Models of Sanctity I: The Town of Samokov and Its Region  Cover Image
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Модели на святост I: Град Самоков и Самоковско
Models of Sanctity I: The Town of Samokov and Its Region

Author(s): Konstantin Rangochev
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN

Summary/Abstract: The paper discusses a model of sanctity specific for the town of Samokov and its vicinities. In Samokov there are five churches. Four of them are dedicated to Virgin Mary and one to St Nikolaos of Myra. This model of nomination is reproduced in villages in the vicinities of the town. In the nomination of the sacred space of Samokov, the Virgin Mary designates “our space here and now, the space of the living,“ while St Nicholas marks the ‘hereafter, the world of the dead’ (necro-polis) because his church is located in the graveyard. Thus ‘our world’ is marked by the four great Church feasts celebrating the Virgin Mary, namely Dormition of the Theotokos, Nativity of the Theotokos, Presentation of the Theotokos to the Temple, and the Intercession of the Theotokos as the four main altars of the churches in Samokov are dedicated to these holy events. The ‘world of the dead’ is marked by the church dedicated to St Nicholas (with a variation in the region: to Archangel Michael). This organization of the sacred space is specific (and unique) for Samokov. There have been recorded also three folk legends about Virgin Mary saving the town three times between the 17th and 20th centuries. These records and the dedications of the churches in the town show that the cult of the Virgin is very strong in Samokov and that this could be traced back to the pre-Ottoman period.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 48
  • Page Range: 383-397
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Bulgarian