Nikopol, Bulgaria

Nikopol, Bulgaria

Coordinates: 43°42′N 24°54′E / 43.7°N 24.9°E / 43.7; 24.9

View of Nikopol from the fortress
The medieval Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Nikopol
View of the Danube at Nikopol in winter
Entrance gate to the Nikopol Fortress

Nikopol (Bulgarian: Никопол; historically Turkish: Niğbolu, Greek: Νικόπολις, Nikopolis, Hungarian: Nikápoly, Latin: Nicopolis) is a town in northern Bulgaria, the administrative center of Nikopol municipality, part of Pleven Province, on the right bank of the Danube river, 4 km downstream from the mouth of the Osam river. It spreads at the foot of steep chalk cliffs along the Danube and up a narrow valley. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 3,892 inhabitants.[1]



In Roman times, it was a village in the province of Moesia, first mentioned in 169. After the decline of the Roman Empire, the town turned out to be located at the northern border of the Byzantine Empire. In 1059, it was named Nicopolis, Greek for "City of Victory". During most of the Middle Ages, it was part of the Bulgarian Empire. After the fall of Tarnovo in 1393, the last Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Shishman defended what remained of the Empire from the fortress of Nikopol, where he was captured after the town was conquered by the Ottomans in 1395. Nikopol is therefore sometimes considered the capital of Bulgaria during these two years.[2] It was the site of the Battle of Nicopolis, the last large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages, in 1396. At the fortress of Nicopolis, the united armies of Christian Europe headed by Hungarian king Sigismund and various French kinghts were defeated by the Ottomans under Bayezid I and his Serbian ally Stefan Lazarević.

Under Ottoman rule, Nikopol developed into an important military and administrative centre as sanjak, with a strong fortress and a flourishing economic, spiritual and political life, until it went into a decline during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the centre of a district (kaza), but it was overtaken by Pleven as the regional centre of that part of the Bulgarian lands. Nikopol was captured by the Russians in the Battle of Nikopol in 1877.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nicopoli, which covers the entirety of Northern Bulgaria, was historically based not in this Nikopol, but in Nicopolis ad Istrum near Veliko Ternovo; although the present episcopal see is in Ruse.

Capitulation of Nikopol fortress, July 4, 1877

Modern times

Nikopol has a population of 3,892 as of December 2009.[1] It is the seat of Nikopol municipality and provides services to the local villages. A landing for a car ferry connects the town with Turnu Măgurele on the opposite side of the Danube in Romania. Nikopol was partially flooded by the Danube during the 2006 European floods, and is currently working on new town infrastructure to manage fluctuations in the Danube River.

The successful completion of the car ferry has added to the activity of the town, and has spurred further activity including the opening of new restaurants and the town’s first hotel. Nikopol also serves as a port for tourist boats where tourists stop and have the opportunity to take a bus into the nearby city of Pleven, or spend the afternoon in Nikopol.

The 5th largest Nature Park in Bulgaria lies partially in Nikopol - Persina Natural Park, Persina Natural Park. Persina Natural Park is the only national park on the Danube River, and contains marshlands, over 200 species of birds, 475 species of plants, and 1,100 species of animals. Based on the importance and uniqueness, Persina Natural Park has been declared a Ramsar site.

Tourist attractions in Nikopol include the ruins of the medieval fortress, the richly-decorated 13th or 14th-century Church of Saints Peter and Paul, the rock-hewn Church of Saint Stephen, the Bulgarian National Revival Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God from 1840, the Elia water fountain with an immured Ancient Roman gravestone featuring an epitaph, and the Vasil Levski museum house.[3]

Sister cities

Notable figures associated with Nikopol


Nikopol Point on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Nikopol.


External links

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  • NIKOPOL (Nicopolis) — NIKOPOL (Nicopolis), small city in the Plevna district of Bulgaria. A Byzantine Jewish community existed in Nikopol during the tenth century. Jewish refugees arrived in Nikopol after their expulsion from Hungary in 1376 and also from Bavaria… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nikopol — /ni kaw peuhl/; Russ. /nyee keuh peuhl/, n. a city in SE Ukraine, on the Dnieper River. 154,000. * * * ▪ Bulgaria       town, northern Bulgaria. It lies along the Danube River near its confluence with the Osŭm (Ossăm) and opposite Turnu Măgurele …   Universalium

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