Village of Kremen

The village of Kremen is situated in the most eastern parts of North Pirin.

History:

According to a legend, the residents of the village transported flint (in Bulgarian: kremak) with their sturdy mules to the neighbourhood villages and thus received their names and the village was called Kremen. Another legend says that during the time of the conversion of Bulgarians to Mohammedanism, the Ottomans received strong resistance from the local population, which did not betray their faith and remained as solid as rocks.

In 1901, the voyvode of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization - Ivan Apostolov (Koparan Chaush) founded a revolutionary committee in the two adjacent Pirin villages of Obidim and Kremen, with the participation of Atanas Radonov, Georgi K. Pandev, Hristo (Rizo) K. Pandev, Dimitar K. Pandev, Georgi T. Yusev, Georgi G. Moskov, Angel Dimitrov Pavlov, Grigor S. Karakov, Kostadin I. Pandev, Georgi S. Prachkov, Yanush Hidzhov, Nikola Karadzhov, Georgi Daskalov, Kosta Daskalov, Georgi Ushtavaliev, Rizo S. Radulov (Kalinkov), Gligor Dzharov, Krastyo Paklarski, Ivan Dakov. The two mountain villages above the important road connecting Razlog with Nevrokop area became an important center of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization.

A storehouse for guns, ammunitions and military equipment, brought from Bulgaria or bought straight from the Ottoman Empire was organized in Kremen. The storehouse, located in the house of the Radonovs was under the guardianship of the local leaders – the school teachers Blagoy H. Dzhudanov and Georgi G. Moskov, as well as under that of Koparan Chaush. In the first half of February 1903, Gotse Delchev came to Kremen with his group of revolutionaries, part of which was Ivan F. Radulov – resident of Kremen. Gotse stayed in the house of the Radonovs, while the other members of the revolutionary group were accommodated in the houses of Georgi T, Yusev, Blago Tsnekin, etc. Revolutionary groups of the Supreme Committee also stayed in Kremen.

Shortly before the start of the Ilindhen-Preobrazhenie Uprising, the revolutionary group of Stoyan Malchankov arrived and stayed in the village. It was betrayed by the agricultural labourer Kushan. So, troops invaded the village, a lot of residents of Kremen were arrested, taken to Filipovo, and then to Nevrokop, where they were tortured for 90 days; after that their freedom was bought off by the villagers.

Two months before the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising, 200 residents of Kremen and Obidim were called by Yane Sandanski to take part in a military training in the Izvoreto area. Two revolutionary groups were formed, with Blago Dzhudanov and Georgi Moskov, residents of Kremen, as their commanders; pursued by the authorities, they were forced to become illegal and become part of the revolutionary group of Koparan Chaush.

Guard from Kremen, commaned by Blagoy Dzhugdanov, took an active part in the destruction of the Ottoman garrison in Obidim on 14th September as well as in the defeat of the Ottoman forces sent subsequently from Nevrokop, on 16th September, by Haramibunar. The Ottoman soldiers who survived the battles, together with bashi-bazouk from Ribnovo, Filipovo and other towns and villages in the area, headed for Kremen. The villagers moved with their cattle to the mountains, having buryied their most valuable belongings. The mayor Iliya Filipovski, who had good acquaintances in Nevrokop, the crop field keeper Stoil Ushehov and his brother – Kosta Ushehov decided to try and plead for the village to be spared by the Ottomans. The three of them were put to excruciating tortures, Filipovski even had his legs cut off, but they didn’t say a word about where the rebels were. So, they were cut into pieces. The members of the Mayor’s family that remained in the village were killed – his wife Mariya and sixteen-year-old Petar were murdered, seven-year-old Georgi manages to escape, and Mariya – two years old – was lead to Drama. Three old men, who also remained in the village, were killed as well. The whole village was burnt down. There were a total of 32 victims as a result of the Uprising in the village.

The revolutionary group of the Supreme Committee that arrived, commanded by lieutenant Lyubomir Stoenchev, part of which was the resident of Kremen Ivan F. Radulov helped to the Bulgarian population that had escaped to go to Bulgaria. The population was organized in two groups – one made only of residents of Kremen, and the other one - of residents both of Kremen and Obidim; after a long passage they crossed the border at Aygidik.

In 1908-1909 there were 214 houses of Bulgarians in the village, with a populatin that amounted to 1091 people.

Today’s village is located in Bansko Municipality.

Local famous people:

Angel Dzhugdanov, partisan from Ivan Kozarev’s revolutionary group, who later became a mayor of the village for a long time. During his time as a mayor, the main roads of Kremen were covered with asphalt;

Galaktion Hilendarets (1830 - 1894), Bulgarian revolutionary;

Georgi Kremenliyata (1840 - 1886), Bulgarian rebel (haidouk), voivode in the Kresna-Razlog Uprising;

Georgi Radulov (George Radule) (born 1942), teacher in Automations of Mining, having Macedonian national consciousness, author of history books.

Dimitar Nedyalkov, Bulgarian volunteer, member of I volunteer group;

Dimitar Siridzhanov Kehayov, Bulgarian teacher in his native village in 1872

Iliya A. Hodzhev, Bulgarian teacher in his native village in the period between 1857 – 1862; after that he moved to Pravitsa where he started to grow tobacco;

Todor A. Yusev, Bulgarian teacher in his native village after 1850;

Siridzhan I. Kehayov, Bulgarian teacher in his native village since 1853

Statistics:

Territory: 61, 869 square meters

Height above sea level: 1100 m

Postal code: 2771

Phone code: 074407

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