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

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