A Gospel Book in Bulgarian which is almost 400 years old, and was printed in the Cyrillic alphabet in Vilnius, then in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, has been found among the belongings of a deceased priest who served in a church in the town of Voynezha, near Veliko Tarnovo, Central North Bulgaria.
The find is seen as extremely significant because print books in Bulgarian of such age are rather rare, but also because it contains handwritten notes about historical events, the National Museum of History in Sofia has announced.
The Gospel Book in Bulgarian was printed in in the Cyrillic (Bulgaric) alphabet in 1644 in Vilnius, the capital of today’s Lithuanian, back then the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, respectively, one of the capitals of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
At the time, Bulgaria was part of Ottoman Turkey, a period known in Bulgarian history as the Ottoman Yoke (1396/1422-1878/1912).
The rich cultural heritage of the Old Bulgarian language of the medieval Bulgarian Empire influenced other Christian countries in Southern and Eastern Europe in its time. After the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396/1422) was conquered by the invading Ottoman Turks, it was preserved in Bulgarian monasteries but also abroad, including by Bulgarian clergymen and scholars fleeing the invaders.