Tsar Peter II and Tsar Assen I (1185 – 1197)

ON A NOVEMBER DAY in 1185 hundreds of Bulgarians amassed in front of the newly erected Church of St. Demetrius in Turnovo. They came to celebrate the church’s inauguration, hut cheered even louder at the

appearance of two nobles, the brothers Todor and Assen (also known as Belgun). Although the crowd had gathered for a holy purpose, everybody there knew the two nobles had other plans in mind. Someone in the crowd drew a sword and spoke prophetic words: “This is not the time to stay idle; it’s time that we took up arms and fought the Byzantines!”

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