Bulgarian Royal Decorations

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Medal "For the Construction of the Yambol-Burgas railway line"





Date established: 14th/26th May 1890

Number of classes: silver and bronze medals

Being awarded for: participation in the construction of the Yambol-Burgas railway line

Shape and dimensions: circular, 30mm in diameter

Ribbon: red, bordered with a thin white and slightly thinner green stripes on both edges

Obverse: The effigy of Prince Ferdinand I circumscribed with the following text: “ФЕРДИНАНДЪ Iий КНЯЗЬ НА БЪЛГАРИЯ / translation: Ferdinand Ist Knyaz (Prince) of Bulgaria /, the two sections being separated via two six-pointed circular-voided stars.

Reverse: A winged wheel with lightning bolts positioned below a smaller badge, made of a crossed spade and axe, surmounted by a roulette. Along the edge is inscribed “ЯМБОЛЪ – БУРГАСЪ 14. МАЙ 1890” / translation: Yambol – Burgas 14. May 1890 /.





The medal for the completion of the Yambol-Burgas railway has been initiated on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and has been minted into three variations – 90mm, 50mm and 30mm in diameter, only the last one being worn as a decoration on the left breast.



The 30mm variant of the medal has been awarded to members of the Pioneer regiment who was responsible for the construction of the railway itself. The officers of the regiment have been decorated with the silver medal, while officer candidates, NCOs and enlisted men have received the bronze medal.



There are very rare cases of medals featuring a torus-shaped loop on the top of the medal, rather than the usual tubular one.



The engraver of the medal is Joseph Cristlebauer and it has been produced in Austro-Hungary.












The 90mm variation of the medal has been struck of gold and has only been presented to HRH Ferdinand I and slightly later to his mother – Princess Clementine.



Both the 90 and 50 mm variations feature a different, more detailed reverse. It depicts a steam locomotive transpassing. The text is the same as the 30mm variant. The 50mm table medals have been struck in gold (gilded bronze), silver (silvered bronze) and bronze. The gold ones have been given to cabinet ministers, the silver medal – to deputy ministers and alike, and the bronze medal – to mid-ranking governmental officials.



As these medals are not decorative ones, they can be treated as commemorative awards in memory of the successful completion of the construction of the railway line.