Church of St. Petka of the Saddlers, Sofia, Italy

Church of St. Petka of the Saddlers

The Church of St Petka of the Saddlers a.k.a. “St. Petka Samardzhiyska” Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church in Sofia. It is a small one-naved building partially dug into the ground located in the very centre of the city.

The Church of St. Petka of the Saddlers was built under the Ottoman occupation with donations from the region’s master saddlers. At that time, the building of churches was tolerated if their height does not exceed that of a soldier on horseback. This explains why it was half buried under the ground level. St. Petka church features a semi-cylindrical vault, a hemispherical apse, superb traces of frescoes and a crypt discovered during excavations after the Second World War. The walls are 1 m thick and made from brick and stone.

The church was first mentioned in the 16th century and was constructed at the place of a former Roman religious building. It is today a monument of culture known for its mural paintings from the 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th century depicting biblical scenes.

The church was declared a cultural monument and it is still operational.Sofia Guide

Church of St. George, Sofia, Italy

Church of St. George

The Church of St George is an Early Christian red brick rotunda that is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is situated behind the Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica.

Built by the Romans in the 4th century, it is a cylindrical domed structure built on a square base. It is believed that it was built on the site of a pagan temple, though the original purpose of the building was for public use. The building is famous for the 12th-, 13th- and 14th-century frescoes inside the central dome. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered, the earliest dating back to the 10th century. Magnificent frescoes of 22 prophets over 2 metres tall crown the dome. Painted over during the Ottoman period, when the building was used as a mosque, these frescoes were only uncovered and restored in the 20th century.Wikipedia