The Boyana Church is a Bulgarian Medieval Orthodox Church, which is situated on outskirts in the capital of Bulgaria. The church structure was listed as a UNESCO World heritage site in the year 1979. The Boyana Church is structured of three buildings, the Eastern Church was built on 10th century and then was enlarged in the 13th century. Sebastocrator Kaloyan ordered two-story building to be erected.
The Boyana Church was built in three stages: the initial structure was built in the 10th century, then in mid-13th and then in the mid-19th century. The Eastern Church, which is the oldest section, it is a small-apse cross vaulted with cruciform support which was built in the 10th century.
About the church
The Church stood proudly on the slopes of Mount Vitosha, which is now the Sofia Suburbs. The name of the church was mentioned in the year 969 for the first time. It was one of the 35th settlements, which built the fortification system in the City of Sredets. Today, it is known as a magnificent example of medieval art and architecture.
The church is 900-years old. It went through several transformations and extension. After the transformation and renovation the church differs from the original structure. The first two buildings which were built in the middle Ages possess more aesthetic, elegance and Architectural values.
The several wall paintings in the interior of the church are from different period like 19th, 17th, 13th and 11th centuries. The painting from the 13th century are more aesthetic and depict Byzantine canon. From an architectural point of view, the Boyana Church is constructed in pure form of a Greek cross with dome and unique ground plan, richly adorned facades, ceramic elements.
The church was closed to the tourist in the year 1954, in order to restore and conserve. It was then partially reopened in the year 2006. In order to protect from damages, it was air-conditioned to 17-18 degree Celsius. The visitors were only permitted to visit for 15-minutes, under management of NHM- National Historical Museum. The church was fully reopened to public in the year 2008, 2nd Oct by ‘Stefan Danailov’ Culture Minister.
The church also holds world famous fresco dated from 1259 and so. The 18-scenes in the narthex depicts Saint Nicholas life. Few paintings flaunt the contemporary lifestyle. The portrait of Bulgarian tsar Constantine Tikh with Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava, is one of the most impressive frescoes in the church.
Today, the Boyana Church with its impressive structure and remarkable fresco is titled as a World Heritage Site.