The spirit of legendary Filip Totyu is alive in Dve Mogili
Recently, Dve Mogili had two celebrations – the town’s day (on May 8 and 9) and the 180th anniversary of the birth of legendary voyvoda and national liberation fighter Filip Totyu (on April 10). Both events were solemnly marked by citizens and guests of this town located in the eastern part of the undulated Danube Plain.
Filip Totyu was at the origins of organized national liberation struggle against the Ottoman Empire. The voyvoda left an indelible trace in the national destiny, and his name turned into a legend.
Dve Mogili feels a necessity to celebrate appropriately the voyvoda, because he’s present in people’s life and belongs to their lifestyle. Here, tales about him are an inseparable part of people’s self-consciousness. It’s known that after the Liberation, around 1895, he wed and settled in Dve Mogili, where he dwelled until he took his last breath. What remained in popular memory is also his habit of sitting in front of his house and gazing at the Balkan Mountains, as well as of recounting glorious exploits from his years of fighting.
Filip Totyu was born on April 10, 1830 in the Gartzite hamlet near the Voneshta Voda village, near Veliko Tarnovo, and was christened Todor.
As a voyvoda, he realized that not personal vengeance but national freedom is the objective of the struggle. His own words are disclosing his commitment to freedom: “I will not lay down my arms before either I see Bulgaria free or get killed somewhere…” and “What importance does a single person’s suffering have if this leads to reducing everyone’s suffering?”
Even today, legends are uttered about the fight against the Turks of the fearsome komita and squad-leading voyvoda from the Veliko Tarnovo region – a real horror for the Ottoman Empire. He was one of the bravest freedom fighters, and a comrade of Levski, Botev, and Rakovski. As an eminent national revolutionary from the Revival period, he remained until the end of his life captivated by the romanticism of the Haidut movement (tr.n. – guerilla warfare). There were myths about him being invulnerable to bullets, jumping like a dragon, possessing supernatural powers, outwitting the Turks to sneak away from encirclement, escaping unharmed from prisons. Indeed, the voyvoda had four death sentences.
Nonetheless, he died from natural causes on March 22, 1907. He was buried inside the court of the church – an expression of the highest esteem and gratitude. In 1973, appreciative successors erected a majestic monument to him in the town’s centre. The large bronze figure of the “flying” voyvoda, dashing forward, is reminiscent of his tempestuous and praiseworthy life.
On his 150th anniversary of birth and on the occasion of the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian state, the house where this indomitable Bulgarian spirit once lived was converted into a museum.
The agricultural co-operative and the football team of the town are both proudly bearing the Filip Totyu name.
The celebration of the 180th anniversary of the birth of the voyvoda is a patriotic act and a deep bow before a man who revived the nation’s self-esteem and dignity.
On the other hand, the festival of the town of Dve Mogili was celebrated with folklore concerts and a horse race. The third edition of the show jumping tournament drew the participation of 90 horses with riders from 15 North-Bulgarian clubs. Guests and citizens watched with interest the competition, which included four courses – for young horses, for 5-6 year olds, for amateurs, an the most attractive event – a six-bar competition.