Boyana Church - Bulgaria
Are you a business owner in Bulgaria?
Promote your business 365 days a year with the #1 Guide to Bulgaria.
- Gain MAXIMUM EXPOSURE with a 'Dedicated Business Profile'
Directions to Boyana Church
Located on the outskirts of Sofia lies Boyana Church, an old Medieval Orthodox Church, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a living testimony of the Bulgarian contribution to European Culture. The church comprises of 3 buildings constructed in the 10-11th, 13th and the 19th century respectively and decorated with murals. The 13th c. paintings are an early example and predecessor of the icon-style painting which was later adopted and widespread in other European countries.
The oldest church, also known as the First Church or the East Church dates back to the 10th c. It was originally built as a chapel, entirely of brick, in the shape of a Greek cross with a dome. The church bears the decorative elements of the period - beautiful brickwork with rows and patterns outline the blind decorative arches on the outside - there are 3 of these on both the north and south facades, central arches are higher than the side ones. Light reaches the inside of the church through several long narrow openings in the dome and walls to reveal the murals. The whole inside surface of the First church is painted with murals. A second layer was applied during the 18th c. therefore the original frescos can be seen only in few places where the upper layer has been removed and shows what is underneath.
The Second 13th century church was built as an extension of the First church. This is a 2-storey building with a direct access from the old church and annexed to its western wall. The first floor is bare and has only 2 niches in the walls which leads to the suggestion that it was planned for a family tomb. An outside mobile staircase leads to the second floor which was presumably used as a chapel and in case of danger, the staircase was removed and the chapel transformed in a defense tower. The outside decorations follow the pattern of the First church with the figural details and arches on the walls but show some new techniques. The mixed masonry works a combination of white stone and red brick decorated with tiny shiny ceramic 'cups'. One of the arches on the southern wall is bigger because it was used as an entrance to the chapel.
The Third church was built in the 19th c. during the Revival period. This is the annex which we now enter first and the biggest of the 3 churches. It is said that after the Liberation in 1878 the local population wanted to demolish the church and built a brand new bigger one. Tsaritsa Eleonora came to its rescue, and with the help of her husband Tsar Fedinand, provided the village people with another plot to build on. The royal family ordered the beautiful little park around the church where unusual (for this latitude) species like the grand sequoia trees were planted.
Nowadays the Boyana Church has been restored and is functioning as a museum with working hours daily from 09:00 till 17:00 in winter and from 09:30 till 18:00 in summer.
Please check direct for their special discounts for groups, children and students and combined passes.
Guided tours for groups in Bulgarian, English, German and Russian are provided at extra charge.
You may also like
Art Alley GallerySofia, Bulgaria
Art Alley Gallery is a modern art gallery with own time-tested look and style. It works with a group of authors whose art represents major trends in the development of mo
Neolithic DwellingsStara-Zagora, Bulgaria
The Neolithic Dwellings Museum was built around 2 well preserved Neolithic dwellings dating back to 6000 B.C. Visitors can see remains of kitchens, fireplaces, ceramic ve...
The Melnik PyramidsMelnik, Bulgaria
Melnik Pyramids is a breath-taking natural rock formation on the outskirts of Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria. Drive along the Sofia-Kulata international highway an
The Kazanlak TombKazanluk, Bulgaria
The Kazanlak tomb is located on the outskirts of Kazanlak, the capital of the Rose Valley of Bulgaria. Kazanlak is on the 'Podbalkanskata' line from Sofia to Burgas there
Alexander Nevski CryptSofia-City-Center, Bulgaria
The Crypt of the Memorial St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia homes the largest exposition of Bulgarian Old and Medieval Christian Art. Numerous icons, murals and art
The Square of ToleranceSofia, Bulgaria
A mosque, a Catholic cathedral, an orthodox church and a synagogue, all four within few minutes walk of each other in the very center of Sofia - this is the so called Squ
The National Art GallerySofia, Bulgaria
The National Gallery (also known as The National Museum of Bulgarian Art) boasts an over century old history and the richest art work collection in this country - over 30...
Wine MuseumPleven, Bulgaria
The Wine Museum in Pleven exhibits over 6000 wines from across Bulgaria, making it the home to the country's largest selection.............
Belogradchik RocksSofia-Region, Bulgaria
The Belogradchik Rocks (Belogradchik Cliffs, Belogradchishki Skali) is probably the most popular (locally and internationally) natural phenomenon in Bulgaria.............
The Old Town of KotelKotel, Bulgaria
The Old Town of Kotel is a picturesque architectural reserve situated on the outskirts of the mountain town of Kotel. Kotel is an emblematic place for the Bulgarians - it