HISTORICAL MUSEUM – ORIAHOVO
Oriahovo is a small town situated in a picturesque area with a charming panoramic view of the Danube. The museum is the place from which the tour of the city can start.
It is here that the thousands of years’ long history of the region has been preserved. The museum is housed in a building dating from the end of 19th – beginning of 20th c., in Secession, a style new for the time, characterized by plasticity and decorativeness of form and separate elements. Entering the museum lounge everybody is attracted by the old Viennese staircase especially ordered by the owner of the house – Filip Simidov, a renaissance figure, who moved to Oriahovo straight after the liberation and established an ink factory. The first hall visitors can look round is “Archeology”. The exhibition starts with the remains of a mammoth discovered 12 thousand years ago. The historical narrative continues with the findings from the Neolithic period, 8 000 years B. C., and then with the bronze, iron and Roman period. The most impressive exhibit is the bronze sword from the end of the bronze era, and from the iron one are the findings in Markova Mogila (Marko’s Mound) and a burial urn from a flat necropolis from the “Tabiata” area. Impressive elements from Roman culture are some glass objects, pottery, lamps, pots and jewellery. The exposition finishes with the Middle Ages, the main artifacts in this section being found in the fortress “The Stone”, during excavations under the guidance of Dora Dimitrova (1969 – 1971).
The most unique exhibits visitors can see in the Archeology Hall are The Good Shepherd, an early Christian statue, which is the prototype of Jesus Christ, as well as the early Christian cross made of marble. The former dates to the end of 4th c., and the latter object - to the end of 4th - beginning of 5th c.
The second hall of the museum is entitled "Renaissance" and presents the development of Oriahovo region from 14th to 19th c. Visitors are attracted by the exhibits connected with crafts and the church, the wooden pattens, books and the rich collection of weapons. This hall narrates the history of the church and the enlightenment movement, in which the main accents are the establishment of the revolutionary committee and the liberation of Oriahovo during the Russian-Turkish War (1977-1978). Oriahovo is liberated on 21 November, 1977, after heavy battles between Russian and Romanian soldiers, on the one side, and the Turkish troops, on the other. Over 150 Romanian soldiers die in the battles, together with 5 officers, whose valour is commerated by the monument erected in the centre of the town, on Diko Iliev Square. The sculpture of the monument is made by the world famous Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi, who is also the author of Tsar Liberator monument in Sofia as well as of the Monument to Liberty in Rousse. The monument in Oriahovo symbolises an erect woman who has stepped on a cannon muzzle, holding a torch in her left hand, and in her right one - a sword pointed downward.
The Romanian soldiers are under the leadership of Col. Solnichano, and their actions are supported by a Russian-Romanian unit operating in Mizia. They are led by General Meindor.
The Historical Museum in Oriahovo is founded in 1939 by Nikola Kotsev, whose memorial plaque can be seen on the museum facade. The museum building has preserved its beautiful appearance owing to the Program for the Development of Rural Regions.
Dr. Evgeniya Naidenova, Director of Historical Museum – Town of Oriahovo