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Plate 31 from Die Bulgaren in ihren historischen, ethnographischen und politischen Grenzen by Ishirkoff & Zlatarski Index no. 0048:0031
The Bulgarian Exarchate (1870-1912)  —  Das Gebiet des bulgarischen Exarchat

The green-bordered text below is is the English version of the explanatory text, from the page facing the map. Another page on this site gives the full text in German, English, French, and Bulgarian.

31. – The Bulgarian Exarchate (1870-1912).

This map represents the boundaries of the Bulgarian Exarchate. – The quarrel about the erection of the Bulgarian National Church lasted 40 years; it began in 1830 and found an end on the 28th of February 1870 (old style) by a Turkish Firman which erected the Bulgarian Exarchate at Constantinople. – At first the Bulgarian people demanded the right of electing themselves their own bishops, who should have to belong to the Bulgarian nationality too. – The first towns to declare such desire were Uescub and Samokov (in the year 1833). But the Greek Patriarchate was decidedly opposed to it and the controversy took two new forms: the demand of the Bulgarian bishops was increased with the desire for religious service of their own and schools of their own, – the Greek Bishops in the Bulgarian Eparchles were openly and violently persecuted. This happened in many towns of Bulgaria, Thracia and Macedonia.

The Firman of the Sultan relating to the erections of the Bulgarian Exarchate, expressly denominated in the first paragraph of the 10th article as Bulgarian the following Eparchies: Rustschuk, Sillstra, Varna, Schumen, Tirnovo, Lovetsch, Vratza, Vldin, Sofia, Kiustendll, Samokoff, Nisch, Pirot and Veless; the second paragraph of the same article decides that other Eparchies too should be allowed to acknowledge the Bulgarian Exarchy lf at least 2/3 of their Christian inhabitants should demand this. According to this second paragraph of the Firman a "people's-vote" was made by the Turkish authorities under control of the Greek Patriarchate. – This "people's-vote" proved that the largest part of Macedonia wanted to acknowledge the Bulgarian Exarchate, whereupon bishops were appointed for Uescub, Ochrida and Monastir; (for Veless, expressly named in the Firman, such appointment had already taken place). But soon after this occurred the Bulgarian insurrections of 1875-76, which were followed by the Russo-Turkish war, – which events exposed the Bulgarians in the eyes of the Turks. Thanks to these the "people's-vote" could not be completed in the southern part of Macedonia and, where it was completed Bulgarian Bishops were not appointed in all of these Eparchies; and where such had tried to go, they were thence driven away by the authorities. The attempts made in 1884/1885 to send Bulgarian bishops in Macedonia failed on account of the protest of the Greek Patriarchate, of Servia and of Greece. Soon after came the union of the two Bulgarias which newly compromised the Bulgarians in the eyes of the Turks. Only in the year 1890, new Bulgarian bishops were appointed at Ueskub and at Ochrida; in the year 1894 bishops came to Veless and Nevrokop,and 1897 to Monastir, Debar and Strumitza. The other Eparchies never had any Bulgarian Bishops. The Turkish government only allowed the Bulgarian clergy of these Eparchies to represent the Bulgarians before the local authorities and to manage their own school-matters. The white-hatched places on the map denote those Eparchies that did not get Bulgarian Bishops.

Keywords: BulgariaBulgaria

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