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

View of Nikopol from the fortress
View of the Danube at Nikopol in winter

Nikopol (Bulgarian: Никопол; historically Turkish Niğbolu and Ancient Greek: Νικόπολις, 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.

Contents

History

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[1]. 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 utterly 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 in Nikopol, although the present episcopal see is in Rousse.

Modern times

Nikopol has a population of 4,255 as of 2008. It is the seat of Nikopol municipality and provides services to the local villages. A landing for a car ferry is under construction which will connect 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.

Sister cities

Notable figures associated with Nikopol

Honour

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

References

External links

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