The city is often called the Capital of the Union and the day is celebrated with a public prayer, a concert, wreath-laying, reenactment and an impressive fireworks display


September 6 is a double holiday for the people of Plovdiv, because in addition to the Unification of Bulgaria, they also celebrate the holiday of Plovdiv. It was defined as a special day of the city under the hills by a decision of the Municipal Council of January 1993. And where and how did it all start?

On September 6, 1885, Eastern Rumelia left the borders of the Ottoman Empire and merged with the Principality of Bulgaria. The BRCC organized numerous riots in southern Bulgarian towns and villages so that the Ottoman authorities in Plovdiv would be overthrown. Knyaz Alexander I Battenberg ratified the accession of Eastern Rumelia to the Principality of Bulgaria and thus September 6 entered the history of Bulgaria.

Since the spring of 1885, the Bulgarian Secret Central Revolutionary Committee, formed in Plovdiv under the leadership of Zahari Stoyanov, has been actively promoting the unification through publications in the press and public demonstrations. The opposing Liberal Party was convinced in favor of the union and ties were established with senior officers.

On August 29, Sava Mutkurov and BSCRC member Dimitar Rizov met in Shumen with Knyaz Alexander I, who gave assurances of his support. The BSCRC's initial intention was for the Union to be announced on September 15, when a large part of the Rumelia militia was mobilized to conduct maneuvers.

However, on September 2, a riot broke out in Panagyurishte, which was crushed the same day by police. Faced with the danger of the country being engulfed in sporadic uprisings and the leaders of the conspiracy being arrested, the committee decided to act. On the same day, representatives of the BSCRC were sent to various cities in the district, from where they were to lead rebel groups to Plovdiv, where they were to be placed under the command of Major Danail Nikolaev.

On September 4, rebels, led by Prodan Tishkov-Chardafon, declared the Unification and established control over the village of Golyamo Konare (now Saedinenie). The next day the government, headed by Ivan St. Geshov held consultations with the Russian mission in Plovdiv with the intention that if it receives support from Russia, it itself would declare the Unification. The Russian representative flatly refused.

On September 5, several hundred armed rebels from Golyamo Konare moved to Plovdiv. On the night of September 6, units commanded by Danail Nikolaev established control of the city and removed the government and Governor-General Gavril Krastevich. An interim government was formed, headed by Georgi Stranski, which was later replaced by the Commissariat in Southern Bulgaria, and a general mobilization was announced.

On September 8 in Tarnovo, the then young Alexander I Battenberg issued a manifesto legitimizing the Union and the next day the Bulgarian knyaz was welcomed in Plovdiv, under the already waving Bulgarian flag.

Days after what happened on September 6, Russia announced its dissatisfaction that the action was not coordinated with it. Supported by Austria-Hungary, Serbia invaded Bulgaria on November 2, 1885. The Serbo-Bulgarian War began. After three days of fighting near Slivnitsa on November 5-7, the Bulgarians won, and the subsequent Treaty of Bucharest of February 19, 1886 restored the pre-war border with Serbia. Despite the resistance of Russia and personally of Emperor Alexander III, the Union received diplomatic and international recognition. The agreement was prepared by Bulgarian politician and diplomat Iliya Tsanov and his team. On the Turkish side, Kamil Pasha and the Sultan signed. The treaty managed to protect the affiliation of Burgas and the region to the Principality, but the Kardzhali district and the Tamrashki villages were taken away.

With the signing of the treaty Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire reached an agreement, according to which the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia had a common government, parliament, administration, army. The only distinction between the two parts of the country, preserved until the declaration of Bulgaria's independence in 1908, was that the Bulgarian knyaz was formally appointed by the sultan as governor-general of Eastern Rumelia.

One of the main issues debated after one of the brightest events in Bulgarian history was whether Sofia was to become the capital of Bulgaria. Plovdiv residents voluntarily refused to become the administrative center of Bulgaria, and according to the director of the Historical Museum in Plovdiv - Stefan Shivachev, "We can appreciate this event only with admiration for our ancestors, because they were aware that Sofia will be the capital. They have sacrificed the privileges of the capital's population in order to be Bulgarians and to continue the existence of a united Bulgaria. "