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Bolhrad

As compared with Bilhorod-Dnistrosky situated almost on the very frontier with Moldova, Bolhrad is a young city, which cannot boast of a stormy biography worthy of a historical-adventure story. However, the name of its father the founder is known for certain. He was the famous Russian General Ivan Inzov, hero of many campaigns, in particular the Italian campaign and Napoleonic wars, comrade-in-arms of M. Kutuzov. From 1818 he was given an assignment to take care of the “colonists of Southern Russia,” and in 1820 became an absolute governor-general of Bessarabia. At first sight the new posts could seem too much “civil” for a battle-tried general. However, won recently from the Turks, Bessarabia remained a tense frontier zone, and the “colonists of Southern Russia,” particularly Christian-refugees from the Osman empire, were assigned an extraordinary role in a grandiose political play Petersburg -Istanbul as far back as the times of Catherine II.

Greeks, Serbs and Bulgarians, the most numerous among the refugees, had to become a buttress for the Russian empire in the new lands. They were granted considerable privileges, but had to repay their debt to the imperial government accordingly.

Whatever court historians could write, but one person, even a gallant general, could not found a city. In reality Bolhrad, whose foundation was laid in 1821, was built by the industrious Bulgarian outcasts. They created there a new native land for themselves, retaining their native tongue, traditions and customs. Today Bolhrad remains a center of Bulgarian culture in Ukraine. High respect is called forth by the fact that the Ukrainian Bulgarians have managed to carry their authenticity through centuries of trying ordeals.

The highest and the best historical monument of Bolhrad is the elegant Transfiguration Cathedral built in classical style. The Cathedral and St. Methrophanos Church were built with the active participation of General Inzov. The old general (Ivan Inzov died in 1845) took care of his “godchild” for twenty five years after Bolhrad’s foundation. After the general’s death the grateful residents of  Bolgrad insisted that his body should be reburied in Bolhrad. The mausoleum of General Inzov is the cemetery church.

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