Hristo Botev, 1848-1876
Botev is one of those figures who is known to every Bulgarian but not widely known outside his native land. We hear his name if we listen to Radio Hristo Botev (which I recommend as the best quality radio station broadcasting in Bulgarian), in the name of the town Botevgrad, and in streets named after him in every Bulgarian town and city. Those familiar with football may know the name of the Bulgarian football team ‘Botev 1912’, and the football stadium in Plovdiv named after this great but tragic figure. His name has been preserved despite the political transformations from the Kingdom of Bulgaria to the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and now to the Republic of Bulgaria.
Modern Bulgarian commentators, and ordinary Bulgarians, see him as the greatest Bulgarian revolutionary after Vasil Levski. As a revolutionary who died in the struggle to force the Turks out of