The Bridges Connecting Bulgaria and America

Most tourists visiting Koprivshtitsa, a town of beautiful traditional houses in the Sredna Gora mountains, pause at a certain bridge. Small and humpbacked, it does not look that important.

And yet, it is. Here was where one of the most fateful events in Bulgarian history unfolded. On 20 April 1876, local men conspiring to rebel against Ottoman rule learnt that their plans had been betrayed. It was now impossible to stage their rebellion on its planned date, 1 May . On the spur of the moment, the rebels in Koprivshtitsa decided to go ahead straight away. Storming through the streets, their banner waving, guns shooting in the air and church bells ringing, they proclaimed their freedom from the Sultan. This was how the 1876 April Uprising started: on a bridge, with a single shot and a victory for the rebels.

Amazingly, almost the same happened 101 years and one day earlier, in the American colonies.

After a number of incidents and the Tea Party in Boston, in February 1775 the British government declared that the colony of Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion. Things were mostly quiet until April 1775, when government troops were sent towards Concord to capture the military supplies the rebels had stored there.

Those were no longer in Concord, but the rebel militia was, ready for action.

The first fighting erupted at dawn on 19 April 1775, at Lexington. The rebels were defeated, but later in the day, at Concord, they got the upper hand. Militia and government troops clashed at the North Bridge in Concord. The rebels outnumbered their foes, and drove them off. The American War of Independence had begun.

Reprinted from Vagabond magazine. Text by Dimana Trankova.

Read more HERE.

© Anthony Georgieff
The First Shot Bridge in Koprivshtitsa, where the 1876 April Uprising started

© John Phelan
The Old North Bridge in Concord, where in 1775 the American War of Independence started

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