Ravna Monastery

Ravna Monastery (Bulgarian: Равненски манастир) was a literary center of the Preslav Literary School during the 9th and 10th centuries in the north-eastern part of the Bulgarian Empire. It is located near the village of Ravna, at 11 km northwest of the town of Provadia, Varna Province, north-eastern Bulgaria. It was studied in the 1980s.[1]

Ravna Monastery
Ravna Monastery is located in Bulgaria
Ravna Monastery
Location within Bulgaria
Monastery information
Other namesRavna Monastery of the Virgin Mary
Established9th century
LocationProvadia, Provadia Municipality, Varna Province
Coordinates43°14′13″N 27°20′03″E / 43.23694°N 27.33417°E / 43.23694; 27.33417Coordinates: 43°14′13″N 27°20′03″E / 43.23694°N 27.33417°E / 43.23694; 27.33417

The study found a large number of inscriptions and drawings on stone - about 280 inscriptions in Medieval Greek (with Greek script), Old Bulgarian (with Cyrillic and Glagolitic scripts), Bulgar language (with Runnic script) and Late Latin (with Latin script) and a four-figure drawing of animals, crosses, figures of saints and shamans, horsemen, ships, geometric and floral ornaments and more. In total, more than 330 inscriptions of 5 different graphic systems have been discovered in the monastery - the Runic letter, the Greek letter, the Latin letter, the Cyrillic letter, the Glagolitic letter. In Bulgaria, as well as in the entire Orthodox Slavic world, such an amount of inscriptions from the early Middle Ages was first discovered. A lead seal was also found for the correspondence of Tsar Simeon I the Great (r. 893-927).[2]

Also, more than 3,200 drawings have been found carved the walls of the monastery.

The most important building in the monastery is the Church of the Virgin Mary, consecrated on 23 April 897. The rich decoration of marble details - bases, columns, capitals, altar partitions is distinguished. The monastery would be equipped with a bathroom with plumbing, sewage and hypocaust, school, living quarters, workshops, barn, toilets. It had a defensive wall with fortress towers and two gates and occupied an area of 8 acres, probably built by orders of the imperial court in Preslav.

The monastery was burned in the second half of the 11th century during an invasion of the Pechenegs.

The historical and cultural heritage of this monastery had impressed writer Umberto Eco, who on a visit to the Rila Monastery exclaimed: Why did I not describe the "Name of the Rose" in the Ravna Monastery? In this sense, this scriptorium may be considered among the richest in the whole Orthodox world of Cyril and Methodius.[3]


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