The Church of St Dimiter is directly connected with Bulgaria’s history.
It was in the autumn of the memorable year 1185, when a large public meeting was called in Turnovo for the inauguration of the church built at the foot of the Trapezitsa fortress in honour of the martyr St Dimiter of Salonica.
The noblemen Assen and Peter, clad in armour, accompanied by their suite, also armed, took their stand before the church.
Peter, the elder brother, drew his sword and proclaimed Turnovo a free town.
He called on the people to drive the invaders away from the whole of Bulgaria.
Enthusiastic cheers echoed in reply. Swords and spears were waved in the air, and Bulgarian battle flags were hoisted up on the for- tress. The revolt spread like wild fire and it was not long before it embraced the whole of North Bulgaria.
The clashes with the invader lasted for two years, till finally the independence of the Turnovo Kingdom was proclaimed in 1187.