BTA News

155th Anniversary of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Marked in Braila

The 155th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was marked here on Tuesday. Addressing the participants in the ceremony, held at the Bulgarian Church of the Ascension of Christ, BTA Director General Kirli Valchev said that in the face of Bulgarian science and education, the Bulgarian communities abroad has reputable scientists and experts to trust and rely on for their future.

“On our way to Odessa, where tomorrow we will open the 19th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media, we stopped in Braila, Romania, to honour the 155th anniversary of the founding in the city of the oldest institution of modern Bulgaria – the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, founded under the name of the Bulgarian Literary Society in 1869,” Kiril Valchev said in his speech.

Valchev recalled a correspondence between the Bulgarian Literary Society’s founding member, historian and philologist Prof. Marin Drinov, and the first Bulgarian literary critic Nesho Bonchev. “We’re wandering in the fog. Hold on. I already saw a beam of light. Go with me!,” Drinov wrote, to which Bonchev responded that “the Bulgarians will be kissing your hands”.

“We, the representatives of the Bulgarian media from 14 countries, are here to give a sign that these words are coming true and Bulgarians 155 years later continue to honour the creators of “one of the most magnificent popular temples of Bulgarian science”, as Prof. Marin Drinov himself referred to the future Academy, said Valchev.

BTA’s Director General also said that prof. Marin Drinov “was right that our nation needs an authority to guide it, understanding “the universal national moral interests, of which the more important ones are: language, faith, national education, literature and public opinion, because they continue to ensure our future”.

And in this town, where twenty thousand Bulgarians lived during the National Revival period, the plans of the Bulgarian future were made by Bulgarian freedom fighters, as described by famous Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov in his works.

“We are honored to have among us here in Braila, to mark the 155th anniversary of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, its President, Acad. Julian Revalski, who, on behalf of the Academy, presents to each of the participants in the 19th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media the first Bulgarian textbook – the Fish Primer, Valchev said, referring the first primer and first book printed in modern Bulgarian, written by Bulgarian educator Petar Beron (1799-1871). The bicentenary of the Fish Primer’s publication is also marked this year, Valchev recalled.

The construction of the Church of the Ascension of Christ in Braila, also known as the Bulgarian Church, began in 1872. It was built after room for it was made by demolishing a house where Bulgarian immigrants established a Bulgarian Literary Society that was the predecessor of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

On October 28, 1878, it was decided to move the Bulgarian Literary Society from Braila to the new capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. The house in which the Society was founded was demolished and the Church of the Ascension was built there. It came to be known among the local people as “Biserica Bulgariasca”. Services in the Bulgarian language were last held in the church in the 1950s, but its entrance still bears the inscription “Bulgarian Church”, and inside, along with the names of the Bulgarian clergy, three icons can be seen: of St. John the Baptist, of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, St. Trifon and St. Marina.

In the courtyard of the church is a memorial plaque dedicated to the establishment of the first Bulgarian Literary Society, which later grew into the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The inscription on the memorial plaque reads, “Here stood the house in which in 1869 Bulgarian immigrants laid the groundwork of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences”.

Tuesday’s celebration was attended by Kiril Valchev, his deputy Evgenia Drumeva, Bulgarian Ambassador to Romania Radko Vlaykov, head of the Council for Electronic Media Gabriela Naplatanova, BAS President Acad. Julian Revalski, Rector of Sofia University Prof. Georgi Valchev, as well as representatives of Bulgarian media and Bulgarian-language media from different countries around the world.

BTA organizes the 19th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media in Odessa, Bolgrad and Izmail (Ukraine) from June 18 until June 21, 2024 with the assistance of Aurubis Bulgaria, A1, Glavbolgarstroy Holding, Euroins Insurance Group, SOF Connect – the operator of Sofia Airport, 13 Centuries Bulgaria National Endowment Fund.