Bulgaria Allocates BGN 0.25 M to Building of First Capital's Basilica
The works to erect the Great Basilica in Pliska, the first capital of the first Bulgarian state founded in Southeast Europe, will receive additional funding, the government has decided.
The cabinet has thus increased the overall budget for construction to BGN 1.5 M in public money.
In July, the Vatican also granted symbolic funding to the project, which is supposedly aimed at bringing back to life a Christian temple first built in the 860s, as Bulgaria was undergoing a conversion to Christianity and was choosing between an alliance between Constantinople and the Vatican, opting for the former, which subsequently allowed it to have an independent national church.
Pliska, nowadays in Northern Bulgaria, was the capital of Bulgaria between 681 and 893. The temple was destroyed by the Ottomans after the area fell under their control in 1388.
Repair works were announced in 2015. The activities in Pliska, however, have sparked controversy, with some historians questioning the methods of building "from scratch" by using large blocks that, some say, give buildings a "new", grotesque and fake look.
Legend has it that it was in a monastery next to the basilica where St Kliment, a disciple of St Cyril and Methodius (who created the Glagolitic script, the first one used by Slavic peoples) created the Cyrillic alphabet several decades later that would be adopted by Bulgaria, Serbia and other neighboring nations.
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