Church of Sveta Petka Samardzhiska, Sofia
A few meters away from Sveta Sofia monument you can see a small church that is almost hidden in the avenue as it is partly dug into ground.
Church Sveta Petka Samardzhiska (St Petka of the Saddlers ) is very old, actually from medieval ages, probably it was part of the fortified town Serdika during the first Bulgarian kingdom. During the ottoman empire there was a small rule, you could build buildings for worship of any religion as long as it’s not taller than the local mosque! So the Christians built the church partly underground :)
It’s a tiny one-naved building with 1 meter thick walls made by brick and stone. Most of the murals inside date from 15th and 16th century but also from 19th century.
Sveta Petka was a Bulgarian saint in 11th century that was the patron of the saddlers in the middle ages.
In between modern buildings, the monument-looking church will catch your attention. St Petka Samardjiiska is said to be from the eleventh century and that the mural paintings were from the fifteenth century. You won't mind paying the 2 Lev entrance fee because the place has to be taken care of by the old gentleman who also minds the small store. You'll find the prices of the icons here quite okay and they're impressive.
As in other places they conquered and ruled the Ottoman Empire did not permit the building of any house of worship taller than the local mosque. The Bulgarians managed to outwit this ruling by building their churches partly underground.
One of the most famous is in the center of Sofia, on an island in the middle of traffic. The church itself is probably from the 14th century.
Lovely frescoes, some really very old - probably from the 16th century. One of them is of St. John of Rila.
The current name, "Church of Sv Petka of the Saddlers" is from the 19th century.
Located in the Largo area. Right now (April, 2008) there is a lot of renovation and building going on in the area, so one must be careful to cross the street only at the permitted spots - easy to get caught in a sudden rush of traffic when the light changes!
The church of Sveta Petka Samardjiiska dates back to the 11th century. Inside there are frescoes from different periods. An old woman told me once that in this church women who wanted to get married should pray. Supposedly her daughter who wanted to have a family but couldn't find her Mr. Right went and prayed there, and got married after that. wel, I never prayed or lit a candle there, still I ended up getting married :)
The church is at the centre and at its four sides there are 4 interesting buildings: the former Communist Party headquaters (now Parliament building), the Sheraton, the statue of Sofia, and TsUM...
The Church "Sv . Petka SAmarjiiska" is an ancient christian monument from XI th Century. It was built and incuded in the fortified town Serdika/ Serdetz of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.Its Mural paintings dated from the XV century are unique and unestimable. The Icon and the Inscription of the temple are donation from the church warden - Mr Kristian Krastev. one of the oldest churches in the territory of Sofia.
There is an entrance fee for visiting it - Something VERY unusual for churches in Bulgaria.
This tiny church is situated in the underpass towards the TSUM shopping complex. It was built during the early years of Ottoman occupation (14th century) when churches weren't allowed to be taller than houses. The inside murals are from the 16th century.
This medieval church's located in the underpass of TZUM.
It was built in the 14th century and is still well preserved. The church houses frescoes from 3 different periods.