photo: muzei-provadia.com

The monastery near the village of Ravna, Provadia region, functions as the main seat of Preslav Literary School and is undoubtedly one of the centers of the Golden Age in the history of the Bulgarians. It spreads over an area of ​​over 8 decares and is surrounded by a fortress wall. The outlines of the monastery complex of buildings include a church with a scriptorium, where the writers work, a school for monks, residential buildings and baths. The monastery existed until the XNUMXth century, when after the invasions of the Pechenegs it was destroyed and abandoned. Today, only ruins remain of all the above, but this does not prevent us from knowing and honoring the role that the monastery plays for the spiritual development of our people.

 

The monastery near the village of Ravna is the largest old Bulgarian literary center known at the moment. It is supposed that the monk lives in it Simeon, the son of Prince Boris, while preparing to become head of the Bulgarian church. The students of Cyril and Methodius, Kliment Ohridski and Naum Preslavski, probably also visited the monastery, making contact with the future king.

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Rituals and beliefs during Todor's week

Rituals and beliefs during Todor's week

Rituals and beliefs during Todor's week. The testament of the old Bulgarians to restore the balance of power between the earthly and the afterlife.photo: Michael AnfangBECOME A VIRTUE ♥ The testament of the old Bulgarians to restore the balance of power between the earthly and ...

The monastery is called a "stone library" due to the fact that nearly 280 inscriptions (epigraphic monuments) have been found on its remains. The inscriptions are extracted from the walls of the buildings, from pottery and roof tiles. They contain mainly liturgical texts, names of saints and worshipers, and sometimes accounting notes. They are written using five different graphic systems: Greek alphabet (alphabet), Proto-Bulgarian runes, Glagolitic, Latin and Cyrillic. The mastering and handling of five graphic systems reveals the exceptional literacy of the medieval Bulgarian.

 

Such high literacy in monastic circles was not known anywhere in Europe at that time (IX - X century). In addition to inscriptions, its inhabitants bequeath us about 3000 graffiti drawings. The images are of birds, aquatic animals, dragons and the like. In two of the inscriptions in Greek we learn that the patron saint of the monastery near the village of Ravna is the Mother of God. The monastery church was consecrated in 889 and rebuilt in 893. This means that the monastery functioned during the time of Prince Boris the Baptist. Perhaps its ceremonial consecration and new consecration is related to the reorientation of Bulgaria from Western to Eastern religion. We know about the complex diplomatic game of Prince Boris with the Pope and Patriarch Photius. In any case, the monastery is of great importance for the Bulgarian ruling court, as its patron the Mother of God is the patron saint of the family of Prince Boris.

princely monastery village of Ravna

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Of great interest are the bilingual inscriptions from the monastery (written in two different languages, bilingual). One of them is carved on a stone located in the central part of the monastery, where the scriptorium is located. On the left is a Greek text taken from Psalm 53: "God, save me by your name and judge me by your power!" On the right, among the images of pigeons, in Old Bulgarian is written: Clement Pope.

 

It is known that the mission of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius to the Khazars ended with the transfer of the relics of St. Clement of Rome back to Rome. As a result, Pope Adrian II gave his blessing for the consecration of the Slavic books. Clement of Rome is a saint of great reverence among Cyril and Methodius and their disciples. Probably the inscription dates soon after Prince Boris welcomed with honors the students of Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria.

 

It should be noted that many male and female Bulgarian names are engraved on the walls of the monastery and the monastery church. Ancient names such as Ispor, Kurt, Choto, Kotoko and Sonchonka, along with the Christian Jacob, Lazarus and Anna, are impressive. The large number of names is evidence that the monastery of the Holy Mother of God near Ravna is a pilgrimage center. There are also pairs of names, such as Peter-Maria or Cosmas-Martha, which suggests that these are married couples who came here for worship. The monastery near the village of Ravna, Provadia region, is one of the most important archeological sites dating back to the time of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. It is an invaluable place that has preserved the memory of the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture and literature.

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