The church “St. Forty martyrs”

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  • The temple “St. Forty Martyrs” at the foot of Tsarevets hill in Veliko Tarnovo was built by Tsar Ivan Assen in honor of his victory at Klokotnitsa against the despot of Epirus Theodor Komnin. The battle was won on 9 March 1230. This is one of the few cases in which the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Assen resolved the political issues of Bulgaria with a sword. Typically, he relied on dynastic alliances and marriages, with which Bulgaria extended almost to the territories during the reign of Tsar Simeon the Great, also called The Golden age.

    In the temple “St. Forty Martyrs “many centuries later in the old Bulgarian capital, on September 22, 1908, King Ferdinand I proclaimed the independence of Bulgaria. When you visit the church today you will see another monument of the Bulgarian history – the pantheon of the Tsars. Most of the symbolic marble sarcophagi with the names of part of the Bulgarian kings are empty. An exception is a marble last home of Tsar Kaloyan.

    The dead remains of the ruler were found where today they are pre-buried. The historians understood that this is the famous Bulgarian Tsar after finding next to the 1.90-meter high skeleton ring with the sign of Tsar Kaloyan. Initially, the skeleton was exhibited at the Veliko Turnovo Museum, but it was eventually reburied at the site where it was discovered.

    It is supposed that in the church “St. Forty martyrs was also buried another Bulgarian Tsar – Ivan Assen. On honorary marble sarcophagi, you can read the names of Khan Kubrat and the creator of the Bulgarian state Khan Asparuh, Tsar Ivaylo, and Tsar Michael Shishman. In addition, there is a grave for the Serbian saint St. Sava. On his grave, which is now empty, believers continue to find comfort and cure for various diseases.

    Impressive are preserved murals in the temple, as well as epigraphic monuments. It is in the church “St. Forty martyrs “are preserved three of the most famous columns related to the Bulgarian historical past – the Aseneva, the Omurtag and the Rodosto fortress. The inscription of Tsar Ivan Assen is dedicated to the victorious battle at Klokotnitsa. The second column tells of the construction of the royal palace from Khan Omurtag on the Danube. It ends with the famous words: “Man, even though he lived well, dies. And another is born. Let the person born later, seeing these writings, remember the one who made them. ” A third column tells of the capture of the Byzantine fortress Rodosto on the Sea of Marmara by Khan Krum.

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