Historical events

The town of Oriahovo is situated in a picturesque hilly area on the right bank of the River Danube. In the past the town was known by various names: Varhov, Orezov, Oreov, Rahovo, and, finally, Oriahovo, since 1886.

        

The region of Oriahovo has been inhabited since ancient times. Archeological excavations prove the existence of settlements dating to different historical periods – from the early Neolithic Age to the late Middle Ages. Remarkable artifacts are connected with the Thracians – late Mycenaean bronze swords and horse ammunition. The prosperity of Roman culture is presented by the remains of ancient fortresses – Variana, near the village of Leskovets, and Valeriana, near the village of Dolni Vadin. It was here that the important Roman road from Belgrade to Constantinople “Via Singiduno usque ad Constantinopolim per ripam Danubii" passed. One kilometer to the west of Oriahovo the medieval fortress called Kamaka (The Stone) was situated, erected in 9th c. and existing until 14th c. The troops of two crusades passed from here – those of the Hungarian kings Sigismundus (1396) and Wladyslaw II Jagiello (1444). Today a square two-story tower can be seen from the fortress dating to the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

During the Renaissance Oriahovo asserts itself as an administrative and economic Centre of a kaaza (district). It is among the main centres which provide the Ottoman Empire with goods from Western Europe. It has a working port where ships from Austria, France, Russia and England stop. In a book printed in Brussels, Oriahovo is mentioned as one of the most important Danube towns.

The struggle of the local population for enlightenment results in the establishment of a secular school (1857), and of a community Centre (1871). In 1837 St. George’s Church, which is now a cultural monument of national importance, was sanctified. The town was liberated on 21 November, 1877 after three-day fights of Romanian troops against the Turkish army. In honor of this victory a neighborhood in Bucharest was named after Oriahovo – Rahova, and to commemorate the feat of the Romanian soldiers who perished on the battlefield, a monument was erected in Oriahovo, the statue of which is the work of the famous Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi, also author of the Monument to Tsar Liberator in Sofia and the Statue of Liberty in Rousse.