threat by the Turks. A lot of documents of that time show that Vidin was one of the busiest ports on the Danube. In order to preserve his kingdom Ivan Sratsimir had to declare himself a vassal to the Turks. Ivan Sratsimir supported the campaign for the liberation of the Christian world, organized by the Central European countries and led by the Hungarian king Sigizmund. Sultan Bajazid, furious of his opposition, sent his troops to Bdin and conquered the town by fraud. So, in 1396 the Ottomans defeated the last Bulgarian stronghold. However, the freedom – loving Bulgarians didn’t put up with this situation. The first revolt against the Ottoman yoke broke out here in 1403. Konstantin and Fruzhin led it. The climax of the struggle against the yoke was the revolt in the Northwest part of Bulgaria in 1850, but it was suppressed, too. During the years of the slavery Vidin succeeded in keeping its significance as a commercial and military center. Understanding its strategic situation the Turks turned into a

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August 29, 2005 change by giorgio

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