Sofia

Gotse Delchev Boulevard

more than a year ago

Gotse Delchev Boulevard crosses some of the newly fashionable southern districts of the city. It was named after one of the heroes of the liberation of the Macedonian lands during the Ottoman Rule; there is a town in the Pirin mountains of the same name.

When Gotse Delchev was born in 1872 the territories of both modern-day Bulgaria and Macedonia were part of the Ottoman Empire, but soon after that the northern Bulgarian lands were liberated. By the time Gotse reached military school in Sofia he was already planning the liberation of the Macedonian Bulgarians. Although he had been schooled in nationalism he viewed all the nationalities present in Macedonia as his brothers: Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Romanians, Albanians, Roma and Jews.

On his return to Macedonia, Delchev started intense revolutionary activities – travelling throughout Macedonia, alone or with trusted supporters, to agitate the masses. Disguised as teacher, merchant or simple villager, he spread the idea of autonomy for Macedonia and organised local committees to prepare the people for an uprising. The secret organisation, which had supporters in all four corners of Macedonia, was called the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO).

The authorities offered a large reward for his head and managed to kill him in May 1903 at the age of 31 when he was just months away from his planned uprising.

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