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in the heart of Sofia this awe- inspiring church is one of the most important Orthodox
churches. Ancient traditional go in hand with realistic frescoes by
Russian artist Vasily Vasnetsov,
Byzantine massiveness of the building and delicate carvings of the
marble throne. Alexander Nevski combines different styles into a
magnificent cathedral. Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church was started 5 years after Bulgaria got its independence and was finally finished in 1912. Devoted to a
Russian Saint Prince this church also commemorates 200,000 Russian
soldiers who fought and died for independence of Bulgaria in Russo-
Turkish war of 1877- 78. For the lack of experienced craftsmen and
architects designing and painting of murals was also made by Russians.
History and Description The idea to erect a
memorial church in honor of the liberation of Bulgaria and dedicate
it to the Russian saint Alexander Nevsky was put forward on April
13, 1879 at a meeting of the First Constituent People’s Assembly in
Veliko Tarnovo, Petko Karavelov. On February 26, 1881, the Central
Construction Commission was formed with a committee attached to it;
February 19, 1882 at the highest place in the center of Sofia, the
laying of the temple was completed. The author of the original
project was the architect Ivan Bogomolov, however, the
implementation of the project was inhibited, and by the time the
Bulgarian government again returned to the question of building the
temple, Bogomolov died. Bogomolov's drawings were handed over to
Alexander Pomerantsev, who substantially reworked the original
design. Construction began only in 1904. The construction of the
temple was led by a team of Russian and Bulgarian architects: A. A.
Yakovlev, A. N. Smirnov, P. Momchilov, Yu. Miranov and others. The
temple monument was built in 1912.
After Bulgaria entered the
First World War in October 1915 on the side of the Central Powers on
March 2, 1916, the Bulgarian National Assembly decided to rename the
cathedral in honor of Saints Cyril and Methodius, which the official
organ of the Russian Holy Synod was called "the great sin of
Bulgaria." Upon the abdication of King Ferdinand from the throne in
1919, the Synod appealed to the government with a request to cancel
the decision to rename the cathedral, the question of which was
submitted to the Bulgarian National Assembly, which decided to
return the cathedral to its original name. On September 12, 1924, on
the day of memory of Prince Alexander Nevsky, Metropolitan Maxim of
Plovdiv consecrated the main altar of the church in honor of the
holy prince, and on the next day of the northern aisle - in the name
of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and on September 14 - the southern
aisle in the name of St. Tsar Boris .
Among the authors, 82
icons painted in oil, as well as 273 frescoes of the church, include
17 Russian envoys, including V. M. Vasnetsov, P. E. Myasoedov, A. I.
Vakhrameev, A. M. Korin, A. A. Kiselev, N.A. Bruni, V.D. Bolotnov.
Most of the mural painting belongs to the brush of the Bulgarian
artist H. Tachev.
In 2014, after many years of negotiations,
was transferred into the ownership of the Holy Synod of the BOC.