Page update: 01 January 2000


Town of KozloduiForty kilometres east of Lom, KOZLODUI, the next place of any size, has a monument near the small harbour commemorating the "landing of 1876". On hearing of a rebellion against the Turks deep in the Balkan Mountains (in what subsequently became known as the April Rising), Hristo Botev assembled two hundred volunteers from the Bulgarian emigre community in Romania who boarded the Austrian steamer Radetzky disguised as market-gardeners hijacked the vessel and disembarked at Kozlodui under the banner "Liberty or Death". But by this time the Turks had already crushed the uprising, and on learning of Botev`s partisans, harried them through the mountains until their death near Vratsa.

More recently Kozlodui has become notorious as the site of Bulgaria`s first and only nuclear power station, built with Soviet help in the 1970s. Throughout 1991 international observers became increasingly worried about the plant`s safety, not least because the Soviet technicians who used to run it were being replaced by insufficiently qualified Bulgarian staff. Western companies, funded by the European Union, have been involved in overhauling the plant, but it is still considered one of the most dangerous installations in the former Eastern bloc. It`s due to be decommissioned in 2020: in the meantime, beset by energy problems brought about by the sudden curtailment of cheap electricity supplies from the former Soviet Union, the Bulgarians have little choice but to keep Kozlodui going as best they can.