Arbanassi privileges

Life was good in these parts, but the thick forests of the Arbanassi hills hid many dangers. Highwaymen intercepted the merchant caravans, did injury, robbed and killed. They did harm to Bulgarians and Turks alike, so the sultan ordered that the brave men of Arbanassi serve him as guards – they were commissioned to protect trading routed with arms so that people and merchandise could travel undisturbed.
 In exchange for this service the village was exempt from al kinds of duty – it did not supply scouts or pay taxes and no Turk was allowed to spend the night in it. A voivode was invested with independent authority and no sultan’s officials of any rank or status were allowed to force their entry into the village. The life, honour and property of the Arbanassians were protected from ravishment and other evil deeds. But brave as they were, they did not reply entirely on the sultan’s orders, the people of Arbanassi were prepared to protect themselves – they were well armed and could send out a thousand strong mounted detachments!
 Life in Arbanassi was untroubled in those times and its inhabitants had no cause to flee the village – the flocks of sheep on the pastures grew in number, trade prospered. Its fame spread far and wide for it was a free village and a good place to visit...

 Collected and Presented By Zhivka Radeva