Even the most fascinating archaeological site is nothing more than an accumulation of stones if its history and contexts remain unknown. This May, for two days, historians, archaeologists, restorers and experts in other fields shared their findings and ideas about the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis at a scientific conference in Plovdiv.
In the most glorious years of its past, when it was the capital of mediaeval Bulgaria, from 1185-1393, Veliko Tarnovo was a centre of military power and political intrigue, of busy commerce and even busier administrators. It was also the seat of the patriarch, the head of the Bulgarian Church. Surrounded by his staff and underlings, he presided over a vast network of churches, monasteries and scriptoria.