The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site…
This red brick church was built all the way back in 300s. It’s a wonder that this building has survived unscathed for such an amount of time, and all around are interesting little details that hit home the great age of the site and civilisations that have passed though. Step inside to view the…
The Church of Saint George is an Early Christian red brick rotunda that is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is situated behind the Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica.
The heart of ancient Serdica and the oldest building in modern Sofia, this red brick church was built all the way back in 300s.
The Church of Saint George (Bulgarian: Ротонда „Свети Георги“ Rotonda "Sveti Georgi") is an Early Christian red brick rotunda that is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is situated behind the Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica. Built by…
“History and architecture The church was built on the site of several earlier churches from 4th c. and places of worship dating back to the days when it was the necropolis of the Roman town of Serdica. In the 2nd century, it was the location of a Roman theatre. Over the next few centuries, several other churches were constructed, only to be destroyed by invading forces such as the Goths and the Huns. The basic cross design of the present basilica, with its two east towers and one tower-cupola, is believed to be the fifth structure to be constructed on the site and was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the middle of the 6th century (527-565). It is thus a contemporary of the better-known Hagia Sophia church in Constantinople. During the Second Bulgarian Empire (spanning the 12th to 14th centuries), the structure acquired the status of a metropolitan church. In the 14th century, the church gave its name to the city. In the 16th century, during Ottoman rule, the church was converted into a mosque: the original 12th-century frescoes were destroyed and minarets were added. In the 19th century two earthquakes destroyed one of the minarets and the mosque was abandoned. Restoration work was begun after 1900. The Saint Sofia Church is now one of the most valuable pieces of Early Christian architecture in Southeastern Europe. The present building is a cross basilica with three altars. The floor of the church is covered with complex Early Christian ornamental or flora and fauna-themed mosaics. The Saint Sofia Church stands in the middle of an ancient necropolis and many tombs have been unearthed both under and near the church. Some of the tombs even feature frescoes. Because Saint Sophia represents Holy Wisdom, icons within the church depict Sophia as Christ Emmanuel, a young figure of Christ seated on a rainbow. The church also displays icons of historical saints, including St. George and St. Vladimir.”
“Vasil Levski, the Bulgarian national hero who fought for the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire is believed to have been buried in this church”
“The Boyana Church (Bulgarian: Боянска църква, Boyanska tsărkva) is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, in the Boyana quarter. In 1979, the building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The east wing of the two-storey church was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century, then the central wing was added in the 13th century under the Second Bulgarian Empire, the whole building being finished with a further expansion to the west in the middle of the 19th century. A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls of the church. History and architecture The Boyana Church was built in three stages: in the late 10th to early 11th, the mid-13th, and the mid-19th centuries. The oldest section (the eastern church) is a small one-apse cross-vaulted church with inbuilt cruciform supports. It was built in the late 10th or the early 11th century. The second section, which adjoins the eastern church, was commissioned by Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava in the mid-13th century. This building belongs to the two-floor tomb-church type. It consists of a ground-floor family sepulchre with a semi-cylindrical vault and two arcosolia on the north and south walls, and of an upper-floor family chapel identical in design to the eastern church. The exterior is decorated with ceramic ornaments. The last section was built with donations from the local community in the mid-19th century. The church was closed to the public in 1954 in order to be conserved and restored. It was only partially reopened in 2006. As a protection measure, air-conditioning was installed to keep the temperature at 17–18 degrees Celsius (62–64 Fahrenheit), with low-heat lighting. Groups of up to 8 visitors are permitted to stay for 10 minutes. The building, placed under the management of the National Historical Museum (Bulgaria), was fully reopened to the public by Culture Minister Stefan Danailov on October 2, 2008.”
“It was built on the initiative and with the financial support of the benefactor Mall Efendi Kad Seyfulllah. Therefore, in some sources, the mosque is also referred to as the Molla Effendi Mosque or as the Kad Seyfulllah. On the arch above the door on the stone with paint is written text that cannot be read. Below it is the date 974, which gives reason to believe that it was built in 974 by the Hijra (Muslim yearbook) or 1566-1567. Architecture The mosque's main building is quadrangular. Among the four corner cubes are the central cubes and the minaret. In front of it there is an annex (tetim) with three small cubes. It was built in memory of the late wife of Qad Seyfulllah Effendi. Bath bashi mosque in the late 19th century Bashi mosque bath is an interesting architectural creation that reflects the specifics of Ottoman architectural thought in the 16th century. It was built by the Ottoman architect Sinan. Its walls are made of carved stone and bricks, with rows of red bricks placed between the stone rows. At the four corners, as in the Makbul Ibrahim Pasha mosque in Razgrad, small towers are erected, under which support structures are lowered through hoops. At the corners of the sixteen beam hoops are placed double breastplates. The walls of the prayer hall and the arches are of stone. The columns are made of a single stone body and are matte. Crowns are double rows of stalacmid. The arch above the front door, which ends with a wreath, is also a stone. The central dome is covered with lead plates. The minaret of the mosque is an exquisite architectural work. According to Evliya Chelebi, she is not equal in beauty in Sofia. The interior of the mosque has acquired its present appearance as a result of several repairs. The last major overhaul was made in the 1920s with the financial support of Turkish Ambassador to Sofia Fethi Bay. Partial repairs, painting, plastering, etc. were made after World War II. In 1983, a complete restoration of the mosque exterior was carried out, designed by arch. Chr. Ganchev from the National Institute for Cultural Monuments. In recent decades, repairs have been made with donations of Turkish and Arabic waqfs. With their support, an underfloor heating system was built. The present state of the Banya Bashi mosque gives it the possibility of praying with about 700 Muslims on Friday days and nearly 1,200 Muslims in the Bayrams. The capacity of the mosque is between 500-700 people. That is why during the holidays and Friday prayers, the worshipers pray outside the sidewalk. In the past, mosques of Efendi Qadi Seifulllah and Emin Dede were buried around the mosque.”
“In front of the building there is the monument of St. St. Cyril and Methodius - the men who had developed our alphabet at the Preslav Literary School AT THE END OF THE 9TH CENTURY. More info you can find in English and other languages at www.bulgariatravel.org”