History

Human activity in this region began in antiquity. Archaeologists have discovered artefacts which date back to VI - III BC, II - III AD, and the early Middle Ages (VII - IX AD). A remarkable place for scientific research is an ancient Bulgarian necropolis, which tells us legends of our pagan past.

The devastating invasions of the Pechenegs in the first half of the XI century almost depopulated the plains of Dobrudzha, and, throughout the whole period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the settlements struggled to survive.

In the XVI century a new settlement was founded in this land - a crossroads of the ancient routes from the Danube to the Black Sea, and from Eastern Europe to the heart of the Balkan Peninsular. The town was named Hadzhioglu Pazardzhik, after its founder, a Turkish merchant, and retained this name until 1882.

According to the Turkish traveller Evliya Chelebi, who visited the town circa 1650, at that time it had 1,000 houses, 100 shops, 3 inns, 3 baths (hamams), 12 mosques, and 12 schools.

In XVII - XIX AD, the town developed as a centre of arts and crafts, trade, and agriculture. It was famous for its weavers, coppersmiths, curriers and harness-makers, as well as its products - wheat, flax seed, sheep fur, wool, and cheese. Today, right next to the town centre, is the Old Dobrich ethnographic complex, which, in its small workshops, still keeps alive the sparkle that kindled the Bulgarian National Revival.

By the first decades of the XIX century the population of the town had grown to twelve thousand, mainly Turks. The first Bulgarian settlers came from other parts of East Bulgaria after the Russian - Turkish wars (1810, 1828, and 1845). A large group of Bulgarian settles from the region of Kotel moved in after the Crimean War.

The famous trade fair in Dobrich opened in 1851, and a number of merchants from Varna, Ruse, Shoumen and a few other towns marketed their goods here.

The cultural image of the place changed with the development of the religious and educational activities. The church Saint George, the first one to be built here, opened in 1843, and in 1844 the church founded the first monastic school.

A wave of urbanization started in 1869 - the park was built, the town had a telegraphic link with Varna, the post office started operations, and the hospital, built a few years before, was finally opened.

The Ottoman rule over Hadzhioglu Pazardzhik came to an end on 27th January, 1878. By a decree of the Prince, dated 19.02.1882, the town's name was changed to Dobrich, after Dobrititsa - the medieval ruler of these lands.

The three consecutive wars which Bulgaria waged in the early 1900s had a dramatic impact on the town of Dobrich. The first Romanian occupation lasted until 1916. After the peace treaty of Neuilly, South Dobrudzha (including Dobrich) was annexed by Romania. The struggle against the Romanian annexation continued until 1940, and ended with the Krayova treaty, which led to the reunification of Bulgaria and South Dobrudzha. The Bulgarian army entered the town on 25th September 1940. This date is now celebrated as the day of Dobrich.

For a few decades the town was called Tolbuhin, after the victorious Soviet marshal. However, on 19.09.1990, a decree of the then President gave back to the town its long lost name - Dobrich.

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