As an alternative to the order of the Knights Templar, the director of Bulgaria’s National History Museum, Bozhidar Dimitrov, intends to establish an order of bagaturs, or medieval Bulgarian horsemen warriors.
“It seems like many Bulgarians have a need to fight for noble and just causes, and that is why they join the Templars’ Order, but this seems to me not entirely natural,” Dimitrov told national media recently. That is why he decided to set up the Bagaturs’ Order, which – in his words, would be a medieval Bulgarian version of the West European knights.
Bagaturs, according to Dimitrov’s theory on the group about which very little is known, were heavily armed warrior horsemen, dressed head to toe in iron. Stemming from the aristocracy, their number in 812 reached 30,000 people. Their status was that of free peasants and city dwellers with significant land ownership. Thanks to the bagaturs’ corps, Dimitrov claimed, Bulgarians were able to win a number of battles in the early Middle Ages, including that of Ongal, Anchialo, Aheloy, Versinkia and Trayanovi Vrata.
All Bulgarian citizens that can prove through tickets that they have visited a series of museums and monuments throughout the country can be admitted into the order.
Also eligible for membership in the order will be businessmen and politicians who have demonstrated financial support for the research, protection and restoration of historical and cultural monuments in Bulgaria, Dimitrov said in an official announcement to media today, adding that women will also be eligible, since they also participated in battles in the Middle Ages.
In today’s release to the media, Dimitrov said that a number of public, and somewhat controversial figures, will be nominated for membership in the Bagaturs’ Order. Those included: Boyko Borisov – Sofia’s macho mayor and likely next Prime Minister, for his contribution to the restoration of the Boyana Church; Stefan Danailov – Bulgaria’s Minister of Culture who, as an actor, was one of the biggest heartthrobs of the country during communist times, for contribution towards the Pliska, Preslav, Madara and Trapezitsa monuments; businessman Stafan Sharlapov and founder and manager of the clinical research company Comac Medical Milen Vrabevski, for their contribution towards military monuments; publisher Veneta Krasteva, businesswoman Boryana Radeva; and Slavi Binev – vice-president of the Bulgarian Federation for Olympic Taekwondo and current member of the European Parliement, as a representative of the far-right, nationalistic party Ataka.
in Balkan Travellers