Saint Petka (Sveta Petka) of the saddlers (Sofia)



Address: ul Saborna 2

Tel: (02) 988 2406

Tel: (02) 988 2406


Tue-Sun 10am- 6pm


Description of Saint Petka (Sveta Petka) of the saddlers

Church of Saint Petka in the centre of Bulgarian capital of Sofia was constructed in the late 14th century this church is barely visible above ground with a cross at the ground level. It is not surprising many people simply miss it. It was build in the time then Ottomans just conquered the land and Christians were prohibited from building churches above a Turkish soldier on the horse. This is a common feature of churches build at the time, especially those that were build in large cities. Several people are buried in the church. One of these is probably “The apostle of Freedom” Vasili Levski, Bulgarian hero who fought against Ottoman rule, was captured and subsequently hanged in Sofia. However there is single opinion on the identity of the bodies. Besides during long restoration remains of Roman pagan burials are unearthed and visible to the public.


The church is a small one-nave structure partly dug into the ground. The walls of the church are 1 m thick, made of bricks and stones. The iconostasis in the church is the work of Debar masters of the Filipov family. Some of the icons are from another Deborah master Alexo Vassilev.

The church was restored and exhibited in the 1970s by a project of Arch. N. Mushanov and Arch. Evil. Kirov. The murals were restored by the artist - restorer L. Delchev.

The writer Nikolai Haytov hypothesizes that Vasil Levski is buried in the church. The reasons for these claims are controversial interpretations of the results of the archaeological excavations conducted in 1956 and some information in the press of 1937, retelling the stories of the descendants of the perpetrators. In the 1980s, a sharp controversy developed over the issue, but a final decision was not reached due to the opposite opinion of the Archeological Institute and the unanimous opinion was not adopted at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In the 1990s, a marble plaque was placed on the temple with the text that "according to the people's memory V. Levski was buried", which later disappeared. On February 18, 2012. by a decision of the Sofia City Council taken at the suggestion of Angel Dzhambazki, Willie Lilkov and others, a plaque with an inscription was solemnly illuminated to the east of the apse in front of the church: 1873 The Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levski Herodyacus Ignatius.