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Church of the 40 Martyrs from Veliko Târnovo

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01. Descriere

Built in the 13th century, in honor of the victory of Tsar Ioan Asan, on May 9, 1230, over the ruler of Epirus, Teodor Komnin, this church represents the most important medieval monument in Veliko Târnovo. Until then, there was an eleventh-century necropolis in this place, and probably later the “Virgin Mary” church was erected. The current church has three apses, six columns inside, an ossuary mausoleum and two galleries. In the church, a mural painting from the 13th century is kept. In the eighteenth century the Turks transformed the church into a mosque, destroying the paintings and icons. Inside the Church  “40 martyrs“ are buried the Tsar Kaloian (died 1207), the Tsarinas Ana Maria, Irina and St. Sava of Serbia.  In the church was also found the ring and seal of the Tsar. Over the centuries, the church has often been rebuilt. In this place, many events of national importance took place, the most important being the proclamation of the independence of Bulgaria by Tsar Ferdinand, in 1908. The church was declared a monument of architecture of national importance, being in the administration of the Regional History Museum in Veliko Târnovo.

Bibliography: Popov A., Mănăstirea mare a Asăneștilor la Târnovo, B. Cultura orașului medieval Târnovo, C, 1985, p. 17-25; Barov, Zdr., Descoperirea fragmentelor murale la biserica „Sf. 40 de mucenici“, Târnovo c. B X, 1977; Dimova B., Bisericile din Bulgaria în secolele XIII-XIV, C, Agato, 2008, p. 193-200; Valov B., Noile săpături „Sf. 40 mucenici“, Veliko Târnovo, revista de Arheologie 2,1974, p. 37-54; http museum-swstem.com

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