One of the most remarkable buildings in Sofia is the Russian church
The Russian Church – Famous for its magical power to make wishes come true. It is located in the center of our capital, where the Georgi Rakovski street and Tsar Osvoboditel boulevard cross.
Here are 7 interesting facts about the Russian Chirch:
The Russian church Sveti Nikolay Chudotvorets (St. Nicholas the Wonderworker) was built in the period of 1907-1914 on a plot belonging to the Russian embassy. Architecturally the church was designed by Mikhail Preobrazhensky. He was also the architect of the Orthodox temples in Tallinn and Florence.
The initial purpose of the church was for it to serve as a private chapel of the Russian embassy to Bulgaria. Later priests of the Russian Orthodox Church started running it and transformed it into a meeting place of the Russian expat community in our country. In 1953 the chapel became a church of the Moscow patriarchate, which manages it to this day.
The church has five golden domes with the central one soaring to a height of 19 meters. The bells were donated by Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The grave of Archbishop Seraphim Sobolev is located in the crypt under the altar. He was running both the temple and the Russian orthodox parishes in Bulgaria from 1921 until his death in 1950. He is considered a wonderworker, which is why thousands of people leave prayer and wish notes at his grave, hoping that he will grant them help and healing.
Russian artists drew the murals. The four icons on the iconostasis are copies of the icons in the St. Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev.
From an architectural point of view, the church is an example of the style of 17th century Muscovite churches. It is declared a cultural monument by local authorities and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The temple has two entrances. The southern faces the boulevard and has the face of St. Nicholas above it, while the northern one opens to the neighboring park – with the face of Alexander Nevski above it.