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History of Tvarditsa

History is an endless journey back into the past. Here we will try to get back in the paths of Tvarditsa Antiquitie. Tvarditsa is a town in the Central Bulgarian, located in Sliven district and is the administrative centre of the municipality of Tvarditsa. At a distance of 45 km. west of Sliven and 290 km. east of the capital Sofia. The city is located in southern foot of the Eleno-Tvardishki part of the Stara Planina mountain. In the southern part of the Tvardishka Valley is located the picturesque Jrebchevo dam. From Tvarditsa town begins the shortest passage between northern and southern Bulgarian – Tvardishki pass. It runs along the valley of the river Tvardishka, with its whimsical meanders. The area of Tvarditsa is inhabited since antiquity. The first ever known settlement is dated by the new stone age (2ND Millennium BC). Traces of it are found in the lower cultural layers of "Kicova Hill", located in the southern part of the ridge "Lagun", there were found tools and ceramic fragments. In the "Kicova Hill" have revealed traces of Thracian settlements in the first Millennium BC. From the Roman period there are settlements in almost all the villages of the municipality of Tvarditsa, that was situated on the "Lagun Hill”. The crossroad importance of the region is enhanced especially when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In IV-VI century are built a number of forts in the passages for protection from the invasion of barbarian tribes. Part of this defensive system are the fortresses: "Gradishte" over the town Tvarditsa, "Kaliata", northeast of Shivachevo town. Due to its strategic position, at the entrance to the pass, the area of Tvarditsa with adjacent forts, had important significance and in the middle ages.At the time of the second Bulgarian Empire the role of Tvardishki pass grows significantly when Turnovo becomes a capital . The name Tvarditsa derives from the old Bulgarian word stronghold (fortress, a Fort), and is associated with the fortress "Gradishte", located 1.5 km north of the city. The Fort was initially built during the time of the Thracians, but is maintained and developed in the early Byzantine era, having reached its peak in the XII-XIV centuries, when it became a fortress-city. It is believed that the Fort was the permanent settlement, and not a place in which to hide the local population in case of enemy attack. About this talk and the name "Gradishte" which denotes a fortress with a large and important role in the history of the region.

The Byzantine chronicler Manuel Phil, glorifying the exploits of Michael Head, in connection with his crusade against the Bulgarian Tsar Ivaylo in 1278, mentions in his writings Tvarditsa: "Chervezica is witness to Tvarditsa, Maglizh is witness to Kran, so every witness to hear about this." Today, from the medieval "Tvarditsa" are reserved significant parts of the fortress walls, reaching a height of up to 5 meters, which obstructed area of 25 000 sq.m. (m). In front of the Eastern wall of the fortress are the ruins of a medieval church (X-XII) with preserved walls to 1.5 m. and traces of frescoes. During the Ottoman rule the village was named Fertiji – Kuberan, as the second part of the name was added to the village in which parallel there were Turkish and Bulgarian municipality. During the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829, with the withdrawal of Russian troops to save themselves from the atrocities of the Turks, one-third of the population of Tvarditsa (683 people-156 families) migrated to Bessarabia (Moldova) and create there a village with the same name.In these troubled times for the rest of the Christian population come hard years of trials. There is well organised archaeological exposure in the community centre "St. St. Cyril and Methodius, as well as the separate ethnographic collection.