Displaying items by tag: Roman heritage
How many fortresses are there in Bulgaria? It is hard to say, as almost every year newly discovered ruins are added to the list. Some of them even belong to historical periods during which archaeologists believed fortifications were nonexistent.
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.
Apart from St Sofia in the capital, the marvellous mosaics of the Bishop's Basilica and the Small Basilica in Plovdiv, and the remains of the metropolitan church in Nesebar, traces of the early Byzantine era in Bulgaria are scarce and little known. They do exist, however: forgotten remnants of the time when the Eastern Roman Empire was trying to hold back the invasions of the Barbarians in the Balkans. Most are nothing more than low crumbling walls, almost invisible in the undergrowth and interesting only to archaeologists. Others, however, are still striking, despite time, neglect and the depredations of those seeking second-hand building materials.
Peacocks, parrots, guineafowls cover the floor of Bulgaria's largest Antiquity church, the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis
The contrast between the drab town of Devnya and its Museum of Roman Mosaics is shocking – the modernistic concrete museum building preserves some of the best mosaics ever found in Bulgaria. Here they are, astonishing images made of thousands of stone tiles, exhibited in situ in a museum that was purpose built for them in the early 1980s.