The Legend of Sunken Bell

         Once upon a time, there was a beautiful high bell tower, situated on the highest place of Tsarevets Hill. The royal town as well as the whole region resounded with the ringing of a heavy copper bell. A renowned bell founder during the rule of Ivan Assen II made it. The tsar himself had ordered it and its voice was sweet. The bell was ringing early in the morning, rejoicing with people’s happiness, crying with their tears. On that macabre summer day, when the Turks, like black flood swept over the streets and houses, the bell was weeping for the end of a kingdom, for the ruined youth and beauty. The ringing resounded over the town, echoed in the whole mountain, telling the bad tidings to the whole Bulgarian country.
            Later the Turks named that place Chan Tepe (Bell Hill). They turned the beautiful churches into mosques. The bell tower was burnt down. When the last oak beams burnt, the heavy copper bell fell down with a groan. It fell and sank into the ground. The Turkish pasha wanted to wipe out the memory of it, so he ordered it to be dug out of the earth and to make it into axes. The more they dug, the deeper it sank into the ground. It sank so deeply, that they could not find it. Finally they gave up digging and even forgot about it. However, Bulgarian people knew that it was there, that it would remind of itself in due time. Therefore, they waited...
            They say that every night in 1876, during the April uprising, the sound of a bell could be heard coming from under Tsarevets Hill. A year later, when the troops of general Gurko got into the town of the Bulgarian kings, they heard the sound of the bell, clear and solemn.
 
Collected and retold by Zhivka Radeva