The Pantheon of the Revival Heroes in Rousse. The Passions of the Local Community Cover Image
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Пантеонът на възрожденците в Русе. Страстите на локалната общност
The Pantheon of the Revival Heroes in Rousse. The Passions of the Local Community

Author(s): Nikolay Nenov
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The article presents one of the places of the town's cultural heritage - the Pantheon of the heroes from the Bulgarian Revival period. It belongs to those "places of memory", which are constitutive for the Bulgarian national identity. In order to build this memorial, the church "All Saints" is destroyed. This fact provokes ambiguous feelings in the local community and causes a series of events, showing the attitude of Rousse's citizens towards the violations of the "body" of the town. Despite that the constitution of a national pantheon is an expression of mental attitudes, a process of marking the national space by the presence of historic figures, the appearance of the new building generates negativism. The people remember only the remark about the resemblance of the Pantheon to Turkish public baths. The construction of the Pantheon corresponds to the state policy for glorification of the past and creation of "national" examples and models of behavior. At the same time, the citizens of Rousse feel guilty for the destruction of the church. The article follows the changes in the public attitudes - from the desire to destroy the Pantheon, through the respect to the "own" predecessors to the idea of christianizing the Pantheon and founding a chapel inside the building The idea of christianizing the Pantheon has appeared periodically since the beginning of the 90-ies of the 20-th century, but it was finally realized in 2000. The article outlines the stages of the public initiative, illustrated by a survey of public opinion, which shows the change in the attitude of the local community towards the destiny of the Pantheon. After building a chapel, coordinated with the Dorostol-Cherven bishopric, the idea of christianizing the Pantheon was supported by the initiative "Balgarskiya Velikden". A museum collection about the destruction of the church was founded and the chapel was inaugurated by the Prime-minister Ivan Kostov. After a direct broadcast of the Bulgarian National Television, devoted to the Pantheon, the interest of the local community increased immensely. This immediately changed the characteristics of the museum visitors (now mostly elderly citizens). Being a part of the cultural memory of the town, the Pantheon today becomes one of the spots, where heritage interweaves with civic activity with concrete dimensions, significant for the local community.

  • Issue Year: XXX/2004
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 68-78
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Bulgarian