PETROVA NIVA PROTECTED AND HISTORICAL SITE
It is located in Natural Park Strandja, near the villages of Stoilovo and Zvezdetz, 32 km from Malko Turnovo.
Coordinates: 42°03’40.65” N, 27°31’48.98” E, 237 m above sea level
Petrova Niva (an area of250 ha) was declared a protected area in order to preserve the distinctive landscape, and habitats of rare birds and endangered plant species.
Documents declaring it a protected area:
Order №2344 of 26.05.1971, Recategorization by Order №RD-309 of 31.03.2003.
Режим на дейности:
Prohibited: felling of trees except sanitary and for cultivation to improve the sanitary and landscape conditions of the sites.
Prohibited: livestock grazing at all times.
Prohibited: opening of quarries, breaking stone, extracting sand, disposing of scoria and other industrial waste, as well as any activities that could damage or uglify the natural landscape.
Overlap: Natural Park: STRANDJA and under ЗЗ of the Birds Directive: Strandja
In its southern part, near the slopes descending to Veleka River is the memorial complex of the same name dedicated to the participants in Preobrajensko Uprising. Petrova Niva area is a landmark of national importance.
Pétrova Niva area is near the villages of Stoilovo and Zvezdets. It is here that in 1903 the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization proclaimed the Preobrajensko Uprising in support of the Ilindensko Uprising in Macedonia. On 18 August, 1903 at Petrova Niva the new uprising was proclaimed and its purpose was the accession of Strandja, Adrianople and Aegean Thrace to the rest of free Bulgaria. The Republic of Strandja was proclaimed. The uprising had no chances of success. The disobedient were poorly armed, the vast Turkish army was nearby and ready to crush them, but the spirit and thirst for freedom prevailed over reason. 26 days later the ruprising was drowned in blood – 26 villages were burned down, thousands were massacred. Three quarters of the population of Strandja fled.
The area is a wide, flat, elevated field, located above the meanders of Veleka Rriver and Mladejka River. It is easily accessible only from the west, from the village of Zvezdets. In fact today it is accessed from the road Burgas – Malko Turnovo (right after Zvezdets) where there is a well-marked junction and 11 kilometers of narrow, asphalt road which leads to Petrova Niva.
The monument, erected in the 1950s, is a tribute to the heroism of the Bulgarians during the Ilindensko-Preobrajensko Uprising of 1903 and to their struggle for freedom. Before that, there used to be a modest chapel here. The monument was created by two architects – Michail Sokolovski and Evgenii Zidarov. They used local stone for the obelisk. The bones of Georgi Kondolov (the leader of Preobrajensko Uprising) were walled in it.
After the monument was erected a lot of people started gathering here every third Saturday in August to honour the heroic deeds of the participants in the uprising. A National Memorial Gathering, organized by the Municipality of Malko Turnovo and the Union of Thracian Societies in Bulgaria, is held here every year. Politicians, mayors, local people, descendants of Thracian refugees, and many people from around the country take part in it. In the church there is a memorial prayer for the dead rebels. Wreaths and flowers are laid before the monument in Petrova Niva, and in recent years there are fireworks. A folk concert gathers amateur folk groups not only from the region but also from the rest of the country. There are usually about 5-6000 people at this event.
There is a museum collection which exhibits photographs, weapons, and documents from the liberation struggle of the Bulgarians from Thrace and Macedonia. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising, in 2003 the ossuary chapel "St. Petka" was built here.
The memorial complex together with the Historical Museum in Malko Turnovo is № 7 on the list of the 100 national tourist sites.
Here is one of the most picturesque observation places in Strandja and you can see many evergreen types of plants.