Beads and beaded adornments probably attended man throughout its existence. Their use in the territory of Bulgaria is registered strongly as part of the funeral offerings from the Stone Copper Age (5th millennium BC).
In the Central Rhodope Mountains area (Smolyan region) the use of beads and beaded adornments was established in the Early Iron Age (8th – 6th century BC).
The decoration of beads mostly as part of adornment represented a single or a few beads with bi-conical, cylindrical or spherical shape, which were made of copper alloy (bronze).
Beaded adornments include also amber, stone and rarely clay beads. There were also strings of bronze, silver and gold saltaleoni (cylindrical rolled spirals, springs). In Antiquity and Medieval Ages as a material for the production of beads was used mostly colored glass (glass paste). Imported strings of small Aegean sea-shells were single cases.
The glass was the main material of beaded adornments and decorations from the end of 19th – beginning of 20th century.
In the “Ethnography” Collection beaded adornments are represented by more than 100 various in types and purpose movable cultural values. They were collected most actively in 70s and 80s of 20th century. New interesting specimens are collected and nowadays.
Women's adornments were predominated - necklaces, bracelets, belts, hat adornments, but there were beaded adornments designed and worn by men - watch-chains also called as “kyustetsi”. Beads or beaded ornaments were part of the additional elements of female braids, of children's and women's hats, and bags for carrying bagpipes, which were made by local craftsmen.
Most of the adornments, stored at the museum, were made of round, fine, and glass beads in various colors by stringing and knitting by crochet and needle, embroidering, weaving by loom.
Adornments were the work of girls and brides who acquire and exercise skills in making them at home. Some of the adornments, which are stored at the museum, were imported from major trade centers in the Aegean Sea as a gift for girls and brides.
They were designed for the most vulnerable parts of the human body - chest, head, and waist. Their aesthetic function was reinforced by much more important – the function of amulet against evil spirits and evil eyes.
Beaded purses were imported from Aegean urban centers in the beginning of 20th century. The museum stores beaded objects which were made by men - prisoners, fighters for Bulgarian freedom, which serve a sentence in Turkish prisons and which were given to their relatives when they were discharged from prison.
The tradition in the Rhodopes to decorate or to make beaded objects with diverse functional affiliations is alive today, in making beaded adornments, bags for carrying bagpipes and horse accessories.
Damyan Damyanov Vanya Yordanova
Yordanova, V. Beaded adornments from the “Ethnography” Collection of RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan - Proceedings of RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, Volume 1, Smolyan, 2011, p. 205-228.
Catalogue. Museum valuables from the Region of Smolyan, Smolyan, 2007.
Ganeva, R. Signs of Bulgarian traditional costumes, S., 2003.
Milcheva M. Beaded head adornments in Thrace – Thracian man and his world, Volume 2, S., 2004, p. 112-128.
Gramatikov D. Beaded belts of South Bulgaria - IMYUB 2, 1979.
Damyanov, D. Das Weltbild der Thraker. Thrakische Hügelgrab-nekropole bei Ljubtsch, Westliche Rhodopen. – Thracia, Sofia, 2003, 15, 581-593.
The Thracian monetary circulation in the region of Smolyan is usual with some small exceptions. Discovery of early coins of the cities along the Western Ponus is an exception. They consist of 2 silver coins (5th – 4th century BC) and 2 bronze coins (3rd – 2nd century BC) of Mesambria and 3 silver coins (first half of the 4th century BC) of Apollonia. They are of unknown provenance and it cannot be securely claimed that they originate from this region. There is neither any information about the circumstances of their submission to the museum.
It is extremely difficult to work with unreliable information and I would rather refrain from comments on the presence of these coins in the museum collection. It is highly unlikely that they had been part of a hoard because silver coins of Mesambria had almost not circulated, while those of Apollonia are heavily worn out despite being of the same period.
Findings of silver coins of Thracian Chersonese are to be expected. The numbers are even below the expectations. The coins of the city circulated in the 4th century BC and were still in wide use in several decades after the Macedonian conquest. They were so well accepted by the local population that they were being used in some areas till the end of the 3rd century BC. Therefore appear their imitations.
Data on the origin of silver coins of Thracian Chersonese, 5 specimens and of Parium, 1, suggest that they were probably part of a hoard from the region of Zlatograd.
The 2nd – 1st century BC bronze coins of Maroneia expressively prevail. They are of two denominations but of the same iconographic type. Small denomination: head of Dionysos/ Dionysos standing with single legend ΜΑΡΟΝΙΤΩΝ, and big denomination with the legend: ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ / ΣΟΤΗΡΟΣ / ΜΑΡΩΝΙΤΟN. Both variants of these bronze coins were obviously intended for local payments.
It is worth noting that the coins of the big denomination prevail significantly. From the region of the village of Startsevo, Municipality of Zlatograd, the biggest hoard was discovered and preserved; consist of big denomination from 2nd – 1st century BC. It was found in “Belite Kamuni” area.
Most of this emblematic hoard which should have consisted of 726 bronze coins of big denomination is kept in the Regional Museum of History in Smolyan. Altogether homogenous, it offers interesting information. The coins are of several distinct issues differentiated by a few combinations of monograms. Even different type of bronze bullion used for their mint is visible. Several dozens of combinations of pairs of dies can be detected in this hoard. There is evidence for 11 more coins of the same type that was submitted to the museum by the police authorities. It is highly probable that they stem from the same big hoard.
Furthermore this big collective find, a number of single coins or part of hoards has also been found in the land of the same village. An interesting fact is that field surveys in the area of the village provided more hoards. One of them consists of 23 of the same bronze coins of Maroneia. It was discovered by K. Kisyov and is also kept in the Smolyan Museum Collection. As single finds the following coins were recorded: 3 bronze coins of Maroneia, of the same type and date.
So far there is no historical study of the possible reason for having so many Maroneian coins of known provenance in the area. At the same time there are only few silver coins of this city of the same period, or at least more coins have not yet been discovered. It is known that silver coins, tetradrachms of the same period were meant for bigger payments outside the city. These can be called “international” or external payments.
The intensity and route of spread of Maroneian 2nd – 1st century BC tetradrachms has been exhaustedly studied. It did not coincide with the area of the bronze coins. Ever more, silver and bronze coins of this city were almost never found together in hoards. Another important feature of the spread of Maroneian coins is the lack of earlier types of the bronze coins of the city. With very few exceptions, only 4 coins from 4th century BC (a horse/vine in a square) were found, the rest are the later 2nd – 1st century BC bronze coins of the type “Dionysos Soter” described above. Earlier studies on the basis of hoard bulletins established that the 4th century BC Maroneian bronze coins were usually discovered more to the east, in the Kurdzhali area.
From the region date back some collective hoard of bronze coins of Maroneia, small denomination of the type with the legend: ΜΑΡΟΝΙΤΩΝ. In 1971 in the village of Gabritsa, Smolyan region, a small hoard was discovered here of such specimens. Besides, two more single coins of the same city were found. In the land of the village of Oryahovets, Municipality of Banite coins of the same city were discovered as a hoard of 9 coins. Probably from the locality of “Belite Kamuni” at the village of Startsevo is a hoard contains of 81 small denomination coins of Maroneia and 2 imitations of such coins, which in 2000 were submitted to the Regional Museum of History in Smolyan.
What had caused this change of areas of spread from west to east and why, remains so far unclear. A more detailed answer might be obtained in the future if historians join the study. So far it can only be suggested that a direct connection between the studied region and the city of Maroneia on the Aegean existed. Geographically, ancient Maroneia was only about 100 km away from Smolyan. The shortest connections are via the present-day Makaza Pass in the Gyumurdzhina Snezhnik hillock, and via the Sushitsa/Kompsatos valley.
The presence of small bronze coins and not of expensive silver coins of big denomination (tetradrachms) also speak in favour of direct every-day contacts, of regular exchange of goods and services. Yet, bronze coins of the city were mainly used in its own territory. We suppose that the population of this part of the Rhodope Mountains area supplied the city with a variety of commodities, among which, probably metal for the mint as well. It cannot be excluded that bronze coins of small denomination were just payment for these goods. Metal analysis can show whether Maroneian coins were struck from metal obtained from this part of the Rhodopes or not.
The hoard from Starstsevo and numerous smaller finds suggest such an option. Local traders and manufacturers could have acted directly on the Maroneian market after obtaining this money. Thus things would have been simpler and more convenient for both sides.
Almost even in numbers are the discovered coins of the closest Greek centers on the Aegean: Abdera and the Island of Thasos. The difference is that Abderan coins are without any exception of a 4th century BC date, while Thasian date to the 2nd - 1st century BC. A very interesting observation is worth mentioning here. Early bronze coins of Abdera prevailed in some areas of the Smolyan region in the 4th – 3rd century BC.
During regular archaeological excavations under Hr. Vulchanova in the locality of “Belite Kamuni” at the village of Startsevo, a hoard of 32 coins was discovered. The second find consist of 20 bronze coins of Abdera of the 4th century BC and one bronze coin of Maroneia of the first half of the 4th century BC were submitted to the Regional Museum of History in Smolyan by the police authorities.
At the same time the bronze coins of Maroneia of the same period prevailed in the east, in the Kurdzhali region. Early Thasian coins are practically missing from both regions but were abundant in the Western Rhodope Mountains area. Later on, in the 2nd – 1st century BC bronze coins of Maroneia become abundant in the Smolyan area, silver tetradrachms of Thasos made steadily their appearance of the Abderan coins and influence, in the 2nd - 1st century BC this region remained in the sphere of influence mainly of Maroneia and to a lesser degree of Thasos.
In support of this thesis a hoard of 24 bronze coins of Thasos from 2nd - 1st century BC and 2 Roman silver coins were discovered in 1971 in the region of the village of Erma reka, Zlatograd region.
According to K. Kisyov coins circulate only east of the line Abdera – Philipopol. In this way they mark the border area between the Thracian tribes - Odrysians and Bessi. This type coins were found in the region of Chaya River, mainly in the rock sanctuaries in Belite Kamuni area, the village of Startsevo, Zlatograd region, Tsigansko Gradishte Peak, Rudozem region and Kom Peak near the village of Sivino, Smolyan region. West of this line the discovered coins are in very limited numbers. Coins of Abdera were not found west along the Vacha River (Kisyov 2004, 75). In support of this thesis is the discovering of the coin of the tribe Odrysians during the excavations of a Thracian sanctuary at Kom Peak. From the same object originates the coin of Rhoemetalces I, with Augustus (11 BC – 12 AD).
At the foot of the same object in 1985 accidentally bronze coin of Celtic King Kavaros was discovered. He was the last ruler of the Celtic country in Thrace with the capital Tylis, who ruled over until 213 BC. Type silver coins (tetradrachms) and several types of bronze coins struck in the mint of Kabyle were known from Kavaros. In 214-213 BC Odrysians managed to regain their lost territories and conquered Tylis. In case coin of Kavaros could be related also to Odrysian influence in the region.
PhD Nikolay Boyadzhiev
Kisyov, K. Thracian Culture in the Region of Plovdiv and along the Stryama River in the second half of the 1st millennium BC. Sofia, 2004.
Prokopov, I. The Numismatic Collection of the Regional Historical Museum at Smolyan 5th century BC – 6th century AD. Sofia, 1991.
Filipova, Sv., E. Paunov, N. Boyadjiev, A. Tenchova, I. Prokopov. The Numismatic Collection of the Regional Historical Museum at Smolyan (Central Rhodopes). Sofia, 2011.
The beginning of the collection “Relics from the World War I” of the Regional History Museum “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, was initiated in the 60s of the 20th century. The most recent exhibits were collected in 2015. It presents material memory, saved in Smolyan Regional History Museum, reflecting “The Great War” that shook Europe and spread to involve the whole world, changing totally states, nations, and destinies. This material historical memory is inherited from families of ordinary soldiers and officers, born in different Rhodopean settlements, bear the brunt of the war and some of them never came back from it.
On July 15th / 28th, 1914 with the military confrontation between Austria-Hungary and Serbia burst out the World War I that continued to the capitulation of Germany on November 11th, 1918. For five years, during which it rages, 1914-1918, the European conflict grew into a global one involving the USA, China and Japan and other countries.
On October 1st/ 14th, 1915 with the “Manifest to the Bulgarian People” for declaring a war to Serbia, king Ferdinand and the headed by D-r Vassil Radoslavov Bulgarian government join Bulgaria in the World War I (WWI). Our state joins the Trilatteral Alliance/the Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungaria and the Ottoman Empire) – one of the two major military-political blocks, confronting in the war. Against them are the Alliance/Entente of the great European powers of the 19th century - France, Russia and England, to which after hesitations joins and Italy. Initially, our country keeps neutrality - only “means to postpone non-intervention”. Both that in power and the whole Bulgarian society are set to use the new military conflict for solving tasks of national unity.
Bulgaria entered the war with a victory march against the Serbian Army and the Franco-British corps that began on October 1st /14th, 1915. For a month the Serbian defense system was broken by Bulgarian, German and Austro-Hungarian divisions commanded by Field Marshal August von Mackenzen. Nis, Pirot and Negotin are captured. In Vardar Macedonia fall consequently Stip, Veles, Kumanovo, Skopje and Ohrid.
At the initial stage of the war the distribution and location of the Bulgarian army is as follows: against Serbia – 1st Army with commander general Kliment Boyadzhiev (composition 170 thousand) towards Nis and 2nd Army with commander general Georgi Todorov (composition 87 thousand) towards Macedonia; 3rd Army prepared to protect the Bulgarian-Romanian border, with commander general Stefan Toshev (composition 100 thousand) – dislocated in Dobrudzha; Headquarters of the acting Army with headed by general Konstantin Zhostov - Kyustendil. Guarding the border with Greece is assigned to 2nd Infantry Thracian Division and 10th Infantry Aegean Division, later regrouped in 4th Army with commander general Sava Savov. In reserve to the main Command is assigned the newly formed 11th Macedonian division. Supreme Commander-in-chief is King Ferdinand I, Commander-in-chief of the Army - general Nikola Zhekov and Chief of Staff of the Army, located in Kyustendil - General Konstantin Zhostov.
In Bulgarian military history the country's participation in World War I is divided into two periods, according to the goals set and to the nature of military actions. From October 1st / 14th to the end of the 1916 it is a war of maneuvers. Two major campaigns were carried out. In 1915, the campaign includes Moravian, Ovche Polje and Kosovo operation that led to coverage of the Covenant invasion along the valley on Vardar River and persecution of the enemy in Macedonia to its complete defeat. In the next campaign, in 1916 on the Southern Front were carried out Lerin and Struma offensive operation, and the north – Dobrudzha operation, forcing Danube River and an offensive up to Seret River.
In the second period 1917-1918, the war is positional. Bulgarian army occupied a defensive position on the southern and northern fronts. The breakthrough of the forces of the Entente at Dobro Polje on September 15th – 18th, 1918, unrest in the army, the plight in the country, despite the unbreakable resistance at Doiran of soldiers from Pleven’s division led by General Vladimir Vazov, forced the Bulgarian government to declare surrender. For Bulgaria the end of the war is marked by the Thessaloniki truce of September 29th, 1918.
Where Rhodopean people serve during the World War I? The male population of the Rhodope settlements north of Rozhen peak is subject to mobilization in 21st Rupchanski military district. 10th Aegean divisional region with headquarters in Gyumyurdzhina (present Komotini) includes 37th regimental district, to which belong Pashmakli (present town of Smolyan), Daru-Dere (present town of Zlatograd) and Xanthi, whose inhabitants are Bulgarian citizens by 1912. According to archival materials, scientific researches and local areas surveys literature men from Central Rhodope region were called in 10th Infantry Rhodope regiment (10th IRhR) and in the reorganized 85th Infantry regiment, comprising parts of the 10th IRhR; in 21st Infantry Central Rhodope regiment; in 10th Aegaen Infantry division and the the called in to it 10th Artilery regiment and 10th pioneer battalion, 37th Pirinski, 38th Odrinski and 54th Bytolski regiments. For officers, non-commissioned officers and feldfebels this distribution is not relevant. They are in different battle units.
In the collection “Relics from the World War I” arms, different in kind and purpose under ranks is presented. Predominantly place in it take photos depicting the life of fronts remembrance of the war. The memory of the war can also be the subject of soldier creativity, drawing from the front or badge. Significant part of the collection is “Military Mail” with censorship stamps written on picture postcards, on postal and military open maps. Interesting hits are several propaganda cards from the World War I. Also, the collection includes orders, medals and certificates about them - an expression of popular appreciation to the participants in the war.
SOURCES AND LITERATURE: Bulgarian Army in World War I (1915-1918). Concise Encyclopedia. S., Edition of “St.George” Publisher. 1995 Dobrudzha (newspaper). Babadag. 1917. Kazandzhiev, Sp. Military Psychology. C., 1943. Koneva, R. The Grand Meeting of the Bulgarian people. Culture and challenges of the 1912-1918 wars. S., AI “Prof. Marin Drinov”. 1995. Kozarev, J., Iv. Varbanov. Military field and civil mail in Bulgaria during World War I 1915-1918 years - Philatelic review, 1979, issue nu.10, 8-9; nu. 11, 4-8; nu. 12, 5-7. Markov, D. The Great War and Bulgarian key for the European keg. 1914-1916. S., AI “Prof. Marin Drinov”. 1995. Petrov, T. Orders and medals in Bulgaria. S. Edition of “St.George” Publisher. 1998 Stanchev St. Military territorial division of Bulgaria from Liberation till the World War I 1878-1915s – Military-historic collection, 2010, 1-2, 55-63. Statelova, E., S. Grancharov. History of new Bulgaria. T. III. S., ANUBIS. 1999. Tsankova-Gancheva D. Clothing and armament in the Bulgarian army in the wars for national unification 1912-1913 and 1915-1918. - Proceedings NMHM, volume XI, S., 1996.
Coins bearing names of rulers from the early periods are extremely of Macedonian kings from 4th – 3rd century BC. The presence of Alexander the Great`s coins and those from the time after his rule is also to be expected. A significant difference is observed between his coins and those of his father Philip II (359-336 BC), which are not well, represented in the monetary circulation unlike Southwest Thrace for example which is intheimmediatevicinity of the so-called“Contact zone” with Macedonia.
Only one worn out tetradrachm and a couple of bronze coins were found. Besides being mintedin a new system tetradrachms of Philip introduced in the royal Macedonian iconography and new images.Laureate head of Zeusis presented obverse, which is a novelty in the mint repertoire of Macedonian kings. Tertradrahms penetrated into Thrace probably in connection with the military campaign of the Macedonian king in 342/1 BC, when the country finally has been conquered.
Philip II minted huge quantities of bronze coins, to build up complete and flexible monetary system to facilitate the exchange of smaller denominations of silver and gold. He first saturates the domestic market with enough coins of base metal whose rate depends on the ratio between gold and silver. Head of Apollo with tainia is represented obverse of the main bronze type, reverse - rider in two versions. Of this type in RHM-Smolyan 5 coins are stored.
Coin material from the time of Alexander III (336-323 BC) and the years after his reignis distributed evenly in terms of chronology. Some mint in Asia Minor (Sardis, Lampasas, Colophon) are well presented with earlyposthumousissues that are minted mainly drachms emissions.
Barbarian imitations of Alexander`s coins were produced and participated in the coin circulation in the period around 300-220 BC. Theyhave been minted at different times and in different geographical areas. The museum possesses a few coins of Philip III Arrhidaeus (323-316), Cassander (316-297), Demetrius I Polyorcetes(306-283) and Philip V. It is possible that drachma of Philip III Arrhidaeus and three drachmas of Alexander`s type (824, 825, 826) were part of the hoard.
Macedonian cities of Amphipolis, Thessalonikand Pella are presented with bronze coins. Their presence suggests the availability of a small local market. In maintenance of thisopinionare three bronze coins of the cityof Philippi minted during the reign of Augustus, one of which is from regular archaeological excavations.
PhD Nikolay Boyadzhiev
Draganov, D. Coins of Macedonian kings. Part I. Yambol, 2000. Prokopov, I. The Numismatic Collection of the Regional Historical Museum at Smolyan5th century BC – 6th century AD. Sofia, 1991. Filipova, Sv.,E. Paunov, N. Boyadjiev, A. Tenchova, I. Prokopov. The Numismatic Collection of the Regional Historical Museum at Smolyan (Central Rhodopes).Sofia, 2011.
In 1988 by Fund “13 Centuries Bulgaria”, the Historical Museum in Smolyan received the donation by the collector - Reserve Colonel Raycho Peev Harbaliev. It is established as a separate collection in the structure of the museum.It is divided in three sections: “Phaleristics”, “Numismatics”, and “Philately”. Considerable part of it is “Phaleristics”Collection which illustrates the appearance and development of the Bulgarian award system from the Liberation to the end of the 20thcentury. Monarchic orders are one of the most valuable items.
Monarchic award system includes distinctions from the period 1879-1946.
Listed by their seniority are the Orders in the Kingdom of Bulgaria:
1. Order of St. St. Cyril and Methodius;
2. Order for Bravery;
3. Order of St. Alexander;
4. Order of Civil Merit;
5. Order of Military Merit;
6. Order of Merit
The Military Order “For Bravery” is the oldest and most prestigious Bulgarian order. It is constituted on January 1/13, 1880 with a special Decree of Prince AlexanderBattenberg. The Decree stressed the fact that the orderwas established to “reward the persons who had distinguished themselves in the Russo-Turkish War” and to encourage“in the future the persons who will commit heroic deeds on the battlefield”.
On April 17, 1880 officially with the Order, 33 people were awarded - Bulgarian and Russian participants in the Russo-Turkish War. Winners of the first classweremonarchs, enthroned after 1878 and only three Bulgarians - Stefan Stambolov, Georgi Zhivkov and Sava Mutkurovin their capacity of regents who ruled the country during the period 1886-1887.The Samara flag is awarded also with the highest class of the Order.
Of the four classesfor officers in the museum's collection are stored: III class, first and secondgrade and ІVclass, first and second grade; ІVclass,secondgrade without swords. Soldiers and non-commissionedofficers (NCOs), which were awarded with the Soldier sign of the Order “For Bravery”, is presented with all its classes.
The Order of “St. Alexander” was constitutedon December 25, 1881/ January 6, 1882 by Prince Alexander Battenberg. The newly established order has five classes and Silver Cross. Themilitary and civil personswho it was awarded to received it “for merits before the state, for their courage and as a sign of personal benevolence” on the partof the monarch. Of all his classes the museum possess: ІVclass with surmounting swords, ІVclass with swords in the middle; ІVclass without swords with a crown; Vclass with surmounting swords with a crown and VIclass with swords in the middle.
The Order of “Civil Merit” was established on August 2/14, 1891 with a princely rescript of Ferdinand I, to the Chancellor of the Bulgarian orders and is intended “for all those civil servants for continuous service or for exceptional meritswho gained right to the gratitude of the Fatherland”.
Until 1933, when the highest order classwas introduced - Grand Cross, the distinction has six classes. Of the order of “Civil Merit”the samples in the collection are: II class of the Order and its star, ІІІ, ІV, V and VІ class, Lady's Cross VIclass without crown.
The most complete in the museum collection was presented the Order of“Military Merit”,constituted on May 18/31, 1900.The military persons who it was awarded to received it “for immaculate service and exceptional merits”in peace and war time. Initially, the Order has six classes, and since 1933 has been introduced and the class Great Cross, which is higher than the existing by that time.
Bulgarian generals were awarded with the Grand Cross I and II class, by III class - colonels and lieutenant-colonels, by IV class - majors and captains, and by V and VI class – from a company and platoon commanders to captains, non-commissionedofficers and volunteers in Serbo Bulgarian and the Balkan Wars, volunteers and others. The highest order classes of monarchic award system which was presented in the collection are І and ІІ class of the Order “For Military Merit” and their stars.
The Order of “Military Merit” II class and its star are with a war decoration. Thepersons who were awarded to receivethe order with a war decoration is “for heroism and selflessness”in time of war. The collection includes IV class, IV class with a war decoration, V class without crown, V class with a war decoration and VIclass without crown.
The Order of “Merit” was constitutedon December 25, 1881/January 6, 1882 by Prince Alexander Battenberg and till the time of its transformation on March 24/April 5, 1883 it existed as a medal with the same name and it was attached to the Order of “St. Alexander”. Initially the order has a class - silver, and is awarded only to officers from the Bulgarian Army instead of the silver medal “For Merit”.
Prince Ferdinand I established and gold class, without awarded it even once to the proclamation of the independence of Bulgaria in 1908. With its establishment the order is formed as a war distinction, which was awarded to officers for merit in peace and war time.
The first class can be awardedto ministers, senior officials and other persons, but only if they are awarded with the first class of one of the Bulgarian orders. There are a total of six order`s emissions – two,awarded at the time of Prince Alexander Battenberg, two of Ferdinand I and two of Tsar Boris III. Silver order, King Ferdinand`s emission; gold order, Boris`s emission and silver order and Boris`s emission.
Literature: Petrov T., Bulgarian Orders and Medals. Sofia, 2011.
Petrov T., Bulgarian Award System (1878-2010). Sofia, 2011.
Pavlov, P. History of the Bulgarian Award System, Part ІІ, Volume I. Sofia, 2011.
A fibula is a safety pin used for fastening garments, as well as decoration - adornment. Its appearance has beenevidencedby archaeological finds at the end of the Late Bronze - the beginning of the Early Iron Age (11thcentury BC). Most often fibulae were found in funeral complexes as graveinventory (property of the deceased) and as a grave offering (bythose who buried) in the embankment of tumulus. They were madein large numbersof copper alloy (bronze), iron and less than of silver and gold.
The boat-shaped fibulae exhibited in the Regional History Museum in Smolyan have been uncovered (most of them) while carrying out archaeological excavations of mound necropolises where the territory of Smolyan region is now. They belong to the group of the arc-shaped, big-spring (monospiral) fibulae with a high, asymmetrical slab of the needle-holder and resemble in shape a boat (navia, navicella) or, more precisely – a sailboat.
In their characteristics of shape the boat-shaped fibulae are divided into two types. Type I: 1. Rectangular or trapezium-shapedneedle holder; 2. A bow with a cross section increasing slightly towards the center thereof; 3.Comparatively higher spring. The boat-shaped fibulae of type II have a greater needle holder - with horny projection forward; expanding mid bow, almost decorated always with three belts composed of different numbers of embossed ribs; small spring.
The boat-shaped fibulae in the territory of the Rhodopesare found near the region of: Lyubcha, Grohotno, Devin, Chepelare, Pavelsko, Gela, Solishta, Smolyan, Pamporovo, Progled, Rozhen, Madan –Smolyan region; Draginovo, Velingradregion- Pazardzhik region; LukavitsaDryanovoMunicipality – Plovdiv region; Shiroko pole - Kardzhali region; Ognyanovo and Kochan– Blagoevgrad region. Analogues thereof can be found to the north – in the Thracian plane, in the sub-Balkan hollows, in the Danube plane, in Moldavia; to the east - in Strandzha mountain; to the west in Macedonia and Bosnia; to the south - in Thessalia, along the Aegean islands, Chios, Samos, Thera, Rhodos, Crete and the Aegean coast on the Asia Minor peninsula.
The distribution of the finding of the boat-shaped fibulae of type Idating to the period from the second half of 8th till the first half of 6thcentury BC. They are synchronous with their analogs along north-west coast on the Asia Minor and Aegean islands. Representatives of typeIIcan be found mainly in the southeastern mainland on the Balkan Peninsula and the island of Rhodos, dating from the second half of 8th tillthe 6thcentury BC.
The appearance of boat-shaped fibulae and their distribution along the Aegean islands and coasts of the Aegean, the Marmar and the Black Sea coincide in time the Hellenic colonization, i.e. establishment of colonies along the shores and islands of the above mentioned seas. It is possible that their appearance is the reaction to a remarkable (for its time) new phenomenon in the Aegean civilization. This is the appearance and confirmationofsailing of ships - especially a new type of ships–sail boats – which facilitatedthe regular relations in the waters of the Aegean, the Marmar and the Black Sea.
Representing the stylized image of the modern (for their time) sailboats, the boat-shaped fibulae were spread inside the Balkans, in lands inhabited by Thracian tribes who communicate and trade with littoral centers.
Judging by the matrix, discovered in Sakar Mountain for moldingboat-shaped fibulae of type II, apparently they were not only imported but manufactured in Southern Thrace as entering and burial rites of the Thracians tribes in the Rhodopes(in this case);it revealed their idea of the world (on earth and in heaven) and their believe in afterlife.
An eloquentexample of this is the situation of their discoveringin the mound necropolis near the village Lyubcha, Dospat region. Prevalent method of burials was the cremation.Some of them are symbolic –we find a proof for that in cenotaph mounds. Bypresenting fibulae as a graveofferingat the funeral, the living, in a symbolic way, expressed their desire to see off the immortal in men of their souls – to the afterlife world.
Studies of tumulusin the Rhodopes reveal two ways for transition to the afterlife world. One way goes through the center of the earth and the top of the “Holy Mountain”, whose image appears the tumulus. The second way is to the“...eternal circling ocean...” (Homer, theIliad, XVIII, 399). In it the souls of the dead people reach the afterlife world using “The sacred boat”, symbolized by the sailboat fibula.
Damyan Damyanov Drawings: Toma Kapitanov
Damyan, D., Boat-Shaped Fibulaein the Rhodopes – B: StudiaarchaeologicaluniversitatisSerdicensis, 2005, Suppl. IV, 206-213. Bader, Т. Die Fibeln in Rumänien. - PrähistorischeBronzefunde, Abt. 14, Bd. 6. München, 1983. Caner, E.Fibeln in Anatolien I. - PrähistorischeBronzefunde, Abt. 14, Bd. 8.München, 1983. Damyanov, D. Das Weltbild der Thraker.Thrakische Hügelgrab-nekropolebeiLjübtscha, WestlicheRhodopen. - In: Thracia, 2003,15, 581-593. Gergova, D. Früh-und ältereisenzetlicheFibeln in
Bulgarien. - PrähistorischeBronzefunde, Abt. 14, Bd.7. München, 1987. Kilian, K.Fibeln in Thessalien von der mykenischenbiszurarchaischenZeit. -PrähistorischeBronzefunde, Abt. 14, Bd. 2. München, 1975. Sapouna-Sakellarakis, E.DieFibelndergriechischenInseln. – PrähistorischeBronzefunde, Abt. 14, Bd. 4. München,1978.
Collection“Clocks” of the Regional History Museum “Stoyu Shishkov” – Smolyan was created for decades. The total number of museum objects is 23 and includes10 pocket watches, 9 clocks, 3 desk-clocks and a wristwatch. Predominant part of them (20 numbers) wasentered to the Ethnography Collection of the museum, the rest of it- in the Modern History Collection.
The collection has been completed in 1952 when the museum bought its first clock.
Several years later, in the 1960s Ivan Popgavrilov and Nino Ninov donated the first for this collection pocket watches from the famous English brands “Edward Prior” and “George Prior”. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, these companies became major watchmaker’sproducers for the needs of the Ottoman Empire.
Among the representative pocket watches property of the museum is another one of the brand “George Prior” with two lids, the outer one has mother-of-pearlcovered, deposited for safe-keeping to the museum by heirs of the Agushev`s family from the village of Mogilitsa in the early 1960s. Again, from the same family, there is another typical English clock from the second half of the 19th century, with a European appearance and Arabian figures on the face.
In 1977 the collection of pocket watches was enriched with two more pieces, bought off by Zdravko Zahariev Manov from Dolno Vlahovo. Both watches are Swissproduction; one of them is of “Perret & FilsBrenets” brand, made between the 1950s and the 1970s for the needs of the Ottoman Empire, with a “Turkish”face. “The Perret & FilsBrenets” watch is silver-plated, with an Arabic inscription on the inside part of the top lid: “Medzhidie” (translation by Assoc. Prof. Katerina Venedikova). On the other clock, “Medzhidie” the inscription is clearly read on the face.
Among the exceptional representative pocket watches in the Modern History Collection of RHM-Smolyan, a pocket watch from the Swiss brand “Hebdomas” was entered. Watches of this brand are known for their logo 8 days written out on the face, indicating that the mechanism can run 8 days without winding up. On the back of the clock the possession of the museum are printed in a circle awards from exhibitions in which the brand has participated over the years: “MILAN 1906; BRUKSELLES 1910”.
This extremely rare clock was deposited for safe-keeping to the museum in 2012 by Mincho Yassen Vitanov. He received it as a gift from his friend, Private Ahmed Bonkalov (1885-1988), a participant in the First World War. The clock was donated by a French officer.
Pocket watches from the German brand “SATURN” and the Swiss brand “ETERNA” are from more recent time. The first one belonged to Assen Maznev from the village of Mugla, a participant in the World War II. The second one is related to the name of participant in the partisan movement in Smolyan – Tasho Karamitev.
Predominant part of the clocks in the collection (6 numbers) is from the “Schwarzwald” brand, widespread in the Renaissance. One of them has a porcelain face.All the rest of the face is placed directly on the wooden surface, which is attached to the clock mechanism.
The clocks were presented in various villages from the Middle Rhodopes - Mogilitsa, Shiroka Luka, Malka Arda, Smolyan (Raykovo quarter).All of them were supplied by the Aegean city centers and were part of the interior of the wealthier families for the time. They entered to the museum in the 1970s-1980s.
Together with both clocks of this kind, in 1973 Menko Tekerliev worked as an agriculturallabourerin Agushev`s family from the village of Mogilitsa. Hedeposited for safe-keeping to the museum a massive brass clock the possession of the Agushev`s family. The familyduring the Balkan War in 1912 handed down the clock to Tekerliev.
The clock was made in“George Clarke” watchmaker’shouse; London in 1750, the clock has a musical mechanism, with several different melodies, repeated over a period of time.
Among the representative desk-clocks of the museum's collection are two watches, handed down by Agushev's heirs at the same time.
The clock with Inv. No E 3022 has the inscription on the back “Spätte Früher” and is most likely a copy-forged of the famous “Breguet” brand. It was made in French style between the 1930s and 1950s in Germany or Austria.
The clock is musical, and the both figures on the side of thefixed hour chimed the bells.
The other desk-clock is a limited edition of the German brand “Junghans”, a musical with “Turkish” numbers on the face.
Part of the collection is also a handmade watch, the “CYMA TAVANNES” brand, donated to the museum in 1983 and belonged to Bratan Stoyanov Shukerov (26.III.1912 - 23.ІІ.1944), a dentist, participant in the resistance movement during the World War II, commander of the “Kolyo Shishmanov” partisan detachment, operating in the region of the Middle Rhodopes.
Modest in number but with interesting and rare patterns, the clock collection of the RHM-Smolyan continues to be completed, explored and enriched. The predominant part of the values in it is related to names and families that were well known for its time. Their presence in the way of life of the Rhodope people is an indisputable sign of the social, economic and cultural changes.
Literature: Petrushev, L.The Clock Collection at the National Polytechnic Museum, 7, 1977, 159-162 Popova, B. Watches from the Collection of the Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv. - In: Proceedings of the Regional History Museum - VelikoTarnovo, XXII, Abagar AD, 2007, 265-276; Popova, B.For the masters of watches and clock craft. - In: Folklore crafts. Past, Present and Future, Vol. VI, Gabrovo, Faber Publishing House, 2011, 62-74; Peichinova, E.For the master-watchmaker George Tsurev and the clocks in the fund of HM – Batak. - In: Museums and Collections, Printa-Kom Ltd., Smolyan, 2016, 159-172
Glass vessels stored at RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” – Smolyan, “Archaeology” Collection, which were found in archaeological field surveys of necropolises, Christian temples and residential buildings date backto the 4th-6th century.They are mainly represented by glasses,grave inventory,property of the deceased, and also by cups and candles belonged to church temples. In very good condition, preserved and partially fragmented are the glasses discovered during the excavations of the graves complexes - the necropolises of the villages of Barutin, Dospat and Glogino, Banite Minicipality. The glass vessels from the church and the residential buildings are discovered (so far) only in a fragmented condition - the basilicas at the village of Barutin, Dospat Municipality, near the village of Gela and the town of Smolyan, Smolyan Municipality.
Regarding their functions, vessels could be divided into two main groups: 1st group - cups with utilitarian function - for everyday use in the household; 2) 2nd group - cups used in the Christian church liturgy - church plates.The specimens of the first group are presented of varied shape: conical, cylindrical, U-shape. They have a richer and more varied decoration than church cups: grindedgrooves, applied variegated pimples, embossed ornamentation “honeycomb”type. Daily cups are made with a thicker wall, which increases their strength.Their manufacturing technique is “blowing in a mold”. They arepersonal property, and compose an important part of the grave inventoryof the deceased. On the territory of Smolyan region, the researchedgraves contain glass cups ofthefirst group in the inventory and date back to 4th-5th century.
The group of church plates includes: 1) Candle cups – standing, with conical body with wideupwards and outwards orifice. Candle cups- hanging - with three small handles at the orifice; 2) Wine cups - with hemispherical shape and stem, with or without three small applied handles on the body. Typical of wine glasses is that they are made using the “free blowing” technique on the glass.Fragments of these were found in the excavation works of all three (researched so far) Early Byzantine basilicas: at the village of Barutin, the village of Gela and in the town of Smolyan. Their date coincides with the period of existence of the Christian temples – 5th-6th century.
The excavated monastery complex (basilica, residential building and service premises) in the town of Smolyan presented the existence of a temporary glass workshop for a flat window glass for the needs of the temple, a certificate of local production of glass vessels.Apparently fine glasses are made by a glass workshop with longer experience, a larger material base and a larger market respectively. It was probably located in one of the cities in today's Thracian lowland on the north or the northern Aegean coast, south of the Rhodope Mountains area, with which the Middle Rhodopes are connected through famous today three major ancient Trans-Rhodoperoads.
Literature: Damyanov, D.Early Byzantine Glass from the Monastery Complex in Smolyan - Central Rhodopes.- В: Eurika. In honorem Ludmilae Donchevae-Petkovae. Sofia, 2009, 115-128. Damyanov, D. Archaeological Researches in Mogilata Area in Smolyan - Middle Rhodopes. - In: Annual of the National Archaeological Museum (In honorem professorisVioletaeVolkova-Neševaadmultosannos), 2016, 13, 57-70. Minchev, A. Antique Glass from the Western Black Sea Coast (І-ІV c.). - Proceedings of the National Museum - Varna, 1988, 24/39, 35-59. Сорокина, Н. Остекланныхсосудах с каплямисинего стекла из Причерноморья. – Советская археология, 1971, 4, 85-101. Cherneva-Tilkian, S. Typology and Chronology of Glass Cups from Philippopolis (I-VI c.). - Proceedings of the Museums of Southern Bulgaria, 1995, 21, 71-82. Cholakova, A. Production of Glass and Glass Vessels in Late Antiquity in the Bulgarian Lands. - In: Southeastern Europe in Antiquity – 6th century BC - beginning of 6th century. VelikoTarnovo, 2008, 471-479. Kunina, N. Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection. Petersburg, 1997.
Inthe Regional History Museum “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, 18 authentic models of Bulgarian women`s awards are preserved. The most valuable samples are part fromthe “Donation of Reserve Colonel Raycho Peev Harbaliev”. These are the Order of Civil Merit - Lady`s CrossVІ class with a crown and all women`s distinctionsfrom the Award system of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (1950-1991): “Mother Heroine”,Gold and Silver “Order of the Rose; Order of Mother`s Glory- І, ІІ and ІІІ class and the Medal for Maternity- І and ІІ class.
Distinctions in Bulgarian Award Systemare generally 119. 6 of them are intended only for women. To the commemorative cross “The Independence of Bulgaria in 1908” and the “People's Order of Labor” there is a variety of ribbonreservedonly for women.
In the monarchicaward system, distinctions instituted especially for awarding womenbelonged to the Order of Civil Merit and the HonoraryBadgeof Encouragement for Philanthropy.
The Order of Civil Merit was instituted on August 2/14, 1891 with a princely rescript of Ferdinand I, to the Chancellor of the Bulgarian orders. The Lady`s Crosshas three classes. The order was worn on the left breast suspended from a ribbon; the first class is also awarded with diamonds. The Lady`s Crosshas five emissions. In 1947, the Order was cancelled by Decree of the Council of Ministers. However, in small quantities, it was awarded until 1950.
Maria Bahmetyeva is the only awarded woman with the Lady`s Crossof the Order of Civil Merit Iclass with diamonds. She is the wife of Russian imperial diplomatic agent in Sofia at the beginning of the last century. With the Lady`s CrossIIclass was awarded also an actress Adriana Budevska.
The Honorary Badge for Encouragement for Philanthropywas instituted on May 30, 1917 with princely rescript of Ferdinand Iand according to the statute “it was intended for awardingphilanthropicand charitable deeds”. The Honorary Badge has three classes for women. With the first class of the Lady`s Crosswas awarded 11 women, only 3 of them are Bulgarian ladies (Ekaterina Karavelova, KonstantsaLyapcheva and Ana Stanchova). By decree of the Council of Ministers on July 18, 1947, the award was canceled. In the period 1944 - 1947 the distinction was awardedwith partial changes in the images - the King’s monograms and the crowns of the little lions were removed.
In the award system of the People's Republic of Bulgaria are includes four individual women`s awards–the Title “Mother Heroine”, the Order of the Rose, the Order of Mother`s Glory and the Medal for Maternity.
The Title “Mother Heroine” was instituted on December 13, 1950, by decree of the Presidium of the National Assembly. At first, it was called “Mother's Glory”.Until June 9, 1952, it was renamed to “Mother Heroine”. The order was reserved for women who gave birth and raised at least 10 or more children. Awardedwomen received the first class of the order “Mother's Glory”. The design of the badge was drafted in November 1952 on a model of Soviet honorary title of the same name and was made of gold. 1116 mothers were honored with it.
The “Order of the Rose” was instituted on August 4, 1966, with the Presidium of the National Assembly and was honored to foreigners women for “... great meritsfor the People's Republic of Bulgaria, for the consolidation of peace and friendship among the nations ...”. The award has gold and silver collar and two classes - gold and silver. For the first time, the Order of the Rose was honored on June 11, 1968, to GeorgetteBuanga, president of the Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women. Later with it was awarded the English writer Mercia McDermott, Queen Silviaof Sweden, Jewishwriter Angelika Schrobsdorffand etc. Wives of foreign party and government official’sfigures were also honored without publicly declaring their names. Author of the project is a team led by Prof. Dechko Uzunov, and the badges of the Order were made at the State Mint in Sofia.
The Order “Mother's Glory” was instituted on 13 December 1950 by decree of the Presidium of the National Assembly and has three classes - I, II and III. According to the statute, it is intended for mothers who gave birth and raised four or more children. The first class is awarded to mothers who raised eight or nine children, with the second class - six or seven, and with the third class - four or five. Thousands Bulgarian mothers were honored with it.
The medal for Maternity was instituted on December 13, 1950 and according to the statute has two classes. With the first class wereawarded mothers who gave birth and raised four children.With the second class were honored women who gave birth and raisedthree children. After 1966 women were awarded only with the first class of the distinction.
In the contemporary award system of the Republic of Bulgaria special badges for women has not been instituted.
Literature: Petrov, T. Bulgarian Orders and Medals.Sofia, 2011. Petrov, T. Bulgarian Award System (1878-2010). Sofia, 2011. Pavlov, P. History of the Bulgarian Award System, Part ІІ, Volume І. Sofia, 2011. State Gazette No 167, August 3, 1891. Encyclopedia “Bulgaria”.Volume VII. Sofia, 1997, p. 650. Chobanova, A. World of Bulgarians in the last century, Sofia, 2011.
Roman Republican coins from the region date back between the endsof 2nd century BC till thetime of Mark Antony, 32-31 BC.Types that are precisely dates suggest that their presence in the Rhodopes Mountain was probably an echo of the great battles in the time of Caeser and after him: those at Pharsala, Philippi and Actium, as well as of the subsequent events. It is highly probable that local mercenaries or allies of one of the parties have brought back these coins as salaries or booty.
A hoard of silver Roman Republican coins and bronze coins of Thasos found in the region ofStrashimir, Zlatograd Municipality was published by VurbinkaNaydenova in 1978. This extremely valuable treasure containing 26 coins - 24 Bronze coins of Thassos (many of them are presented in the collection “Coins of the Thracian cities, tribes and kings 5th century BC –1st century AD”) and two silver coins. The author used them as dating material related to the concealmentof the hoard with the campaign of Marcus Crassus against Bessians in 28 BC.
The other small hoard consists of 8 coins - 7 denarii and 1 quinarius. The earliestcoindates back to123BC,the latestdates back to56BC, and soon after the hoard was concealed. Circulation signs scratched on some of the coins have controlled thecourse ofthe market and have certified theircorrectness.
Single specimens were found in Zlatograd region. Two republican denarii were discovered in the regular archaeological excavations of the Thracian sanctuary of MountKom. So far, however, the statistical threshold of information about Roman Republican coins is still insufficient for serious conclusions. How does the curve of the development of coinpresence in the time to the establishment of Roman influence look like,we believe, would further clarify with pilling up of more information, when more neighboring regions will have beenexplored.
PhD Nikolay Boyadzhiev
Literature: Prokopov, I. TheNumismatic Collection of the Regional HistoricalMuseumatSmolyan 5thcentury BC – 6thcentury AD. Sofia, 1991. Filipova, Sv., E. Paunov, N. Boyadjiev, A. Tenchova, I. Prokopov. TheNumismaticCollection of the Regional HistoricalMuseumatSmolyan (Central Rhodopes). Sofia, 2011. Najdenova, V. Ausujetdesmonnaiesenbronzethasiennes. – STUDIA IN HONOREM VESELINI BESEVLIEV. Sofia, 1978, 350-362.
Mladen Bekyarov Koynarov was born on September 15th, 1945 in the village of Oryahovets, Banite Municipality.He is a performer of Rhodope folk songs and a long standing soloist at “Rhodopa” State Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances in Smolyan. His repertoire includes more than 350 folk songs from the Central Rhodope Mountains. Part of them has been performedon gramophone records. He has also recorded over 70 songs for Bulgarian National Radio.Since 2007 hepresented CD and DVD with his own performances.
Since 2002 the famous Rhodope singer leaded the vocal folk singingschool “Kitka Vienna ”at Community Centre “Kiril Madzharov” - Smolyan, Ustovo quarter.He teaches children of different ages in the magic of the Rhodope performing art. His students are regular participants and laureates in a number of festivals and competitions- in Nedelino, Levochevo, Koprivshtitsa, Haskovo Mineral Baths, etc. The young singers continue the work of their teacher.
Koynarov's pride is also his daughter, Fanka. She graduated the National School of Folk Artsin the village of Shiroka Luka and the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv.She has also joint performances and participations with his father.
In the summer of 2011 the famous Rhodope singerendowed a valuable donation to RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan–he donated to the museum a rich collection of charters, awards, distinctionscollected for decades and carefully saved as a family value. Several years later, in 2017, he continued his noble gesture and enriched the museum collections with his newest awards as a singer and the leader of vocal folk singing school.
The collectionis part ofthe main collection “Folklore”. Today the collection “Mladen Koynarov” numbers over 100 movable cultural values - charters, awards, distinctions, greeting addresses and telegrams, etc.
Among the valuable receipts there are many awards bestowed to Mladen Koynarov as an individual performer of Rhodope folk songs, including: “Bronze Badge” (1987), “Silver Lyre” Plaque (1995), “Gold Lyra” Plaque (1998), “Crystal Lyre” (2007) by the Union of Bulgarian Music Professionals, as well as numerous acknowledgementfor his activity as the leader of vocal folk singing school.
Among them are: Diploma from the 14thStaraPlanina Fest “Balkan Folk 2010”instituted to Mladen Koynarov for his awarding with the title of “Maestro”; Distinction from the 8th Children’s Ethnic Festival under the slogan: “The Children on the Balkans - with their spiritual wealth in Europe”, “Children in the Balkans - Together in Europe”, Haskovo Mineral Baths, 2008; Gold medal from 15th National folk festival for two-part singing and folk song, Nedelino for “Overall pedagogic work of Mladen Koynarov”, 2016; Medal of the Union of the Community Centers for High Creative Achievements, 2017 and many others.
Prestigious municipal awards, bestowed to Mladen Koynarovover the years: “Honorary Citizen of Banite”, 2004; Badge of the town of Smolyan, 2005; Honorary badge of the title “Honorary Citizen of Smolyan” 2008, are also part of the collection.
Mladen Koynarov left a lasting trace in the Rhodope folklore with his vocal and pedagogic skills, as one of the most active contributors of the museum. Hegives also his active contribution to the efforts of the museum colleague in Smolyan to preserve and popularize the Rhodope song and the Rhodope folklore.
As our contributors, he is also entered in the book of the contributors of RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan.
Author: Vanya Yordanova Photos: AtanasKiryakov
Primovska, R. The Voice of Mladen Koynarov, “Printa Kom” Ltd, Smolyan, 2015
The Weapons Collection, which is stored in the Fund of Regional Museum of History “Stoyu Shishkov” – Smolyan dates back to the period 18th – 20th centuries.
The collection is divided thematically presented in two sections: firearms and cold steel.
It covers various historical events such as the national liberation movement, the Russo - Turkish War of 1877-1878, The Ilinden Uprising in 1903, the Balkan War of 1912, the First and the Second World Wars.
Among the hand firearms of historical and artistic value are flint guns and revolvers from the first half of the 18th century. Due to the lack of own production in the end of 19th and beginning of 20th centuries in Bulgaria a large quantity from Russia and the countries in the Weastern Europe was imported. Such type of weapons that are kept at the museum collection are models of rifles and carbines “Krinka” and “Manliher”, “Martini - Henry” and “Snyder”; sub-machine guns “Shmaiser”, “MR-38”, and “MR-40”, revolvers “Smith and Wesson” and “Gaser” and pistols “Luger Parabellum-08”, “Walther-P38”, and “Beretta”.
The exceptionally valuable specimens that belonged to the eminent figures of the national liberation struggles are represented also, such as the Winchester rifle of Captain Petko Kiryakov, a Rhodope-Thracian leader and the handmade mace of the eminent Rhodope insurgent leader, Todor Hvoynev, officers` sword of Vladimir Atanasov Bochukov, prominent figure of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (VMORO) “The Central Rhodopes”, who has taken part in the Balkan War and the First World War and etc.
An important accent is also the machine-gun arms of the Bulgarian army in the period of two world wars and the final stage of the Second World War 1944-1945.
Directly related to the topic is a captured weapon – Turkish firearms and cold steel from the Russo - Turkish War of 1877-1878 and the Balkan War of 1912.
The represented specimens of ancient and modern weapons that are stored in Weapons Collection in RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” – Smolyan are unique and they constitute a significant part of the national historical heritage.
Literature: Petrova, Zl. Weapons Collection at the RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, Smolyan - Proceedings of RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, volume 2, Smolyan, 2016, 81-94. Petrov, Pl. Samples of a long cold steel in the Bulgarian army 1878-2009. S., 2009. Catalogue. Museum Valuables from the Region of Smolyan, 2007. Marinov, G. Manual to the weapons collector and amateur T. I. C., 2000; T. II. 2003. Daskalov, N., Radevski, A. Hand firearms. S., 1992. Nurkov, I. From the bow to dug-out. S., 1987. Drumev, D., Dermendzhiev, N., Daskalov, N., Gerasimov, T. Metal plastic arts, wrought iron, weapons, tin vessels. BAS, S., 1983. Kozlovski, T. The ancient weapon of the Bulgarians. Plovdiv, 1981. http: // krivoshein-a-g.narod.ru/vcetrof.html www.gunbg.net
For decades RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan purposeful collected and enriched collections of material signs, archival documents and photos related to the Balkan War of Liberation. Among them of a special interest is the collection of awards and charters of the commander of the 21st Srednogortsi Infantry Regiment - Vladimir Serafimov, representing the Liberator in the ideas of the population of the Central Rhodope Mountains area.
In 1963, his daughter Lilyana Toteva donated a valuable gift to the Smolyan History Museum. She donated a large part of his military awards - 13 orders and 4 charters. The collection was entered to the “Modern History of Bulgaria” Collection.
Vladimir Genov Serafimov (23.VII. 1860, Adzhar Village (now Svezhen) – 7. IV. 1934, Sofia) is a Bulgarian officer with forty years of perfect service in the ranks of the Bulgarian Army. He worthy participated in four wars: The Serbian-Bulgarian War (1885), Balkan (1912), Inter-Allies (1913) and World War I (1914). He was talented representative of the first generation of the Officer`s Corps of the Third Bulgarian State.
On August 30th, 1883 Vladimir Serafimov received his first officer rank - a second lieutenant. He started his military career as a commander of the Russe Harbour company. He also served in Peshtera, Pazardzhik, Haskovo, Karlovo, Asenovgrad, Plovdiv, Sofia.
On the eve of the Balkan War, he was appointed commander of the 21st Srednogortsi Infantry Regiment. He also successfully carried out his tasks in conquering the Tamrashki spearhead and the liberation of Smolyan region. Under his commanding on Mt. Kavgadzhik (today Mt. Srednogorets), from 19th to 21st October 1912 the decisive battles for the liberation of the Middle Rhodopes were fought. Colonel Vladimir Serafimov disobeyed the order of the Chief Command Unit to withdraw, and declared: “I will never betray to the enemies the villages, which have welcomed me as a Liberator just one day ago!”. A feat of arms entered the annals of military history under the name of “The Rhodopean Mount Shipka”. Colonel Vladimir Serafimov remains as a liberator in the memory of the Rhodopean people.
After the Second Balkan War, he was brigadier commander of the 8th Tundzha Division. After 1915, he served at the Chief Commissariat at the Ministry of War for a short period.
On July 31st, 1932 in the presence of Colonel Vladimir Serafimov, commander of the 21st Srednogorski Infantry Regiment, the foundation stone of the monument was laid of the Ossuary Monument of Mt. Kavgadzhik (now Mt. Srednogorets).
For his participation in the four wars, he was presented with the highest military order “For Bravery”, constituted on January 1st, 1880 with Decree by Prince Alexander Batenberg.
In the museum institution is kept his first military order “For bravery” IV class, second grade and charter for the participation of Vladimir Serafimov in the Serbian-Bulgarian War (1885), order “For Bravery” III class, second grade. It was presented for bravery during the Balkan War. Part of the collection is also the orders: “St. Alexander” III class with swords in the middle, “St. Alexander” IV class without swords, with the crown and the Order of St. Alexander V class without swords and Charter. It was supplemented by the orders: “For Military Merit” IV class and Charter and the order “For Merit”, silver, the officer's badge for twenty-year-long excellent service, the Commemorative Medal for the Serbian-Bulgarian War of 1885, silver, and Charter and the Commemorated Cross “For the Independence of Bulgaria 1908”.
Colonel Vladimir Serafimov is the winner not only of the highest Bulgarian Military Awards but also of a number of foreigners. In the collection includes also Russian Order of Saint Stanislaus, III class, Austrian Military Cross “For Merit” and Persian Order of the Lion and the Sun, III class.
The collection is a valuable testimony to the military feats and the career of a worthy Bulgarian officer. Since March 2017, the collection is part of the permanent museum nook in the exhibition halls of RHM - Smolyan, thanks to the donation gesture of Peter Kirilov Todorov from Panagyurishte.
Petrov T., Bulgarian Orders and Medals. Sofia, 2011. Petrov T., Bulgarian Award System (1878-2010). Sofia, 2011. Кузнецов, А.А. Ордена и медали России, Москва , Издательство Московского университета, 1985 г с. 88-92 Velikova-Kolesheva. “First Russian Orders”. “Europe” Magazine, 2004, 1st copy, p. 61.;
The Rhodopes Revival Architecture is inspiring for many artists. They recreated it in their works through various artistic techniques. The “Rhodopes Architecture” Collection of the Regional Museum of History “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan, comprises 43 works of art (movable cultural values) from 32 authors.
The Agushev`s Residence in the village of Mogilitsa is the most magnetic for the artists. It is an exclusive ensemble of residential and farm buildings. The Agushev`s Residence is one of complexity in planned, compositional, volumetric and architecturally artistic design.
It is constructed at the beginning of the 19th century as a separate closed residential-farm building (medieval type); the ensemble grew according to the needs and requirements of the owners to reach its finished image in the middle of the century when the circular tower and part of the eastern facade were painted.
According to date in one of the preserved medallions, the year of construction is 1843. It cannot be maintained that to this date all alterations have been completed, but the ensemble in general has an impressive appearance.
The collection houses 35 paintings by different artists, painting techniques and years depicting the Agushev`s Residence. The earliest painting is from 1972 by the painter Penyo Radev, the technique is graphic, linocut. The last one is from 1992 by the artist Petar Savov, the technique is oil, canvas.
Anastas Staykov, Petar Staykov, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Prof. Boycho Grigorov, Prof. Ruzhko Chelebiev, Lyubomir Samardzhiev are only part of the artists whose paintings are included in the The “Rhodopes Architecture” Collection. The other eight paintings from the collection depict Revival houses from Raykovo and Shiroka Luka.
Catalogue. Museum Valuables from the Region of Smolyan, 2007, p. 62-64. Mateev, M. Residences in the Middle Rhodopes, Plovdiv, 2004, p. 208-211. Arch. Labov, G, Koynova-Arnaudova, L. Agushev`s Residence in the village of Mogilitsa, Sofia, 1978.
The Olympic Movement is one of the emblems of the modern world. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was officially established on June 23, 1894 at the Paris International Congress with the purpose to revive the ancient Olympic Games.
The first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in Athens in April 1896. Bulgaria was one of the 14 nations that took part in the first modern Olympic Games. Since 1906 our country has a representative in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Bulgarian Olympic Committee was created in 1923. Since the 1970s of the last century Bulgaria has been actively participating and hosting various Olympic international forums.
Smolyan - one of the “young” Bulgarian towns, established in 1960 has a particularly significant place in the history of the Bulgarian Olympic Movement. The town sends six athletes to three sports - alpine skiing, swimming and weightlifting at the winter and summer Olympic Games.
So far, Bulgarian athletes were rewarded with a total of 220 medals.
Three of them are the athletes of the sports club “Rhodopa” - Smolyan. Antoaneta Frenkeva, won two Olympic medals – silver 100m and bronze 200m breast stroke at the Seoul Olympics (Republic of Korea) in 1988. Velichko Cholakov, bronze medalist in weightlifting competitions of the Summer Olympics in Athens (Greece), in 2004.
The Olympism and the Olympic Movement, inextricably bound up with the modern history of the town of Smolyan, is researched, discussed and popularized of the museum curators of the Regional History Museum “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan. They become part of museum`s thematic collections.
The “Olympic” Collection is one of the most interesting and attractive thematic collections in RHM – Smolyan. The collection illustrates the top achievements of the local athletes in sports - skiing, swimming and weightlifting. The competitors became one of our most successful national athletes. They brought international fame of native sport.
The collection has been completed in 2014 in connection with the realization of the temporary museum exhibition “From Smolyan to the Olympic Peaks”, dedicated to June 18th - Feast of the united town of Smolyan and June 23rd - International Olympic Day. Petar Dichev (Alpine Skiing), Petar Stoychev (marathon swimming), and Daniela Kerkelova (Weightlifter) donated to the museum collection your personal collections. The collection is part of the “Modern History” Collection.
It consists of more than 130 in different types of material signs related to the sporting career of the world famous athlete Petar Stoychev (marathon swimming), participant in four Olympiads - Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Petar Dichev (Alpine Skiing), participant in the Olympiads in Albertville (1992); Lillehammer (1994) and Nagano (1998), and Daniela Kerkelova (Weightlifter) brought the first points for Bulgaria in women's weightlifting at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The collection is diverse in content. The collection includes representative costumes from the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer (1994) and the Summer Olympics in Sydney (2000), sports equipment, photos, publications, badges and souvenirs, illustrating the participation of athletes in the winter and summer Olympiads.
Sports rewards, mostly medals and cups, are dominated from national, world, European championships and international tournaments, highlighting the best sports achievements of the three athletes on the way to the Olympic Games.
The “Olympic” Collection is a very important component for highlighting the participation of Bulgaria in the modern Olympic Games, the development of sport in Smolyan and its significant place in the history of the Bulgarian Olympic Movement.
Scientific Archive to the RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” - Smolyan was established in the 1970s of the 20th century as a specialized unit of the overall museum structure.
The active work on its processing - elaboration of a nomenclature of cases, classification and registration of archival units, etc. began in the late 1980s with the appointment of expert archivist Katya Sulinadzhieva.
Approximately at the same time, the first card-indexes and topographic indexes revealing the structure, contents and location of the stored documents were developed. The following structure of the archive has been established:
• “Archaeology” (Fund II)
• “Museum Activity” (Fund III)
• “Modern History of Bulgaria” (Fund IV)
• “Recent History of Bulgaria” (Fund V)
• “Ethnography” (Fund VI)
• “Folklore” (Fund VII)
• “History of Bulgaria 15th-19th Centuries” (Fund VIII)
• “Cultural Educational Activity” (Cultural Educational Activity Fund)
• “Immovable Cultural Monuments” (Technical Archive, National Culture Monuments Fund)
Today the Scientific Archive comprises a total of 3200 archive units. Significant is the collected field materials from various expeditions in the Rhodopes, as well as various written documents reflecting the research work of museum curators. Documents related to exhibitions and displays: thematic structural plans, thematic exhibition plans, consultations, posters, invitation cards and other promotional materials from museum exhibitions and initiatives are part of it also.
A rich collection of sketches, layouts, drawings related to the life of the local population, stored in the scientific archive, is extremely interesting and valuable for the researchers. Some of them were created within the framework of the research programs conducted on the territory of Smolyan Region - „The Rhodopes“, „Rhodopes' Fortresses“, „Rhodopes' Bridges“, and others.
Another part is made by professional artists who worked on assignments by museum experts. Among them are Toma Kapitanov, Maria Karova, Elena Kamburova and others. They include a large number of original drawings of vessels, ceramic fragments, fibulas, adornments and other values from archaeological objects, as well as drawings of movable cultural values from different departments of the museum.
Architectural plans, designs, layouts and drawings are the main contents of the documentary content, which is part of the so-called Technical Archive. It contains more than 500 archive units pertaining to the state, construction and restoration of buildings on the territory of Smolyan region.
Yordanova, V. Scientific and Photo Archives of RHM “Stoyu Shishkov” – Smolyan -State and Perspectives”