Pistol with a flint mechanism of Georgi Stoykov Rakovski

With the personality of Georgi Stoykov Rakovski we associate an entire era in the national liberation movement of the Bulgarians during the Renaissance. For almost three decades, in which he waged a tireless struggle against the oppressors of the Bulgarian people, the native of Kotel acted as a military strategist, politician, diplomat, poet, writer, publicist, historian, folklorist and linguist, remaining unreservedly devoted to the fatherland in each of these fields .

We associate his revolutionary activity primarily with the organization of the First Bulgarian Legion in Belgrade (1862) and the drafting of the Plan for the Liberation of Bulgaria (1861). However, Rakovski took his first steps in the armed struggle much earlier. He was behind the organization of the Second Brail Revolt (1842) and the creation of the "Secret Society", which aimed to prepare the Bulgarians for an uprising that would break out in parallel with the Russian advance south of the Danube at the beginning of the Crimean War (1853 - 1856). A little later we also see him in the role of voivode, leading a small detachment in the Kotlen Balkan region. Persecuted by the authorities because of this activity, Rakovski was forced to leave for neighboring Wallachia. In the spring of 1855, he left his homeland forever and spent the rest of his life in exile. His close friend and associate Tsviatko Radoslavov from Svishtov helps him to cross the Danube secretly.

It is to the early period in Rakovski's revolutionary activity that the pistol stored in the NIM takes us. Before leaving Bulgaria, he left his personal weapon - two flintlocks - in Tsviatko Radoslavov's home. Radoslavov carefully preserved the relics, which after his death were given to the museum in Svishtov. Today, one of the pistols is exhibited in the Historical Museum - Svishtov, and you can see the other one in the National History Museum.

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