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Bulgaria, Nesebar
7 Ivan Vazov Str.
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The Church St.Sofia

The Church St.Sofia known as The Old Metropolitan is situated on the place supposed to be the old Centrum of the settlement. It is a three-nave basilica with a semicircular apse, a three-part nartex and an atrium / an inner yard /. It is of 25,50-meter length. The central nave is separated from the two side aisles with orthogonal stone columns and brick arches. Above there is a second arcade. There are three arch windows over the apse at the East Side and a two slopes roof structure, not preserved. The apse possesses a synthronon, which can be seen today. Inside the church is plastered up and covered with frescoes. The basilica was built at the end of V c. and the beginning of VI c. There were two periods in its construction, rebuilt subsequently in the beginning of the IX c. It was an important part of the Nessebar bishop's residence.

The Basilica Holy Mother Eleusa (Tenderness)

The Basilica Holy Mother Eleusa (Tenderness) was built in the North side of the peninsula. It is dated to the VI c. It is a three-nave church with three more apses and a nartex. The two side aisles have two smaller apses pointing the North and to the South. It is 28 m long and 18 m wide. In 1920 excavations and studying started here. Now the basilica is well preserved and partly restored. The Medieval churches of Nessebar are the pearls in the precious string of ancient cultural monuments that can be seen nowadays. Some of them completely saved and some- partially, they are the hearts of the unique atmosphere of Nessebar.

The Church St.John The Baptist

The Church St.John The Baptist was built in the XI c. its construction is made of rough stone and mortar. The church is 14 m long and 10 m wide. It is a transitional type - between the Early Christian basilicas and the medieval cruciform churches. It represents the architectural prototype of the Nessebar churches erected in the following periods. There is a cylindrical drum above the central part of the church and it ends with a hemispherical dome. To the East there are three semicircular apses. No nartex can be seen. The Western, the Northern and the Southern facades of the church possess high blind arches. The church was plastered up and painted with frescoes. Inside there is a portrait of a donator on the South wall and fragments with St. Marina are preserved on the southeastern column. Nowadays a cozy art gallery takes place there.

The Church St. Stephen

The Church St. Stephen, known as The New Metropolitan is a significant monument - an important example of the Bulgarian medieval architecture. It was built in the end of the XI c. but later it was twice reconstructed - in the XVI c. when the naos was elongated and in the XVIII c. when a nartex was added. The construction is made of rough stone and bricks. The church is a three-nave basilica, 12 m long and 9,50 m wide. Marble columns and rectangular pillars with supporting arches separate the nave and the aisles. At the Eastern side there are three semicircular apses that end with arches too. The roof construction is in slopes. The central nave is taller than the aisles. Here, on the eastern fa?ade, over the arches, glazed decorative saucers were implemented for the first time. They became typical for the decoration of the churches built in the later centuries XVIII-XIX. Inside, some 700 square meters are richly painted. A donator's inscription from 1599 over the main entrance allows the frescoes to be dated. At first the church was dedicated to the Holy Mother but later the name was changed. There are 258 mural paintings and more than 1000 figures. All the compositions represent the Holy Mother's life. The scenes from the cycle The Jesus Christ Miracles confirm once again the idea of the Holy Mother being a mediator between the Son of God and the God. The scenes of every day life prove the realism in the artists' work. The style shows that three painters have worked - two of them on the Eastern part of the naos ant the third - on the Western. Later, in the XVIII c., the scenes of the Last Judgement day were painted on the eastern part of the nartex. The iconostasis, dated to the XVI c. is made of wood sparingly decorated with fretwork. It has three ranges but only two of the registers can be seen today. This of the Apostles, Holy Mother and St. John the Baptist is under the embossed arches. The picture of Jesus Christ from the same scene is of icon size. The epistles of the iconostasis are decorated in oriental style known as tulip style. The bishop's throne and the pulpit / XVIII c. / attract the interest with the carvings of plants as well as the golden fields full with polychrome.

The Church St. Theodor

The Church St. Theodor is dated to the XIII c. It is a single nave church, 11m by 4-m The Southern wall was enlarged in the late Middle Age. The earlier walls were made of rows of white limestone blocks and black bricks and the later on structures of rough stones. The fa?ade is diversified with blind decorative arches and spaces in between, ornamented with staggered zigzag patterns. Some icons on the iconostasis are preserved and today are exhibited in the new exposition.

The Church St. Paraskeva

The Church St. Paraskeva / XIII-XIV c./ is a single nave church, 15 m by 6 m in size, with a nartex. A pentagonal apse is jutting out to the East. The church is built of hewn stone and bricks in rows. The Southern and northern facades are ornamented with blind arches which drums are richly decorated. The motives are fishbone, sun zigzag, checker board etc. are made of stone and bricks too. Over them decorative ornaments - round and glazed saucers are walled in. Result of later reconstruction, the roof of the church has two slopes. It is a typical cruciform church- the roof is formed as a cross and above it, in the central part, there is a drum with a dome. In the past there has been a bell-tower over the nartex. Its existence is proved by the stone stairway inside between the naos and the nartex.

The Church St. Archangels Gabriel And Michael

The Church St. Archangels Gabriel And Michael is situated close to St.Paraskeva Church. It is a single nave cruciform building, 13,90 m in length and 5,30 m in width. Its eastern side has three small tripartite apses. The fa?ade is arched. The decoration of the drums and the space above is similar of this of St.Paraskeva. The cornice line is dominated by the dome construction, its base being preserved till now. Niches, wall-piers and longitudinal walls reach complete harmony, linking functionality with decorativeness.

The Christ Pantocrator Church

The Christ Pantocrator Church is dated to the XIII-XIV c., the exquisite construction, the perfect proportions and the picturesque decoration on the facade make the visitors forget the reality and pass into the dream word. The church is rectangular with dimensions 16 m in length and 6,90 m in width. It possesses two entrances-to the South and to the West. On the eastern side there are three small richly profiled apses. All over the fa?ade there are highly walled in arches. Above them three rows of decorative saucers and four leafed flowers. Frieze of swastikas-the solar cult symbol, made of bricks, passes above the apses on the eastern side. The richly decorated drum of the dome has eight windows in form of arches. The nartex is small and under the floor there is a medieval tomb. Only traces of the original mural paintings are saved on the inner walls. The church, almost entirely preserved gives us the opportunity to understand all these buildings in their initial appearance.

The St. John Aliturgetos (Unconsecrated)

The St. John Aliturgetos (Unconsecrated) Church is dated to the XIV c. The white limestone construction looks like a white bird, perched on the high southern coast. Even damaged in the earthquake of 1913, the church is a proof of the supreme period in the erection of cult buildings in medieval Bulgaria. Its dimensions are 18,50 m in length and 10,25 m in width. The eastern apses are like a polyhedral. There are four pairs of columns supporting the dome. The genius of the masters is widely proved by the elements of the decoration and the construction of the church-arches, niches consoles, plastic ceramic and stone decoration. All the ornaments in the drums are unique. The ornamentation along the consoles is of various sculptures of animals and birds in heraldic position, acanthus leaves and palmettos. Only small fragments of the frescoes are preserved and can be seen today.

St. Spass Church

ST. SPASS CHURCH / XVII C. / is a small single nave and single apse building, which is 11,70 m long and 5,70 m wide. Above the southern entrance there is a commemorative inscription which indicates that the church was built and mural painted during the time of the bishop Kiprian / 1609 /.

The walls are almost completely covered with frescoes. On the southern and northern walls there are compositions with scenes from the Gospel. Figures of saints are painted under the compositions. The Virgin Platytera is painted in the apse.

The tombstone of a Byzantine princess Mataissa Cantacuzina is saved in the church. She was buried in 1441 in the Old Metropolitan church but later the bishop of Nessebar placed her body in St.Spass church.



St. Climent Church

THE ST. CLIMENT CHURCH, which has been constructed in the XVII c. is richly painted. The central apse and the table in the altar are well preserved.


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