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DateLecture
02 October 2019Europe’s Best Kept Secret - The Painted Monasteries of Bulgaria
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Europe’s Best Kept Secret - The Painted Monasteries of Bulgaria John Osborne Wednesday 02 October 2019

John graduated in Classics at Cambridge University and taught Classics at Marlborough College for over thirty years. Worked for the British Council in Iran and Turkey, and lectures in Islamic Civilisation. Tutor, Marlborough College Summer School. Lecturer, Department of Continuing Education, University of Bath. Guide at Salisbury Cathedral. Lecturer on cruises and leader of numerous study tours to Bulgaria, Romania, Iran, and Turkey and other countries in S.E. Europe and the Mediterranean. Lecture tours of Australia (twice) and New Zealand.


Bulgaria's rich and varied cultural history deserves to be better known. The country's well-preserved mediaeval monasteries are part of the Byzantine tradition of Orthodox religious art and architecture. The lecture illustrates the Christian history of the country through its monasteries, concentrating on their fascinating frescos and icons and explaining their religious significance. The context of the lecture is Bulgaria's mountain landscapes and its long history, so that it includes prehistoric Thracian tombs, Roman public buildings and beautifully conserved vernacular architecture from the Ottoman period. This lecture will suit those who enjoy religious art in its cultural context.