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Sofia University was founded in late 80s of the XIX century, while the old European universities had been established between XII and XIX c. However, the University was built upon strong scholar and educational traditions of Medieval Bulgaria, dating back in the time of the eminent Bulgarian rulers Knyaz Boris I and Tsar Simeon (Symeon the Great).


Knyaz Boris I

Stained glass, Aula

St. Kliment Ohridski,


Tsar Simeon

Stained glass, Aula

According to St. Kliment's hagiography by Theophylact of Ohrid (XII c.), "blissful fathers and teachers" were proclaimed equal-to-apostles by the Pope during their stay in Roma (between 867 and 869), "because of their feat equal to the feat of apostle Pavel", "devising the Glagolitic alphabet, translating the Holy Scriptures from Greek into Bulgarian, and ensured the Holy knowledge to be passed to their most promising disciples. Many drank from this fountain of knowledge, the appointed coriphaei being Gorazd, Kliment (Clement), Naum (Nahum), Angelarius and Sava". After having been exiled from Moravia and Pannonia by the German clergy, the survived disciples Kliment, Naum and Angelarius find asylum in Bulgaria. They are welcomed heartily by Knyaz Boris I in Pliska, the capital of Christianized Bulgaria. Angelarius died due to the long suffering, Naum and Kliment establish the Pliska-Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools.

Kliment of Ohrid, born Bulgarian from the southwest district, was the most prominent disciple of Cyril and Methodius, who came to Bulgaria in 886. He was ordained as the first Bulgarian language bishop of Macedonia in 893 during the reign of Tsar Simeon. For 7 years, he educated 3500 disciples of all social origins, and prepared a large number of priests, deacons and teachers. He died at an advanced age in 916. His disciples buried him in the monastery "St. Panteleimon" in Ohrid, which he had established. He was canonized in X c. and joined the pantheon of the Bulgarian saints side by side with Cyril and Methodius. Initially St Kliment's day was celebrated on 27th July according to the Orthodox church. Later it was accepted to celebrate it also on 25th Onctober.

Kliment could experience the Slavonic cause triumph in Bulgaria. The Ochrid School established by him, together with the scholars of the Preslav School, laid the foundation of the Bulgarian literature, tradition and education, which have become an example for the whole Slavonic part of the world. The French senator Justin Gaydar addressed Sofia University as a contemporary, and even forerunner of the French Universities, being a seccessor of the continuous tradition started by Kliment of Ochrid.