128 The Apostle

This episode covers the momentous and tragic events of 1872 and early 1873 as the Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee attempts to resolve its internal fractures and ultimately faces disaster.



Major Characters in this Episode

Vasil Levski

Dimitar Obshti

Angel Kanchev

Lyuben Karavelov

Timeline for this Episode

  • 5th March 1872, Angel Kunchev died as he was attempting to move from Ruse to Giurgiu. He was threatened with arrest and kills himself at the port in Ruse

  • 6 April 1872, Levski and Marin Poplukanov left from Lovech to Bucharest to participate in a BRCC assembly. The goal was to unify the efforts of the two BRCC factions.

  • 14 April 1872, Levski and Marin Poplukanov reached Bucharest. Levski stays with Lyuben Karavelov.

  • 15-27 April 1872, Antim I sent a written plea to the Patriarch asking for permission to give an Easter service mentioning his name.

  • 20 April 1872, Antim I wrote a letter to the Patriarch asking for him to remove the punishments given to Plovdivski, Makiriopolski, and Lovchanski

  • 29 April-4th May 1872, the BRCC assembly was held in Bucharest. 25 participants were there although not all committees managed to get a representative there so some represented multiple committees (one guy had 11, Levski had 3). Karavelov was elected chairman.

  • 30 April 1872, A committee consisting of Levski, Karavelov, Kiriac Tsankov, and Todor Peev prepared the program and rulebook of the BRCC. It was accepted on the 4th of May.

  • 11 May 1872, a celebratory sermon led by Antim I proclaims the independence of the Bulgarian church at St. Stephen’s in Constantinople.

  • 13 May 1872, the Patriarch called an assembly and excommunicated Antim I. He gave other punishments to Plovdivski, Makiriopolski, and Lovchanski.

  • 25 May 1872, the Exarch assembly reaffirmed Makiriopolski as Metropolitan of Tarnovo. He arrived to take on his post on the 13th of September.

  • 6/28 June 1872, BRCC authorized Levski to represent the committee

  • 17 June 1872, Sultan Abdulaziz appointed Midhat Pasha to be Grand Vizier

  • 17 July 1872, Levski returns to Bulgaria and begins to enforce the new BRCC rules

  • 14 August 1872, Levski and Vutyo Vetyov attempt to frighten a notable from Lovech and his servant is accidentally killed

  • August 22nd 1872, Prince Milan is declared of age and takes over the Serbian government, the year before he faced two potential attempts on his own life

  • 29 August 1872, An assembly was convened in Constantinople by the Patriarch to resolve the question of the legitimacy of the Exarchate

  • 10 September 1872, Levski created the first revolutionary district in Bulgaria with its center in the village of Golyam Izvor in Teteven

  • 16 September 1872, the Patriarchate assembly decides that the Exarch has been excommunicated and that there has been a schism

  • 22 September 1872, under the command of Dimitar Obshti an Ottoman post office was robbed in a mountain pass in the Stara Planina. The purpose of the robbery was to find a way to get the money needed by BRCC to secure weapons. Levski wished for them to delay the action but they didn’t listen.

  • 24 October 1872, Ottoman police arrested Dimitar Obshti in connection with the robbery. Within a month all the participants were arrested. During one interrogation, they obtained their first concrete information about Levski (where he’s from, what he looks like)

  • 30 October 1872, two BRCC members were arrested in Lovech

  • 2nd November 1872, Karavelov in Bucharest writes to Zhivkov in Geurgievo that in light of the new circumstances (arrests after the postal robbery) he wants Zhivkov to not lose any more time and gather as many people as possible to cross into Bulgaria and begin the uprising

  • 20 November 1872, a new women’s society was formed in Thessaloniki

  • 22nd November 1872, a letter from the Stara Zagora committee arrived at BRCC in Bucharest denouncing the idea for an immediate uprising

  • 12 December 1872, Levski wrote his last letter to the Lovech Committee

  • 26th December 1872, Levksi arrived in a Han in Kukrina the evening intending to leave for Tarnovo and then Bucharest the next day.

  • 27th December 1872, Ottoman authorities surround the Han and arrest Levski.

  • 28 December 1872, Levski was taken to Tarnovo where he was interrogated. Members of the local BRCC gathered to discuss freeing him, but they failed to act.

  • 29th December 1872, Levski was sent to Sofia under armed guard.

  • 1872, the Saraf bank opened in Istanbul with Bulgarian capital

  • 1872, a Bulgarian entrepreneur from Tulca founded his own trading company

  • 1872, a tobacco workshop is built by the Sliven trader Vasil Popovic

  • 1872, Vasil Drumev completes and publishes his dramatic play “Ivanko the murderer of Asen I”

  • 1872, Lyuben Karavelov writes “Bulgarians of Old” and several issues of his humorous newspaper “Porcupine”

  • 1872, Under the leadership of Lyuben Karavelov an association for the spreading of useful knowledge is founded in Bucharest

  • 1872, 15 periodicals and 123 books were published

  • 4th January 1873, Levski arrived in Sofia and was jailed. He was interrogated further in the following days.

  • 8th January 1873, the sentence for the postal robbers was sent to the Grand Vizier for approval.

  • 10 January 1873, Dimitar Obshti was hanged in Sofia

  • 14th January 1873, a special committee in Sofia suggested Levski be sentenced to death

  • 22nd January 1873, by order of the Sultan, Levski’s death sentence was accepted

  • End of January beginning of Feb 1873, a group of BRCC members from Chirpan had a plan to free Levski and prepare a Cheta to stop the train heading to Odrin and free Levski.

  • 6/18 February 1873, Levski was hanged on the outskirts of Sofia


Dimitar Obshti, the man who's actions led to Levski's capture

A later portrait of Levski

The last photograph taken of Levski

A painting depicting Levski's trail

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