Posts tagged “Bulgaria

Explore Sofia | St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

3St. Alexander Nevsky is the symbol of Sofia and primary tourist attraction. The temple was built in honor of the Russian Emperor Alexander the 2nd, also known as the Tsar – Liberator, whose army liberated Bulgaria of the five-century long Ottoman Dominion in 1878.IMG_6305IMG_6299IMG_6311The bell tower is 53 meters high and has 12 bells, the heaviest of them weighing 12 tons, and the smallest one – 10 kg. Their ringing can be heard from a radius of 15 kilometers. IMG_63392St. Alexander Nevsky occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can accommodate up to 5,000 people. It is the second-largest cathedral located on the Balkan Peninsula, after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade.IMG_6300IMG_6306 The entrance doors of the temple were made of Slavonia oak.IMG_6334IMG_6317IMG_6316IMG_6314IMG_6333IMG_6332IMG_6329 Beautiful chandeliers at the entrance. IMG_6331IMG_6319This picture is taken inside the Cathedral.IMG_6324Oh, I love to take pictures of the ground. IMG_6308 IMG_6397The domes of the temple are covered with gold and attract attention from miles away. 
1IMG_6349The temple interior is unique – it impresses with its magnificent marble decorations, with its mural paintings and 82 icons, made by Bulgarian, Russian and Czech artists. (photos: BulgariaTravel)Information: Wikipedia and BulgariaTravel
Photographs are by me.


Posts about Bulgaria

Below you’ll find links to all the posts I’ve written about Bulgaria so far. 😉

Church of St. GeorgeThe Rila Monastery St.Ivan of Rila
Boyana Church (photo: Todor Bozhinov)
The Glozhene Monastery (photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis)
Ivan Vazov National TheatrePlovdiv (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)Bulgarian Revival Architecture (photo: TwoWings)KaloferLovechBurgasBulgarian Projects (Red Apple Apartment Building, Graffiti Café, |CON|temporary Library Installation, Forget Your Past) Photo: Courtesy of Aedes StudioI/O Architects

Explore Sofia | Church of St. George

The Church of St. George is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was built in the beginning of the 4th century AD during the reign of the roman emperor Constantine the Great.IMG_6555IMG_6724The temple is situated in the courtyard of the Government Office and Sheraton Hotel.IMG_6725IMG_6730(I had to take picture of this beautiful door!)IMG_6731IMG_6727It is a cylindrical domed structure, built on a square base. Its width is about 9.5 meters in diameter and its height is about 14 meters.IMG_6531 Old versus new.IMG_6545 IMG_6544Originally the building was used for public purposes. After the recognition of Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire, the rotunda became a baptistery (a building for conversion to Christianity), due to the many conversions, following the authorization of this religion.IMG_6542IMG_6551At the time of Emperor Justinian the Great (reigned 527 – 565) the Rotunda was transformed into a church. The first wall painting was made in the same period.IMG_6553IMG_6546During the Ottoman rule the Rotunda St. George was transformed into a mosque. The Christian paintings on the walls were obliterated with white plaster and in their place were painted floral motifs. IMG_6537IMG_6534(I found this piece on the ground.)IMG_6557The main entranceIMG_6556After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 the Rotunda was deserted, and after the death of Prince Alexander Battenberg it was transformed into a mausoleum.IMG_6560 IMG_6559Information: wikipedia and bulgariatravel
Photographs are by me.

Explore Sofia | Ivan Vazov National Theatre

IMG_6516-2Hey everyone! Explore Sofia is a new topic on my blog. I’ve decided that it’s high time to write about Sofia, after all it’s my hometown. So, I grabbed my small not professional Canon and went for a long walk along Sofia’s streets. I took plenty of pictures, which means there will be many articles. 😉
I hope that you will welcome the idea!
IMG_6753IMG_6756 Named after the prominent Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright Ivan Vazov, the National Theatre is the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the major landmarks of Sofia as well.IMG_6469 IMG_6468The theatre’s Neoclassical building was designed by famous Austrian architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner and built in 1906. Beside Ivan Vazov Theatre, Helmer and Fellner together designed over 200 buildings, mainly theatres and apartment buildings across Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
IMG_6489IMG_6505IMG_6503The large pediment, supported on six white marble columns, depicts Apollo and the Muses. The twin towers on either side of the building are crowned with sculptures of the goddess Nike in a chariot.IMG_6466 IMG_6464The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. It employes some of the country’s best actors and stage directors and performs Bulgarian as well as international plays.IMG_6499IMG_6497An old photograph of the theatre.The fountain and its reflecting pool were built in 1976, and have recently been restored. If the weather is good, the area in front of the theatre is full of people of any ages and men playing chess. IMG_6743IMG_6750IMG_6751

links: wikipediasofia-guidevisitbulgaria

Bulgarian Projects

Today, I bring you four projects in various fields – Architecture, Interior Design, Art and Photography. They are all designed by Bulgarians and realized in Bulgarian, which makes me really proud!

Red Apple Apartment Building
The surrounding neighborhood consists mostly of apartment blocks, which were built in relatively short period of time and not very long ago. Because of that it lacks the typical historic layers of the city center. In order to enrich the neighborhood with an atmosphere from another time, Aedes Studio set the uneasy task to design a new “old building”; a contemporary building with past – a building that contains opposites. The backbone of the concept is the brick – the material that brings together the idea of old and new. The brick is made from clay, it is backed in fire and it is built by hand; it gathers the warmth of all those three. Read the whole article.
Photographs: Courtesy of Aedes Studio
Interior Design:
Graffiti Café is located in the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the third largest city in Bulgaria – Varna. The Café, designed by Sofia-based MODE design studio won worldwide fame with its trendy interior soon after the opening and it has been declared the best bar in the world by Restaurant&Bar Design Awards. (link)
Photographs: © 3 in Spirit12Art:
|CON|temporary Library Installation
Plovdiv-based Studio 8 ½ was invited by “Art Today” Association to design and construct a temporary library in the main hall of an ancient Turkish bath, which is abandoned since decades. “Chifte Bath” (Meaning used by both males and females) was built in the XVI century over an even older Roman bath. The building is a unique architectural monument of local importance and one of the few buildings of this period in the city of Plovdiv preserved until nowadays. To learn why the entire library is built of wood and why Studio 8 ½ decided to arrange it in the hall’s center, please visit archdaily. Photography: © Architect Vladislav Kostadinov
Forget Your Past – Photographic series by Nikola Mihov
Many iconic monuments from the communist era in Bulgaria were dismantled after the fall of the totalitarian regime in 1989. Nevertheless, more than one hundred important monuments built between 1945 and 1989 remain standing. Today, most of them are neglected and ransacked. Nikola Mihov’s photographic series is an interesting and thought-provocative project, which reveals 14 of the most significant, yet forgotten monuments in Bulgaria. For all photography, history, architecture, policy lovers, this article (here) is a must read.

What’s New with Me

 I can’t believe I haven’t written in my blog for 3 months! I have to admit I missed it and all my online friends and I really hope not to absent anymore! One of the reasons I didn’t write was that I did an intensive English language course as knowing this international language is quite important nowadays (especially for someone like me, who runs a blog in English). I probably still don’t speak and write correctly in English, but you should know that I try really hard. Anyway, here are some personal photographs I want to share with you. The picture below is from my graduation ceremony, which was in April. The hat was quite uncomfortable!

IMG_5825_2Few days after the ceremony we had a graduation party, which was amazing! The event was at Sheraton Hotel in Sofia and everything was simply perfect – the food, the music, the atmosphere, the service. I had the time of my life and came back home at 6 am, but it was a well deserved party after six years of studying. I am a bit disappointed that the photographer didn’t take any pictures of the building from outside as it’s really beautiful and iconic. However, I found one on Internet (from also participated in the protests in Sofia, although I know that not much things depend on the normal people. I just felt that I need to be out on the streets as I see a government, who simply doesn’t solve our problems and what bothers me the most is the fact that a large percentage of young and well-educated Bulgarians emigrate and settle abroad. According to an article I read on Internet one of every eight young people in Bulgaria has concrete plans to leave the country in a search for better live in the near future, but frankly I think that probably every third has a plans and government doesn’t take any actions against this madness. After all, aren’t young people those, who should lead the country?
Don’t get me wrong I am not into policy and I don’t mind which party governs as long as our country moves forward toward a better future. All in all, I don’t regret participating in the protests, even if nothing changes I am really proud to see that more than 40 000 Bulgarians stood for their rights and I am even more proud that the protests are peaceful.IMG_6154

Boyana Church

Boyana Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia.
It was built in three stages: in the late 10th and early 11th, the mid-13th, and the mid-19th centuries. In 1979 the monument was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.The church owes its world fame mainly to its frescoes from 1259. A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls.
They form a second layer over the paintings from earlier centuries and represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European medieval art.Information: Wikipedia
Photographs: 1.Todor Bozhinov, 2,3,4,5.Elena Chochkova, 6.Aleksander Dragnes, 7.vintagedept 8.buildingoftheyear

The Glozhene Monastery

The Glozhene Monastery of “St. George the Victorious” is situated at 840 m above sea level on a rocky hill in the Teteven Valley. According to legend it was founded in the 13th century by the Kiev Prince Glozh. The monastery church was erected after the creation of the monastery in the 14th century, but was destroyed by earthquake in 1913 along with its frescoes. The modern church (the white building) was constructed in 1951 on the grounds of the old one.

Photograph above: skero  Photographs below: Klearchos Kapoutsis.
The Monastery is situated at a distance of about 15 km from the town of Teteven and at 17 km from the village of Glozhene, where its name comes from. It was declared an architectural, constructional and historical monument by Protocol of the National Cultural Monuments Council of 19 June 2006. In nowadays the monastery is still an active male monastery.

Photographs below: BulgariaTravel 
Source: BulgariaTravel, Wikipedia

See my other posts about Bulgaria:

The Rila Monastery
My trip to Kalofer
Bulgarian Revival Architecture
My trip to Lovech
I ♥ Plovdiv
I ♥ Plovdiv | Part 2 of 3
I ♥ Plovdiv | Part 3 of 3
My Trip to Burgas

The Rila Monastery St.Ivan of Rila

photo by Boby Dimitrov

In the Rila mountain range lies the most outstanding monument of Bulgarian architecture and art – The Rila Monastery. Its foundation is associated with the life and ministry of the Bulgarian hermit St.Ivan of Rila (10th century), called the greatest of all Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The monastery was built at its present location in the 14th century. It is a survivor of the Ottoman invasion, being completely burnt down in a violent fire in 1833, the monastery was rebuilt in its present form between 1840 and 1851 without a chief master builder or a prior planning.

The murals in the main monastery church were painted between 1840 and 1848 by the best Bulgarian Revival fine arts painters of that time.
There are around 300 rooms in the monastery, 100 of which are monastic cells.
Hrelyo’s Tower, the oldest building in the holy cloister was built in the 14th century (1335). It was the monastery’s fortress and also the place where monks dwelled in times of trouble. At present Hrelyo’s Tower is open for visitors in the summer.
The Birth of the Virgin Mary main church of the monastery was built in 1834 – 1837. It is a five-domed, cross-in-square building. The wood-carved iconostases and the wall-paintings by masters from Samokov and Bansko are impressive. 
In 1976 the monastery was declared a National Historical Reserve and in 1983 it was included in the List of World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. Read more: bulgariatravel

My Trip to Burgas

As I told you in one of my previous posts, (here) in June I visited one of my best friends in Burgas! We had long walks, long talks, a relaxing time on the beach, good food and a lot of fun! Here are the photographs I took with some information about the city.

Burgas is the fourth-largest city in Bulgaria and an important industrial, transport, cultural and tourist center. The Sea Garden of Burgas is located along the city’s coast on the Black Sea and it is an important tourist attraction and a national monument of landscape architecture on the Balkans. The first trees in the park are planted by the soldiers in 1889. In 1910 the architect Georgi Duhtev was hired by the Municipality of Burgas to start the construction of the Sea Garden. via wikipedia.orgThe Morsko Kazino (Marine Casino) in the Sea Garden of Burgas was built in 1938.The central beachThe bridge. Photograph: BurgasCityDowntown of BurgasThe beautiful St.St. Cyril and Methodius church is the oldest church in Burgas. Its construction began in 1895 and the church opened doors in May 1907.
This is one of my favorite places! We had dinner on this terrace.  A fried potato on a stick! What a great idea! And it was delicious!
I enjoyed Mado so much! It is a Turkish Restaurant and Cafe, which main product actually is ice cream made from goat milk. Apartment block, designed by Sofia based I/O architects.
If you like this post then you might also like one of these:
My trip to Kalofer

Bulgarian Revival Architecture
My trip to Lovech
I ♥ Plovdiv
I ♥ Plovdiv | Part 2 of 3
I ♥ Plovdiv | Part 3 of 3