Happy Third of March to all Bulgarians and people who feel for Bulgaria in some way :)
Today, we celebrate 'Liberation day'
Here is some info about the history of the place.
The Crossroads point:
The monument on Shipka peak as seen from Orlovo Gnezdo (the literal translation for that in English would be Eagle Nest)
The place is a very dramatic an symbolic for all Bulgarians because 141 years ago it was the place where the fate of the whole nation was decided. It is a place where we honour the heroism of those who fought there to make us safe.
In 1877, during the Russian-Turkish Liberation war, that place was attacked by the Ottoman army.
The idea was that one Turkish pasha (Siuleyman) had to go to Northern Bulgaria to help another pasha (Osman) with the Russian siege of Pleven (which is in Northern Bulgaria). Had he done that, the Liberation War would have ended with defeat for the Russians and devastation for the Bulgarians.
This is where Shipka comes to the fore – to go to Northern Bulgaria, Suileyman had to cross Stara Planina (which stretches across the middle of Bulgaria) but driven by anger he foolishly chose the highest mountain pass in the area – Shipka pass.
The defenders on the homonymous peak above the pass were around 7 500 Bulgarian volunteers and Russian soldiers against more than 27 000 Turkish soldiers and bashibozuk (the Turkish version of volunteer army, known for their cruelty). In a dramatic 3-day fight when even the ammo ran out, the defenders fought till the last one standing and even threw the dead bodies of their comrades against the enemy. They managed to stand their ground until some reinforcements were sent and that slowed down the Turkish army and basically tilted the scales in favour of Russia. Today, it is said that that fight won the whole war and won freedom for Bulgaria
The monument has long and tangled history (which deserves a post of its own) so for the time being I'll only mention that it was built on donations and opened to visitors in 1934. It is open all year round, the exact working hours vary according to season.
More info on how to get there, tickets etc. can be found on their website: