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Pazardzhik also spelled as Pazardjik or Pazarjik, from Turkish literally (small marketplace) is a city situated along the banks of the Maritsa river, Southern Bulgaria. It is the capital of Pazardzhik Province and centre for the homonymous Pazardzhik Municipality. Pazardzhik was founded by Tatars from what is today Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi in 1485 on the left bank of the riverMaritsa, near the market of the region, an important crossroad at the middle of this productive region, and namedTatar Pazardzhik (Tatar: Tatar Pazardjik, "small Tatar market"). Thanks to this favourable location, the settlement quickly developed. While it was very small at the beginning of the 19th century, it became the administrative centre for the region at the end of the century and remained so until the Liberation from Turkish occupation. During the following centuries the town continued to grow and strengthened its position. Trade in iron, leather and rice prospered. The town impressed visitors with its beautiful houses and clean streets. In 1718 Gerard Kornelius Drish visited Pazardzhik and wrote "the buildings here according to construction, size and beauty stand higher than those of Nis, Sofia and all other places". The Russians under Count Nikolay Kamensky took the city after a brief siege in 1810. By the mid-19th century Pazardzhik was a big, important centre of crafts and trade, with a population of about 25,000 people. It hosted two big annual fairs, and a big market Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There was a post office with a telegraph. In 1837 the Church of the Mother of God was built an important national monument, famous for its architecture and woodcarving. In the mid-19th century Pazardzhik became an important cultural centre: a school was opened in 1847, a girls school in 1848, a community centre in 1868, the womens union "Prosveta" in 1870. Pazardzhik is exempt from Zapdniya Russian detachment commander with Lt. Gen. Joseph Gurko on 14 January 1878 (new style). Thanks Ovanes Sovadzhiyan Armenian, Turkish command failed to execute his perfidious and monstrous plan to light the town and destroy its Bulgarian population before retiring. From the early 20th century on people built factories, stores and houses, and thus the industrial quarter of the town. From 1959 to 1987 Pazardzhik was again an administrative centre for the region, and is again since the 1999 administrative division of Bulgaria.

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