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Uspenie Bogorodichno Cathedral
Varna Cathedral, known also as Katedralen Hram Uspenie Bogorodichno or the Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral is one of the emblems of the Black Sea capital of Bulgaria. This Eastern Orthodox Cathedral is the second largest in Bulgaria and is definitely worth visiting. The admission is free though there are small fees for taking pictures, candles etc. and the visitors are expected to leave some donations of course.
Varna Cathedral is a relatively new construction, its first stone was laid in 1880, works on the interior took more than 50 years, the murals were painted after 1949 and domes were covered with gold and silver based material in the beginning of this century only.
One of the reasons for the long and painful works was purely financial. Most of the money for the Cathedral had to come from sponsorship, donations and contributions, a special lottery was even run at home and abroad to raise funds. Materials used came from local sources and quarries, including stones from old ruined fortresses and strongholds in the area. The interior features magnificent iconography, wood work and beautiful stained glass windows.
Varna Cathedral is a popular place among residents and visitors of Varna. People (even if they are not Eastern Orthodox believers) come here for the liturgy to hear one of the best temple choirs in the country, to watch (or take part in) the holy mysteries, or to just pray, light a candle or look around. This symbol of Varna is located in the center of the city on the St St Kiril & Metodii Square, and one can easily see it or hear the church bells ringing from near and afar. It is a convenient meeting and starting point for exploring the city (Varna Free Walking Tour begins here). The pedestrian zone is nearby and so are few markets and the biggest shopping streets. The St St Kiril & Metodii Square is where most public transport stops both city buses and buses and minibuses to and from the nearby resorts like Golden Sands, Druzhba, St Konstantin & Elena, Albena, etc.