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Stoyo’s House Ethnographic Museum


The exposition arranged in Stoyo’s House Ethnographic Museum is a remarkable architecture monument from the second half of the 19th century. It reveals the ethnographic richness of the Radomir region population from the end of the 19th and the 20th centuries.

What can you see in Stoyo’s House?

Showcased are valuable examples of the traditional costumes in Radomir, products of the local craftsmen, everyday life objects. The Radomir festive costume is completed by a variety of ornaments – belt buckles, bead-belts, bracelets, rings and earrings, breast ornaments, hairpins, etc. The ornaments and the details of the costumes are very original – the apron, the shirt, the girdle and especially the knitted stockings which complemented the costume with their coloured motifs. The colours of the decorative and artistic fabrics are remarkably colored rugs, bags, cradles, pillows, tablecloths and cloths. In the past they were made in the natural color of the wool and the hemp with variegated linear-strip decoration. A beautiful addition to the textile and the dress is the typical laces knitted or sewn. The artistic sense and the creative imagination of the Radomir women are expressed in the weaving and the combination of colors of the pillows and the ritual cloths.

The most typical element of the ancient male dress till the end of the 19th century is so-called dolakatnik – a braided white short-sleeved jacket.

The showcased wooden objects from the everyday life also possess high artistic value – the mortars, vessels, spoons, combs, etc. as well as the ceramic vessels – jugs, bowls with handles, etc.

We would like to express our gratitude to Mr Pavlov, the museum director, for his contribution and help during the implementation of our project.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in History

 

Boza-making


Most common in the region of Radomir in the second half of the 19th and the early 20th century were the making of boza (millet-ale) and the tailoring or saya-making (saya, a type of long, female dress). These crafts involved travelling.

The boza-makers used to practice their trade all over Bulgaria. In the autumn, right after the end of the field work they used to travel with their inventory to the different towns in the country and work there and returned to their native towns and villages not earlier than for the next spring sowing. Along with the boza they produced different types of khalva – from sunflower seed, sesame seed, black khalva, fruit khalva, etc. From the mid 20th century on, the pastry-shops replaced the manual production of boza. In the village of Dolni Rakovets a modern installation was built by ET “Elektra” Radomir for the production of Radomir boza following the traditional technology.

BOZA is a popular fermented beverage in Bulgaria. It is a malt drink, made from wheat or millet . It has a thick consistency and a low alcohol content (usually around 1%), and has a slightly acidic sweet flavor.

Here follow the instructions for making boza at home. The recipe is meant for 5 liters.
Ingredients:

5 l water,2 teacupfuls flour,2 teacupfuls sugar,1 teacupful boza or home-made ferment.

Directions:

Slightly roast  the flour (to become rosy in colour). Take care not to get it burnt. Mix it with only a bit of lukewarm water. Pour the mixture into the pot filled with the rest of the water and put it on the plate. Add the sugar and leave the liquid to boil stirring it once in a while. Keep boiling for 5-6 minutes still stirring. Remove the pot from the fire and let it cool. Add 1 teacupful boza or home-made ferment. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 2-3 days to cause fermentation. When the boza is ready, pour it in bottles and store in a cool place (refrigerator).
How to make the boza ferment:

Mix the slightly roasted flour (take care to keep it from burning) with the water and stir well. Add the sugar. Leave the mess in a warm place for 2-3 days to ferment, stirring it from time to time.

Note: The teacupful of boza or home-made ferment can be replaced by 6-7 moistened and crumbled slices of wholemeal bread /or toast/, or by 6-7 spoonfuls leaven. In this case before storage the boza has to be filtered (without pressing).

As we are very proud with boza-making in our town, we have a monument devoted to boza-makers. We call them Bozadzhii.

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Excavations in Arbanas, Radomir


Until the moment of   excavations at Arbanas quarter of Radomir town, nothing was known about the antiquity of this place in the scientific literature. The surrounding population has, indeed, in the course of their work, brought out some ,,pins, clasps, etc.’’ ,treasure-hunters have also dug around, but archaeologists came to know only in the process of the field work. While on the beat around the vicinity, they could gather some data for ancient settlement remains and a tumulus nearby, towards the lowland flowing river of Struma.

The archaeological site at Arbanas quarter is many-stratified, and several historical periods are represented in stratigraphical respect. In the beginning a metallurgic point emerged, near which a small sanctuary was organized.

The finds discovered during the excavations and especially the adornments, represent a rich source of information of typological, stylistic and technological character. They throw light on different aspects of the ancient culture in the western Thracian lands and especially in the region of the uppermost stream of Struma.

Of special interest is one rarely met adornment. The adornment is mode of silver and represents a precisely shaped hoop with six pendants stringed up on stitches.

Closest parallels to this adornment are the silver bracelets , which date from the 80’s of the 1st century. Especially similar is a detail of the bracelet represents a massive open tetrahedral ring, the ends of which are made thinner and pass one another forming volutes.

Comparing the adornment from Arbanas to the bracelets from Serbia we see that it is considerably smaller than the main constructions and this suggests that it  was a part of a bigger bracelet or some other kind of adornment. In spite of the similarities between some details it is evident that the adornment was made by a different craftsman under different circumstances. However, taking into consideration the decoration, even the choice of material, we consider that they are products of one and the same epoch and are dating from as early as the second half of the 1st century.

From the excavations come also two iron pruning-knives, which are most likely cult or votive ones.

At the site of  archaeological excavations in Arbanas was found an iron axe, whose shape is amazingly similar to that of the corresponding pendant, which perhaps explains the choice of the model.

The spiral constructions in adornment from Arbanas make an impression at first sight. These elements successfully play the part of decoration ornaments in the relatively simplified decoration scheme. Considering its decorative and technical peculiarities we can enlarge the circle of different kinds of objects, mainly adornments, from our archaeological site as well as from many others, isolating a stylistic group.

The varieties of the decorative spiral were used also on bracelets and rings. It strengthens the impression of a serial mastered production in the region of the sanctuary.

Subtypes of   golden bracelets are represented by the twisted silver bracelet without volutes and by a bronze bracelet, consisting of double, parallel, twisted rings. A silver bracelet from Bazaurt is a more exact parallel to the first one, while the second one must be of type  D-4 .

From Dacia is known a ring compared with the similarly decorated bracelet from the Late La Tene. The two massive silver rings decorated with two volutes from Arbanas, also have a direct analogy in the golden bracelet from Ratiaria, ect.

Proceeding from the specified analogies and from the stylistic-typological peculiarities, the archaeologists consider, that the rings are dated from the mind 1st to the mind 3rd century.

Due to the regularly organized fairs, market, etc., the sanctuary at Arbanas  was turned into a cross-road point, providing opportunities for connections in different directions. Having in mind the finds, including other sorts and types of adornments, whose greater  part was made of other materials can clam with certainty, that at or round that sanctuary there was a centre of arts and crafts unfamiliar till now.

The local works of arts, crafts and adornments in particular are included in the process of formation of provincial Roman styles with its local peculiarity, synthesizing various preliminary currents. This is actually the great importance of the discovery at Arbanas and contribution to studying the problem which foundation has been laid. Thus the archaeological results of the excavations and rapprochement of the Balkan cultures, which has begun since earlier times, and for archeologists the present preliminary research is a starting point in the complete interpretation of the site.

 

Saint Dimitar Patron of Radomir


With the consecration of the St. Dimitar Church, the citizens of Radomir chose the church patron saint for their city’s patron as well. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates on October 26, the Day of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica. The popular beliefs hold the Day of St. Demetrius to be a celebration related to a turn in the seasons and a bottom line of the work done in the summer half-year, which is the season of the most strenuous agricultural activities. Folk tradition represents the saint as St. George’s twin brother, while in iconography he is painted mostly riding a red horse. The Day of St. Demetrius is an immutable holiday of the municipality of Radomir with celebrations and cultural events held in the city on a yearly basis.

The church was built in the period of 1855-1865 and was consecrated in 1866. A total of 220 icons come from this church, 33 of them were painted by the Bulgarian artist and icon painter of the revival period Nikola Dospevski and 46 were bought and donated to the church by Milen Lazarov with the collaboration of Naiden Gerov.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in History

 

Bulgarian Middle Ages


The land of the municipality of Radomir is abundant in vestiges of the Bulgarian Middle Ages, the physical evidence of which is the large number of ruins of settlements, ancient churches and monasteries. Byzantine chronicles are emphatic that the population from the upper reaches of the Struma River has always been ethnically pure Bulgarian communities in the Middle Ages. The fact is reflected in the names of the villages and localities with some of them being named after medieval Bulgarian tsars and boyars. The name of Radomir city falls into the same category of Bulgarian names. A legend has it that the city was called after a Bulgarian voivode of the same name. Bulgarian history gives a number of examples of the same name: King Gavril Radomir of Bulgaria, the fifth son, Radomir of King Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria, renowned Bulgarian man of letters of the 13th c., Radomir, who wrote the Radomir’s Psalter, etc.

In the Middle Ages, the valley of Radomir has often happened to be the scene of fierce battles waged by Bulgarians against Byzantium, as it is crossed by a strategic road to the Aegean Sea, trailing along the Struma riverbed, well-know even to Romans, which road had never lost its importance all along, including the Middle Ages. In many of the legends told by the locals about the ancient ruins on the high hilltops, where arrowheads and medieval coins have been unearthed, the names of Bulgarian Kings Samuil and Ivan Shishman, as well as of other medieval sovereigns and voivodes are involved.

The ruins of Malo and Goliamo Gradishte atop Golo Bardo, the ruins above the village of Dren, where a locality, called The Tsar’s Tree, is situated, the ruins on the hillside between the villages of Vladimir and Dolna Dikanya, as well as those rising above the villages of Drugan, Radobosh, etc., bear tacit witness to the dramatic events.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in History

 

Ancient Industrial Hub and Fortress in Arbanas Neighbourhood near Radomir


Archaeological excavations in 1983-84 testify to the existence of a significant industrial and commercial centre until the mid-3rd c. The southern wall and the gate of the fortress have been explored, as well as a massive building in its centre. The building is constructed of stone and white mortar. In its east and, in an almost square room of stone, an apse is set. A number of interesting finds have been unearthed in a late antique layer southwest of the buildings: bone needles, medical tools, lead mirrors, bronze button-bells, jewellery and coins.

After the mid-3rd c., a fortress had been erected over the well-functioning industrial and trade hub.

For the time being, just a few hand-made ceramics testify to the pre-Roman period of this curious archaeological site. Individual finds have been excavated, typical of metal-working: a hammer, pair of compasses, items of bronze and lead, remains of kilns and pits for keeping raw stuff, as well as two fragments of votive tablets, featuring Zeus.

In 1987, during the exploration of the late antique fortress at Arbanas, two churches were discovered, constructively connected with the east wall of the enclosure. It suggests the existence of a big early Christian centre, most probably a fortified monastery. In the early Byzantine period the east church was reconstructed into a dwelling. For the purpose, its western side was made with a hearth of bricks.

Such a rebuilding of an early Christian church into a dwelling has a sole logical explanation: the inhabitants of the fortress were replaced, most probably, by the tribes invading the empire from the north.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Archaeology, History

 

Land of Ancient Civilization


The territory of Radomir is abundant in archaeological sites. Through the artifacts surviving to this day , made of long-lasting  materials , mostly stone , ceramics and bone , it is easy to trace the diver-city of artistic skills , aesthetic  flair and views of the people who settled in the upper reaches of the Struma River at the dawn of human civilization. This is evident from the common everyday utensils, as well as the works of plastic arts, cult and idol making, with their impressive forms, both exquisite and expedient.

As early as the late 19th century and early 20th century scientists were informed of particular cases of prehistoric finds from the region of Radomir, suggesting that it keeps in its bowels historical artifacts of this earliest era.  Several prehistoric settlements of the early and late Neolithic, Chalcolithic and the early Bronze Age have been found.

PRIBOI village – early-Neolithic settlement (5th millennium BC); DREN village early Chalcolithic

NEGOVANTSI village: Klenovska mound-early Neolithic; RADOMIR town – late Neolithic – early Bronze age;

GERENA locality-late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze A

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Archaeology, History