St Georges Rotunda, Sofia
The church was built by the Romans in the 4th Century. It is one of the oldest preserved buildings in the city. The church is famous for it's three layers of frescoes which date back to the 10th Century.
I have no images from within the church, due to a funeral taking place during our visit.
There are ruins of buildings on view around the church.
Dating back to the 4th century, the Church of St George is the oldest preserved building in the city. The interior of the church is decorated with medieval frescoes. These depict Christ Pantokrator accompanied by angels as well as portraits of prophets. The frescoes were briefly painted over when the church was converted to a mosque during the Ottoman period. The grounds around the church contain excavations dating back to Roman times.
Set among th excavations of Roman ruins in the courtyard of the Sheraton and the Presidency is the oldest preserved building. It dates back to the 4th centtury, although it did not become a church until the 6th century.
It is open to the public. Although quite small, three layers of frescoes can still be seen. Be wary that a 'No camera' image is posted outside the door, fine of 10 leva will be imposed. I seem to be oblivious to such signs. I was reprimanded when I took a shot inside. Mea Culpa.
The oldest architectural monument in Sofia - the "St George" church built in the IV century.It is as well the only remaining building from that period in good shape , all the way to the intact roof.
Since its building , probably as martyrion(a religious place devoted to a saint martyr) the construction of the rotunda is dated back to the beginning of the 4th century, from the time of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337),who stayed in Serdika on several occasions.It was transformed in baptistery in 313 because of the mass conversion to Christianity in the Roman Empire.In the 6th century ,under the rule of Justinian the Great(527-565) ,it was transformed into a church.Its first paintings date back from this time. The vault has been destroyed twice - during and earthquake and the Huns and Westgoths invasions in 4th and 5th century and in 9th century - during the siege of Khan Krum. Under the rule of sultan Salim I (1512-1520)the Rotunda was transformed into a mosque bearing the name Gyul Djamasy.Wall paintings were than erased by white plaster and the mosque has been ornated with floral motives.
After the liberation of Bulgaria from ottoman rule, the Rotunda was left at the side until the death of Alexander Battenberg,when it was transformed into a temporary mausoleum until his remains were moved to the one specially constructed for him in 1898.
In 1915 the Rotunda was cleaned fromeverything that made her a mosque , the minaret was destroyed,the plaster was cleaned and the medieval paintings uncovered.
Now , everyday a liturgy is held , in the ancient liturgical language of the Slavic Orthodox - Church Slavonic and the chants are performed after ancient east orthodox ecclesiastic singing, known also as Byzantine music.
Nestled in the backyard of Sheraton hotel Sofia at one side and the President's residence from the other, The St George Rotunda an ancient Roman street ,surrounded from typically communist architecture from all 4 directions are an interesting clash of the centuries.
Sv. Georgi is a small, newer church on one of the outer ring roads of the centre. There is not much of a great draw to this church, as it has a simple white-washed exterior and the church itself was closed when I visited it (so I don't know about the interior). The main things is that this church was on the way between the Vitosha shopping area and the Monument to Russian Soldiers who died in the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottomans.
The Rotunda and some Roman ruins are located in the centre of the government buildings at the centre of the city. Its a bit odd and not well marked: I only found them because I was looking for where to buy coffee, wandered to what looked like a shopping street and saw the ruins on my right hand side. The ruins themselves are not well explained, but they appear to be some sort of Roman settlement. The Rotunda is well maintained and is now a functional church. Early in the morning I went and heard the priests singing mass. There are not many icons to see, but it is still fairly pretty and quiet.
The St. George Church is said to be the oldest building in Sofia. It was buit as part of Roman baths in the 4th century and converted into church in the 6th century. During Ottoman occupation it served as mosque.
There are different layers of murals inside, mostly from the 11th to the 14th century.
Right behind the Sheraton Hotel is the St. George Rotunda. This is a circular church built in the 4th century. It is said that this church was once a pagan temple and later turned into a church. The body of Ivan Rilski was kept in this church until they were moved to the Rila Monastery in 1469. During the turkish occupation in the 16th century, the church was transformed into a mosque (Gul Dzhamia). Next to it lie the foundations of a roman building.
The Rotunda 'Sveti Georgi' (St. George) is a landmark not to be missed if you're into Roman architecture. It dates back to the days when Thrace (present day Bulgaria) was a Roman province. The building is located behind the Sheraton hotel, practically in the very center of the city.
As you can imagine Rotunda means Round and the form of the church is round .
This church in the courtyard behind the Sheraton Hotel, have very good preserved early medieval frescoes.
The Church St. George built in the 4th century? is the only building in Sofia from the Roman Empire that remained as a whole.
working hours: 8-18h
This is the ancient St. George rotunda behind the