Tag: Bulgaria

Bulgaria History

Bulgaria History

The area of ​​today’s Bulgaria was part of the historical Thrace landscape in ancient times. Of the Thracian tribes known from Greek written sources, the Triballians settled in western Bulgaria and eastern Serbia, the Serds in the area around Sofia, the Odryses around Stara Sagora and the Bessen in the eastern Rhodope Mountains. Since the 7th century BC The Thracians were culturally influenced and partially Hellenized by the Greek trading ports on the Black Sea and Aegean coasts. Around 450 BC The empire of the Odryses was formed in the territory of Bulgaria and was able to assert itself against the Greeks and Macedonians; neither Philip II of Macedonia, who owned the region in 342 BC. Chr. Conquered, even later his son Alexander the Great or the Diadoche Lysimachus in the early 3rd century BC BC brought the area under their full control. New immigrants were around 300 BC. Celtic ethnic groups with the center Tylos (on the Tundscha); they followed in the 2nd century BC. The Germanic Bastarnen and finally the Romans, the 29-28 BC. BC parts of Thrace conquered. In 45/46 AD the entire Thracian heartland finally came under Roman rule. The areas southeast of the line Sofia-Plovdiv were now on the province Thracia, the area north and west of this line with the province of Moesia (later divided several times, Moesia). Trajan secured the conquest through a Limes along the Danube and through the Dobrudscha (Trajan’s Wall). The population, now of very different origins, was partly Romanised. After the division of the Roman Empire in 395, the Thracian area came under the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. After devastation by the Goths and Huns, first forays by Proto-Bulgarian horsemen (since 491, several times in the first half of the 6th century) and the temporary supremacy of the Avars Slavs immigrated from the end of the 5th century and assimilated the local Thracian tribes. This ended the continuity of antiquity. After 675, the area came under the rule of the Turkic proto- Bulgarians, who at the end of the 6th century had been merged by Khan Kuvrat in the steppe zone around the Sea of ​​Azov to form a tribal group “Greater Bulgaria”. After his death, part of it penetrated to the mouth of the Danube.

Bulgaria under Turkish rule (1396–1878)

According to educationvv, the conquered Bulgaria was subordinated to the Beglerbeg of Rumelia with the seat (until 1836) in Sofia and divided into five sanjaks (Widin, Nikopol, Silistra, Macedonia, Thrace). The population losses were to be compensated for by the settlement of Anatolian colonists and the semi-nomadic Jürüken (cattle breeders from Asia Minor). The local nobility was socially and economically leveled and replaced by Turkish spahis (timar system); the entire population was heavily taxed and encouraged to change beliefs (Pomaken), partly also violently Islamized. Since the higher clergy consisted almost exclusively of Phanariots and Greek had become the language of the liturgy, the clergy of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was graced; the lower clergy and the monasteries developed into cells of national resistance. After the suppression of an uprising in northern Bulgaria (with the participation of Mirceas the Elder) in 1404, the Battle of Varna In 1444 and the capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453) there was no longer any hope of a quick end to Turkish rule. With the exception of the economic contacts running through Ragusa, external relations were almost completely broken down. The endeavors of the Turkish Spahi warriors to transfer their service loans to large hereditary estates worsened the material situation of the Bulgarian peasants. The decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unsuccessful wars against the Habsburgs sparked local uprisings in Tarnowo (1598 and 1686), Gabrovo (1686), and Tschiprowez (1688 and 1737/38), which – just like the actions of the Heiducken  - were bloodily knocked down. At the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries, many Bulgarians therefore sought refuge in the neighboring Danube principalities and in the Danube Monarchy.

The economic upswing that began in the 18th century with strong population growth favored the national revival, which was boosted by the »Slavic-Bulgarian history« of the Athos monk Paissi of Chilendar, which ended in 1762, and the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74; In 1835 the first secular Bulgarian school was opened in Gabrovo. The freedom struggle of the Serbs (1804-17) and Greeks (1821-29), supported by Russia, as well as the inner-Ottoman reforms strengthened the national movement, which also supported the rebellious peasants (1835, 1841, 1850) in the struggle for a national Bulgarian church. Emigrants from Wallachia and Russia prepared the national uprising. In 1861 G. Rakowski organized the First Bulgarian Legion in Belgrade and in 1862 tried to organize the Heiducken to fight the Turks. In Bucharest, W. Levski and L. Karawelow founded a Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee based on the model of the Russian Narodniki and, in 1868, a Bulgarian Society. The establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Constantinople (1870), despite many setbacks, further increased the desire for national freedom and the unification of the Bulgarian territories. The April uprising of 1876, at which a. C. Botew participated, could be bloodily suppressed by the Turks (»Bulgarian horror«), but the Russo-Turkish War in 1877/78 ended the Turkish rule (including participation of Bulgarian irregulars in the battle of Pleven and on the Shipka Pass).

Bulgaria History

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)

The monastery complex dates back to the 10th century. After a major fire in the 19th century, it was rebuilt and advanced to the nucleus of the strengthened national feeling as well as the spiritual center of Bulgarian culture under Ottoman rule. The valuable wall paintings in the Church of the Mother of God are particularly worth seeing

Rila Monastery: Facts

Official title: Rila Monastery
Cultural monument: original monastery from the 10th century near today’s monastery, the appearance of which dates from the 19th century; valuable wall paintings with apostles, martyrs and floral decorations in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, 16,000 book library with 134 manuscripts from the 15th-19th centuries. Century
Continent: Europe
Country: Bulgaria
Location: east of Rila, south of Sofia
Appointment: 1983
Meaning: Legacy of St. Ivan Rilski (876-946) and a symbol of Slavic identity

Rila Monastery: History

10th century Founding of a hermitage by Iwan Rilski (Johannes von Rila)
14th century Destruction of the monastery complex by a landslide
1335 Construction of a 25 m high fortress tower
1343 Church building
1469 Transfer of the bones of Iwan Rilski to the monastery
1816 Start of construction of a three-wing monastery complex
1833 Destruction of the monastery complex by conflagration
1834-37 Reconstruction of the monastery complex with the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Sveta Bogorodiza)
1840-48 Wall paintings in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin
1961 national memorial

A bulwark of Orthodox traditions

Located almost at the end of a long, deeply cut valley, the visitor is initially offered a less inviting view of the monastery complex. Almost 20 meters high, smooth stone walls, which appear even higher due to the struts, create the image of a small fortress. Two gates allow entry into this well-fortified monastery complex, which in the course of its history indeed had to defend itself from many attacks – and not infrequently also succumbed to the onslaught.

Today there are busloads of tourists who are hungry for education and interested in culture, but also numerous locals, for whose onslaught the monks have to prepare. And so it is above all in the early morning and late afternoon, when there is silence over the walls and only a few roam through the complex, where you can best experience the tranquil atmosphere of this otherwise secluded place.

Once you have entered the inner courtyard, a completely new world opens up, almost cheerful and playful to call it, compared to the craggy and repellent outer wall. First of all, it is the courtyard facades, forming an irregular square, that draw the eye. In front of the multi-storey residential wings are airy arcades, on the lower floors structured by stone arches of different heights, the top floor is closed off almost everywhere with rows of wooden arches. Bay windows and balconies interrupt the regularity of the rows of arches and thus give each wing its own character. The color scheme of the facades – the alternation of black and white, painted brick arches and many small ornaments and wall paintings – as well as the wide, open stairs complete the varied design.

The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin rises in the center of the monastery courtyard. With its numerous larger and smaller domes, its round shapes and its lively exterior shape, it harmonizes with the detailed shape of the buildings that surround it. The interior of the church, but above all the surrounding open colonnade, is adorned with colorful paintings, the hundreds of Old and New Testament scenes of which eloquently provide information about religious ideas of the time; but they also reveal the high artistic level of Bulgarian painters of the 19th century. After the previous church was destroyed, some of the best artists in the country worked on its reconstruction, which was regarded as a national project in Bulgaria, which was still not liberated according to computerminus.

Above all in the outside area of ​​the church there are numerous very vivid depictions of the torments of hell – a kind of visual ecclesiastical code of morals of the 19th century, in which wild, terrifying animals and fire-breathing mythical creatures next to the “ruler of purgatory” and the terrible tormented creatures exhort sinners to repentance. Many of these depictions overcome the medieval canon of orthodox painting by depicting contemporary people and scenes from everyday life. Rich citizens who were among the patrons of the monastery are also immortalized on the frescoes. The fact that many of the works were signed by the performing artists is unusual for Orthodox art and breaks through the anonymity of medieval art.

Next to the church rises the oldest surviving building in the monastery complex, the so-called Chreljo Tower from the 14th century. However, the history of the Rila Monastery points back much further into the past. It was the monk Ivan Rilski who, in the 10th century, had withdrawn into solitude as a hermit near today’s Rila monastery because of criticism of the mendacious morality of the official church. Soon other fellow believers gathered around him – the basis for a new monastery community was created. The monk, who was canonized soon after his death, enjoyed great veneration in the centuries that followed. The Rila monastery developed into the destination of numerous pilgrims who, due to their large number, had to be housed in several secondary monasteries.

Rila Monastery (World Heritage)