February 17, 2012

0 Bulgaria: Churches of Sofia

The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, named for the patron saint of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, credited for freeing the Bulgarians from nearly 500 years of Ottoman rule.

The Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-maker, or the Russian Church.

Sveta Nedelya, an Eastern Orthodox church.  

Our tour guide advised that many churches allowed pictures if you paid a fee- so I got in line and paid my 5 leva.  As I was taking pictures, a security guard approached me and gave me a firm "no pictures!", and after I explained that I'd paid the fee he asked to see my ticket- I didn't have one; the lady hadn't given me one.  The man seemed to accept this, though, and let me carry on.

Each church had several icons that worshipers stopped at- they followed a clockwise pattern.

I just love the painted walls and detailing.

The inside of the front door.

The ceilings of all the churches are nearly blackened from the constant candle smoke.

The candles. 

The Rotunda of St. George.  Said to be the oldest building in Sofia, it sits in the center of the courtyard of the President's building.

The mosque, which sits across a community space from the public bathhouse.

The synagogue, across the street from the Market Hall.

A church near the Ladies' Market.

Sveta Petka Samardzhiyska, a medieval church that stands in the center of an area excavated for the subway.

A church near the book market.

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