Sunday, February 24, 2008

TEMPLES AND ARTS

SOFIA, BULGARIA - JULY 2006


"ROTUNDA - The Church of St George Rotunda, located behind the Sheraton Hotel quite close to the remains of the Roman road and of the ancient town of Serdica, is a 4th century Christian red brick church, considered to be the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria"


"ROTUNDA'S INTERIOR is famous for its 10th-14th century frescoes. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered in the 20th century, as they had been painted over during the Ottoman period, when the building was used as a mosque. The earliest frescoes date back to the tenth century"


"ST. NEDELYA CHURCH, probably built in the 10th century, is a cathedral of the bishopric of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church. A unique church was reconstructed between 1927 and 1933, after a bomb destroyed most of its original frame in 1925"



"ST. NEDELYA'S INTERIOR is wonderful. The gilt iconostasis that survived the bomb attack returned to the church in 1933 and the mural decoration was done by a team led by Nikolay Rostovtsev between 1971 and 1973"


"ST. PETKA SAMARDIJIISKA (St. Petka of the Saddlers), partially dug into the ground, features a semi-cylindrical vault, a hemispherical apse, and a crypt. The walls are one meter thick and made from brick and stone"


"ST. PETKA'S INTERIOR is known for its mural paintings from the 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th century depicting biblical scenes"



"THE SYNAGOGUE is the third largest in Europe (accommodating 1300 worshippers), next to the synagogues in Budapest and Amsterdam. Designed in a Spanish-Moorish style, the temple looks like the Vienna synagogue"


"MOSQUE - The Banya Bashi Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Europe, having been completed in 1576. Its name means many baths, and is actually built over a natural thermal spa"



"THE BOYANA CHURCH is included in the UNESCO Heritage List. Located on the outskirts of Sofia, it consists of three buildings: the Eastern Church built in the 10th century; a second two storey building erected next to it; and a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. Actually, there are more than 700 fresco paintings there"



"RUSSIANS - The monuments from the socialist years are impressive and interesting as a detail of the country’s past. The most relevant are the Monument to the Soviet Army and the Monument to Freedom"



"THE NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM, housed in the stately Boyana Residence, is Bulgaria's largest museum. The museum currently stores and owns over 650,000 objects connected to archaeology, fine arts, history and ethnography, exhibiting about 10% of all"



"FRESCOES AND ICONOSTASES are some of the most important pieces of the Museum"


"THE TREASURE OF THE THRACIAN is probably the most impressive of the Museum pieces"

***

Runee was kind enough to give me the «I Learn from you Award»



Thanks Runee!

30 comments:

Trotter said...

This is my last post on Sofia from the 2006 trip to Bulgaria. I was particularly impressed with the Treasure of the Thracians at the National Museum. It's worth the visit...
The next post will still cover Bulgaria: one of the seven Bulgarian monuments included in UNESCO's Heritage List (the Boyana Church is also listed). Hope you like it!
So, when I finish the posts on Bulgaria, my delay in posting on Blogtrotter will have been reduced to 19 months. Big improvement...

Zsolt said...

when I was to Sofia I was really mesmerized by the churches there. Once when I entered one there was a mass and a chor singing. It was delightful.

alicesg said...

Those are very lovely photos. Yes, the treasures are indeed amazing.

Piika said...

the churches have such extraordinary beauty....

ruth said...

Those domes remind me of Istanbul. Must have been amazing, seeing all that those churches contain.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Those old buildings are so beautiful. They are humbling to see and St. Nedelya's interior is amazing. Looking at those gorgeous buildings has given me inspiration for the crowns I am making. :)

Lilli & Nevada said...

Again you have taken some great photos, I love the old churches. And the history is wonderful
Congratulations on your award, you definitely deserve it.

Nikon said...

Great photos, Gil. Your Interior shots are excellent!
Sofia is a place I didn't expect to be so interesting - so thank you for the education :)

Azer Mantessa said...

one thing that make my trip to blogtrotter a worthwhile ... certainly the info of important subjects like the oldest buiding and all.

fascinating.

Deslilas said...

Une récompense bien méritée.
Je confirme.

inspired said...

looks a great place to be :]

Peter said...

Wonderful, the number of old churches and other religious buildings that are still there and have been saved for the future! I’m especially impressed by the Rotunda church!

... and congrats to the award; we certainly learn from you!

lyliane said...

Il y a aussi beaucoup d'églises à Sofia,avec des intérieurs magnifiques, des icones comme j'en ai vu dans les monastères en Russie.Très belle documentation, ça me donne vraiment envie d'aller voir toutes ces merveilles.
Award bien mérité.

priyank said...

Very beautiful town. The first picture esp looks really dramatic!

...and a delay of *only* 19 months? oh boy!

Marie-Noyale said...

One needs a little more time than usual to visit your blog,but when you can find it...What a reward!!
I am enjoying a lot this little
stroll in Sofia.
I do hope being able to visit Eastern Europe.What you have been showing is tempting!!

Nihal said...

I found very impressive ''The Banya Bashi Mosque''! I would LIKE very much to visit it, and pray inside as well. Hope in a near future...
Thanks for this great article, Gil. You're our Guide, sometimes more than a guide, like a professor:)

Shionge said...

Whoa! So 'rich' in culture, I have been overwhelmed Gil :D

April said...

Astonishing how this old round church is surrounded by the hotel building.

alice said...

Visite toujours aussi riche et documentée, tu es vraiment un guide épatant!

Tinsie said...

These churches are beautiful! I particularly liked the Rotunda and St Nedelya. Thank you so much for posting these photos!

JO said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE CHURCH, TEMPLE shots! WOW! What a beautiful trip this must have been.

Lori said...

I'm impressed with all of the amazing things to see in Sofia. You've given us a great tour!

isabella said...

I am surprised how intact those Soviet-era monuments are...No Stalin toppled over? ;-)

Indrani Ghose said...

Very informative, most monuments from 10th century and some of the later ones are in the UNESCO Heritage list.
The frescos you mentioned reminded me of the ones in Ajanta and Ellora caves of Aurangabad i visited recently. I have blogged on them and it was like travelling back in time.

backpakker said...

Very impressive post..the best in these series ..Its amazing to see how various civilisations, dynasties around the world have contributed to our heritage. While I am posting on temples built in 10th century in India , I come here and I see some awesome architecture built by another dynasty around the same era..

Lakshmi

flyingstars said...

WoW...some really beautifully captured shots...such a spiritual post...makes me really visit a church now....Thanks for sharing these lovely pics...Excellent!

LeenaM said...

I agree with Runee and many other of your commentator !
It`s really nice to travel with you :)

MedaM said...

This is wonderful post of various beautiful temples and art and the history… I am glad to see a mosque among your photos.

Dick said...

Strange combination of buildings in the first picture, nice pictures.

Trotter said...

Zsolt,
I can perfectly understand what you mean; in one of the visits to the Nevski Cathedral there were four singers preparing their songs for the ceremony! It was a wonderful experience…

Alice SG,
Piika,
Thanks!

Ruth,
You’re right, but I feel some of the Istanbul domes are more impressive!

Lynn,
Great that my pictures inspired you! St. Nedelya’s interior is absolutely stunning…

Lilli & Nevada,
Thanks! It’s true that the old churches are beautiful.

Paul,
Thanks. Sofia was also a surprise for me…

Azer Mantessa,
Deslilas,
Thanks!

Inspired,
And it actually is…

Peter,
Thanks! The Rotunda church is probably the most impressive, but the other churches are also amazing…

Lyliane,
Et je n’ai pas pu prendre des photos du musée des magnifiques icones qui existe en dessous de la Cathédrale Nevski…
As-tu déjà trouvé le pays qui a été ajouté à ma carte ce mois de février?

Pryiank,
It’s an impressive building, the Rotunda… 19 months is a good improvement; when I started in 2005, I was five years late in relation to the digital era… ;))

Marie-Noyale,
Thanks for your visit and (first) comment to Blogtrotter. Eastern Europe is now becoming quite popular after the accession of most countries to the European Union; but it’s time to hurry!
I’ll try to check your Larchmont blog (have a friend living there…).

Nihal,
Thanks! The Mosque is located on the top of a spa; that’s why the public fountains are so close…

Shionge,
So glad to see you back! Hope everything is fine with you!

April,
The Roman Rotunda is actually most impressive…

Alice,
Alors tu es de retour; j’irais voir qu’est-ce qui se passe au Golf…

Tinsie,
Jo,
Those churches are the most voted! But you’ll see what will be coming on my next post…

Lori,
Great that you liked!

Isabella,
It’s true that the «transformation» was rather soft in Bulgaria!

Indrani Ghose,
It’s amazing when you can compare what was happening in different parts of our world some hundreds or thousands of years ago. I’ve heard that Aurangabad is wonderful. Will check your blog!

Lakshmi,
It’s amazing that you, Indrani Ghose and I are posting some pictures of 10th century monuments…

Kalyan,
Leena,
Thanks! Glad you loved the post!

Medam,
It was a post dedicated to temples and arts; no wonder the mosque!

Dick,
That Rotunda is actually impressive!