Georgi Sava Rakovski
Georgi Stoykov Rakovski (1821 – 9 October 1867), known also Georgi Sava Rakovski , born Sabi Stoykov Popovich , was a 19th-century Bulgarian
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

 revolutionary and writer and an important figure of the Bulgarian National Revival
Bulgarian National Revival
The Bulgarian National Revival , sometimes called the Bulgarian Renaissance, was a period of socio-economic development and national integration among Bulgarian people under Ottoman rule...

 and resistance against Ottoman rule.

Early life

Born in Kotel
Kotel, Bulgaria
Kotel is a town in central Bulgaria, part of Sliven Province. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Kotel Municipality. As of december 2009, the town has a population of 6,232 inhabitants....

 to a wealthy and patriotic family, he attended monastery schools in his hometown and in Karlovo
Karlovo is a picturesque and a historically important town in central Bulgaria located in a fertile valley along the river Stryama at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains...

, and in 1837, went to study in the Greek Orthodox College
Phanar Greek Orthodox College
-See also:*Fener*Greeks in Turkey*Zografeion Lyceum*List of schools in Istanbul*Ottoman Greeks...

 in Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

. In 1841, he was sentenced to death whilst involved in revolutionary plans against the Turks, but thanks to a Greek friend, managed to escape to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. A year-and-a-half later, he returned to Kotel, only to be arrested again in 1845. Sent to Istanbul for seven years of solitary confinement, he was released in May 1848.

He decided to remain in Istanbul, where he worked as a lawyer and tradesman, and took part in campaigns for a Bulgarian national church
Bulgarian Exarchate
The Bulgarian Exarchate was the official name of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church before its autocephaly was recognized by the Ecumenical See in 1945 and the Bulgarian Patriarchate was restored in 1953....

. Rakovski was soon arrested once more, this time due to his creation of a secret society of Bulgarians to assist the Russians in the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

. While being deported to Istanbul, he escaped, and gathered together a group of rebels. In June 1854, he was transferred to Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...


Literary work

Between 1854 and 1860, Rakovski spent his time writing, publishing reviews, and avoiding arrest.

His best-known work, Gorski Patnik (translated as A Traveller in the Woods or Forest Wanderer), he penned during the Crimean War (1853–56) while hiding from Turkish authorities near Kotel. Considered one of the first Bulgarian literary poems, it was not actually published until 1857. The published version differed from the first version, in that it had a clearer plot and improved style.

The plot concerns a Bulgarian man who recruits a rebel group to mutiny against the Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Rakosvki's aim in writing this was to awaken the people's spirit to fight for freedom and to take revenge on the Turks for their cruelty. The novel opens with the main character admiring the beauty of nature on the Bosporus
The Bosphorus or Bosporus , also known as the Istanbul Strait , is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles...

. A preoccupation with national problems and lack of freedom clouds his mind, and he encourages others to join him in a revolt. As the insurgents travel toward Bulgaria, the reader takes in their courage and trials of the journey. The work is said to “unite all the ideology, hopes and beliefs” of the Bulgarian people in their brave fight against the yoke.

Rakovski left Gorski Patnik incomplete. Written in archaic language, it was difficult to read, but still had a great influence in society.

Revolutionary work

1861 saw him in Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 organising a Bulgarian legion
Bulgarian Legion
The Bulgarian Legion was the name of two military bands formed by Bulgarian volunteers and revolutionary workers in the Serbian capital of Belgrade in the second part of the 19th century...

, and travelling through Europe recruiting support for his country’s cause. While his radical views often met opposition from more moderate minds, his writings incited youth to go against the Turks. It was in this year that he wrote his Plan for the Liberation of Bulgaria. Many young people rallied under his flag to fight the Ottomans alongside the Serbs. However the conflict between Serbia and the Ottoman empire was soon resolved and the Legion - dissolved.

Rakovski moved to Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 where he continued his journalistic and revolutionary activities. Led by the belief that Ottoman power could be brought down only with armed action, he began organising small groups of revolutionary fighters, called cheti. Their aim was to instigate unrest in Bulgaria, thus motivating the population to fight the Ottomans. For the purpose of co-ordinating the armed resistance Rakovski and his followers founded the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee
Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee
The Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee or BRCK was a Bulgarian revolutionary organisation founded in 1869 among the Bulgarian emigrant circles in Romania. The decisive influence for the establishment of the committee was exerted by the Svoboda newspaper which Lyuben Karavelov began to...

 - an organization which was yet to feature in the Bulgarian Liberation movement.

In 1867 the Committee equipped two bands (cheti) who penetrated Bulgaria led by Panaiot Hitov and Filip Totiu. They fought battles with the Ottoman forces, but did not manage to fulfill their goals. Led by Hadzhi Dimitar
Hadzhi Dimitar
Dimitar Nikolov Asenov , better known as Hadzhi Dimitar , was one of the most prominent Bulgarian voivods and revolutionaries working for the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.-Early life:...

 and Stefan Karadzha
Stefan Karadzha
Stefan Karadzha , was a Bulgarian national hero, a revolutionary from the national liberation movement and a prominent leader of rebellion against the Ottoman Empire....

, 120 chetnitsi entered Bulgaria in 1868 and fought their way to Stara Planina before being surrounded by the Ottomans. Some of the fighters, including Stefan Karadzha, were wounded, captured and later executed. The remaining men under the leadership of Hadzhi Dimitar were crushed at Buzludzha Peak in Stara Planina.

One of the creators of the Bulgarian revolutionary movement, poet, writer, journalist, Georgi Rakovski died of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 in Bucharest on October 9, 1867.


Rakovski Nunatak
Rakovski Nunatak
Rakovski Nunatak is a rocky peak of elevation 430 m in Vidin Heights on Varna Peninsula, Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Surmounting Rose Valley Glacier to the north....

 on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of . By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for...

, Antarctica is named after Georgi Sava Rakovski. Bolhrad High School
Bolhrad High School
The Georgi Sava Rakovski Bolhrad High School ; , Bolgradskaya gimnaziya imeni G. S. Rakovskogo is a gymnasium in Bolhrad, Odessa Oblast, southwestern Ukraine...

is also names in his honour.
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