The cherry ball of Perushtitsa

Upon entering the exhibition hall of the museum in Perushtitsa, the visitor comes across an interesting object - an impressive cherry ball, placed centrally next to the large painting by Professor Dobri Dobrev "Defense of Perushtitsa" in the section dedicated to the April Uprising. This museum exhibit, representing a replica (copy), was made in the distant 1976, when the Bulgarian state celebrated the 100th anniversary of the uprising. Naturally, however, the question arises whether the replica in question was made in the image and likeness of an authentic cannon and whether such a replica is really preserved to this day in the museum's funds. The answers to these questions are very interesting, but unfortunately little known to the general public

Indeed, during the preparation of the revolt (the spring months of the covenant year 1876) there is evidence of the making of a single such copy, information about which is given by the historian Ivan Kepov (The Uprising in Perushtitsa, 1931). According to him, the cannon was carved from a wild cherry by Pavlio Donev, and its covering with iron hoops was the work of Petar Kuzmata, both from Perushtitsa. The cannon in question received its baptism of fire on April 27 (Tuesday) in the course of the already erupted uprising. Then it was filled with gunpowder and bullets, and instead of grenades, the defenders of the village adjusted scales. And just then, when they were preparing to use it, the fighters were persuaded by another of their villagers Gocho Kanev not to do this prank that if the cannon exploded, the Turks would get even angrier and burn the village (the events took place against the background of the already burning monastery "St. St. Theodore Tyron and Theodore Stratilat", located north of Perushtitsa at the foot of the Rhodopes). This position of Kanev was adopted by the defenders, who were inclined to refuse to hear the roar of the cannon. So the cannon was loaded again into the cart, taken down to the river, where it was buried and covered with straw. Subsequently, this monument of Bulgarian weapons art was later, during the restoration of the village, destroyed. The villagers removed his hardware, and the cherry carcass was cut down and burned instead of woods.

 

Author: Mario Jasim

References: "The Uprising in Perushtitsa. April 1876." Ivan Kepov, 1931