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Petko Voyvoda

Portrait of Petko Voyvoda
Born December 6, 1844(1844-12-06)
Aissymi, Ottoman Empire (present-day Greece)
Died February 7, 1900 (aged 55)
Varna, Kingdom of Bulgaria)

Petko Kiryakov Kaloyanov (Bulgarian: Петко Киряков Калоянов), better known as Captain Petko Voyvoda (Капитан Петко Войвода) (6 December 1844–7 February 1900) was a 19th-century Bulgarian hajduk leader and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the liberation of Bulgaria (and particularly the region of Thrace).

Born in the Bulgarian village of Dogan Hisar, today Esimi in Aegean Thrace, today Evros Prefecture, Greece, Petko took part in an uprising on Crete in 1866–1869 and visited Italy in 1866, meeting Giuseppe Garibaldi and staying in his home. The two organized the well-known Garibaldi Battalion, consisting of 220 Italians and 67 Bulgarians, which fought the Ottomans on Crete.

Petko Voyvoda's detachment, established in 1869, took part in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. His detachment took part in the liberation of the Rhodopes together with that of Kraycho Voyvoda. Petko lived in Varna after 1880, dying in the city in 1900.

His revolutionary work has been commemorated with numerous monuments all around Bulgaria, as well as in his native village in modern Greece and on the hill of Gianicolo in Rome, where a monument of Garibaldi also stands. The TV series Kapitan Petko Voyvoda written by Nikolay Haytov and first aired in 1974 also popularized him as a national hero. Petko Voyvoda Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica was also named in his honour.


  • (in Bulgarian) Петко-воевода. Сборник. Варна. 1962.  
  • Дряновски, Борислав (1994) (in Bulgarian). Капитан Петко войвода: Документи и материали по следствено дело N 13 от 1894 год. Варна: СД "М3-60". ISBN 978-954-799-404-1.  
  • Хайтов, Николай (1981) (in Bulgarian). Капитан Петко войвода.  


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