Ancient Roman Reenactment Promotes Cultural Heritage of Northwest Bulgaria

Archaeology | June 18, 2011, Saturday // 12:37|  views

Photo by Darik News

A two-day conference on the cultural and historical heritage of Bulgaria's northwest region gathered scholars and experts in the city of Montana.

The event, held June 16-17, was the second of its kind within a week, and was organized by the Buditel Curcle non-profit organization at the initiative of Montana's Municipal Governor, Ivaylo Petrov.

The forum was aimed at drawing the attention of state authorities and scholarly circles to the use of historical and cultural monuments for the development of the tourist sector in the region.

The Buditel Circle, an organization dedicated to the preservation, development, promotion and research of Bulgaria's cultural, historical and intellectual achievements, has already organized two conferences of this kind in Vidin, according to Prof. Plamen Pavlov, Chairman of the not-for-profit entity.

Vidin Bishop Dometian has actively supported the activities of the organization, given that the majority of the non-movable cultural monuments in the country- churches and monasteries- are owned by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The Montana District hosts 5 monasteries and over 100 churches, all of which are on the list of non-movable cultural monuments. Orthodox churches account for half of the total number of sites on the list, announced Ulyana Darakchiyska, Director of the History Museum in Montana.

The district boasts 28 cultural monuments of national importance, 14 of them related to historical persons, 7 to archaeological sites and 7 to architectural landmarks.

The Antique Fortress near Montana is the most researched archaeological site in the region, featuring on the list of national antiquities since 1927.

The movable cultural heritage of the northwest region is preserved at four history museums located in Montana, Lom, Chiprovtsi and Berkovitsa.

The most precious item stored at Montana's history museum is the Yakimovo treasure which dates back to 2ND century B.C.

"Too little research has been carried out of the pre-historic and the Thracian periods. This is why the number of archaeological sites is quite small for a district like Montana", said Assoc. Prof. Gergana Kabakchieva, head of the excavations at the Kaleto site in the city.

In her words, such conferences are aimed at raising public awareness and boosting opportunities for the development of cultural-heritage related projects so as to promote tourism in the region.

Along the sidelines of the conference, the citizens of Montana had the opportunity to observe a reenactment of an ancient fight among Roman legionnaires

The show was staged by First Thracian Cohort-Svishtov on the central square in Montana and recreated the formation of the Roman legion from the local Thracian population 19 centuries ago.

Another key issue on the agenda of the conference were the hotly contested cultural monuments from Bulgaria's communist era. Montana's communist legacy includes the Montanesium and Ogosta restaurants, the central railway station and the Zheravitsa square.

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Tags: cultural tourism, cultural heritage, cultural monument, Montana, Northwestern Bulgaria, communist era, Vidin, ancient, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, churches, monasteries, monument


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