Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Temples of Sofia, Bulgaria

Temples of Sofia, Bulgaria

1. The Synagogue
2. St. Sofia church
3. St. Georgi Rotunda
4. The Mosque
5. St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
6. The Russian church

(1-3 is the top row and 4-6 the bottom)

This unused postcard is from 2008.

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(Picture 1):
The Sofia Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Southeastern Europe, one of two functioning in Bulgaria and the third-largest in Europe. It is one of the architectural monuments of Sofia and can accommodate 1,300 worshippers.

(Picture 2):
The Hagia Sophia Church is the second oldest church in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, dating to the 6th century. In the 14th century, the church gave its name to the city, previously known as Sredets.

(Picture 3):
The Church of St George is an Early Christian red brick rotunda that is considered the oldest building in Sofia. It is situated amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica.
Built by the Romans in the 4th century, it is mainly famous for the 12th-14th century frescoes inside the central dome. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered, the earliest dating back to the 10th century.

(Picture 4):
Banya Bashi Mosque is built by the famous architect and civil engineer Mimar Sinan.  Its construction was completed in 1576, during the years the Ottomans had control of the town. The mosque derives its name from the phrase Banya Bashi, which means many baths. The most outstanding feature of the Mosque is that it was actually built over natural thermal spas. One can even see the steam rising from vents in the ground near the Mosque walls.

(Picture 5):
The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, as well as one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions. The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can hold 10,000 people inside.

(Picture 6):
The Russian Church, officially known as the Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, is a Russian Orthodox church situated on Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard.  The church was built on the site of the Saray Mosque, which was destroyed in 1882. It was built as the official church of the Russian Embassy, which was located next door, and of the Russian community in Sofia, and was named, as was the tradition for diplomatic churches, for the patron saint of the Emperor who ruled Russia at the time, Nicholas II of Russia.

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