Boyana Church – a UNESCO site in Sofia, Bulgaria
The capital city Sofia has some amazing hidden gems that can be absolutely fascinating. Only 20 minutes away from the city center, you can find an UNESCO heritage site with a rich cultural history – the Boyana church. Keep in mind that in Bulgaria there are 7 cultural and 2 natural properties under the UNESCO protection.
Boyana neighborhood is located in the outskirts of Sofia, at the beginning of Vitosha mountain and is a common starting point for people wanting to hike or explore the mountain nature. The church can be easily accessible from the city by taxi, private car (the road is well marked) or public transportation (bus 107 and 64).
Once you enter the complex, you will find yourself in a lovely garden with hundred-years-old trees, bird houses, benches to sit and relax, a lot of sunlight and fresh air and the church nestled between the trees. Your first stop should be the ticket office. General admission tickets cost 10lv and reduced price for students is 2lv. You can also purchase a guided tour. Only 8 people at a time are allowed to enter the church for a period of 10 minutes. This arrangement has been made so that the air conditioning system can maintain a temperature of 16 degrees in order to preserve the murals.
Boyana church was built in the 10th century. At the beginning of 13th century it was enlarged and some additions were made by the orders of Sebastocrator Kaloyan. The church is famous worldwide for its medieval murals. The first (base) layer of paintings dates back to 11th century. Some of them are still visible. But the most expressive, well preserved and with great artistic value are the mural paintings from 1259 that create a second layer and praise the church as one of the most complete monuments of European medieval art on the Balkans.
You can also check our post about Boyana waterfall.
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