Bulgarian Scholars Say 9th Century Bulgarian Great Basilica of Pliska Modeled After Constantinian Old St. Peter’s in Rome

September 23, 2015  (Source: http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com)

[Originally reported on September 18]

The 9th century AD Great Basilica in Pliska, the Ancient Bulgar capital of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680-1018 AD) between 680 and 893 AD, was modeled after the Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the predecessor of today’s St. Peter’s Cathedral (the Papal Basilica), Bulgaria’sNational Museum of History has announced in a statement.


This conclusion has resulted from a letter from a Bulgarian living in Italy who sent Bozhidar Dimitrov, the Director of the National Museum of History in Sofia, a 19th century drawingdepicting what the Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome looked like in the 15th century AD.

The picture in question is also available on Wikipedia, and is hardly unknown; however, the possibility of the Great Basilica in Pliska having been modeled after a temple in Rome had not been explored until it has just been brought to the scholars’ attention.

The Great Basilica in Pliska, the first capital of Bulgaria south of the Danube, was technically the largest Christian temple in Europe until the 17th century, i.e. until the completion of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican in 1629 AD.

It was 102.5 meters long and 30 meters wide, which means it was 20 meters longer than the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople, the titular temple of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the period of the Byzantine Empire, and about 30 meters longer than

Bulgaria’s National Museum of History reminds that the Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, which had already been badly damaged, was torn down in the 15th century AD in order to build the new St. Peter’s Cathedral.

Continue reading….