The Batak Massacre

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A few shots taken whilst we were travelling last weekend.

The massacre in Batak was a brutal part of the April Uprising in Bulgaria in 1876.

Following reaching a "Peace agreement" for the Turkish and Bashi-Bozouk to leave the town in peace on the condition that the town disarmed and following the town surrendering their weapons, they were brutally attacked, shot and beheaded.
The remaining towns people fled to the school, which was burned down with hundreds trapped inside, other fled to the church, to this church (Sveti Nedelya), where they managed to hold off the attacks from the Bashi-Bozouk for 3 days. Without food or water, after 3 days they emerged from the church immediately realising their fate was sealed, at which point those who refused to convert to Islam suffered some of the most brutal and horrific deaths and torture.

Reports indicate that between 3,000 up to 15,000 people were killed in the massacre.

After the massacre, this church was burned, but only the wooden furniture and icons were burned away and the walls stood.

This is by no means a comprehensive overview of this brutal piece of history, and for any of those interested I would certainly recommend reading more on this.

I'm acutely aware a picture should tell a story, but I felt it only right to give a back story for these pictures.

As we entered the church, it was heavy, the air, the silence, walking by the pits where those trapped inside had tried to bury into the ground to find water. To stand and view the remains of the men, women and children who stood their ground for what they believed preserved in these glass "coffins", was humbling indeed.

Batak massacre - Wikipedia
April Uprising of 1876 - Wikipedia

Candles_Batak.jpg
Skulls_1_Batak.jpg
Skulls_2_Batak.jpg
Sv_Nedelya_BW.jpg
 
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Dean_Gretsch

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Thank you for the backstory on these. Very sad and brutal history associated with the site. You did well with the pics. I just wish you could have gotten some without reflection in those glass coffins.
 
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Thank you for the backstory on these. Very sad and brutal history associated with the site. You did well with the pics. I just wish you could have gotten some without reflection in those glass coffins.

I'm still paying off my previous GAS acquisition so I don't even have a CPL filter right now, I totally agree though, the reflection on these I did try to make work a little reflecting the icons but I knew it was a massive trade off, It's also a tiny church and I didn't really feel comfortable setting up my tripod or shooting too much as there were some very religious people coming and going, so I hiked up the ISO to 3200 on the "coffin" shots and only took a couple hand held.

Thanks for the comment and critique Dean :)
 

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